Sunday, October 29, 2006

Denbighshire / Clwyd / Wrexham County - 4

Wrexham Cathedral
Originally uploaded by ChurchCrawler.

Of the four today, probably the least interesting and least memorable church. By E W Pugin, 1857, with SW tower and broach spire, and a clerestoried nave and aisle with lower chancel. Here is the only quirk as the east window is a spherical triangular window filled by tracery. The low sun streaming through this window made an interior very difficult. Horrible plain north transeptal extension and a similar blocking of the south chapel arch in a perverse way only the 1960s or early 1970s could have done.

On the walk back to the stadium Janet discovered her umbrella cover which she had lost earlier (but not discovered until St Giles's porch) on the railway bridge! More luck, and still more in the stadium as Rovers huffed and puffed for long periods but ultimately as so often recently the football spoilt an otherwise splendid - and otherwise lucky - day!

More pictures on Flickr from this day.

Denbighshire / Clwyd / Wrexham County - 3

Church of St Giles, Wrexham
Originally uploaded by ChurchCrawler.

has a bulky and highly ornate late Perp west tower (designed by a William Hart from Bristol) and a rare medieval apse (rare in these islands anyway). The west end was given over to a Xmas card sale event but we were able to explore this handsome church. The chancel arch rests on large empty niches with ornate canopies with charming head stops. The arch itself has traces of former stone tracery - did this fill the upper part of the arch above what was presumably a screen or was it a former east window destroyed when the chancel proper was added? Among the treasure special mention of one of the best C18 monuments I have seen - to Mary Myddleton ( is this her from Chirk?) designed by Roubiliac 1751-2, showing a broken pyramid and the lady climbing out from the broken sarcophagus as a cherub sound the trump in the clouds above. This figure is outstanding and leans out from the monument into the aisle.

Denbighshire / Clwyd / Wrexham County - 2

The church of the Sacred Heart, CHIRK
Originally uploaded by ChurchCrawler.

surprisingly only dates back to 1928, a pretty black and white wooden structure in a Gothicky style. As we arrived a keyholder was just leaving but he kindly reopened the church and busied himself in the small (detached) parish rooms at the rear. OK so this would not detain the serious architectural student (and indeed Hubbard ignores it in his Buildings of Wales "Clwyd") but I found it a very moving little building. Janet and I finished and the church was still wide open so I went in search of the keyholder out back where I discovered pots of home-made jam and chutneys for sale! I felt adventurous and in addition to jam purchased a "Green Bean Chutney"!!

Knowing Ruabon would be locked and being hungry we took lunch in a roadside pub - very nice too. Refreshed we left for Wrexham FC and arrived hopelessly early parking almost right outside. We walked into the town centre as this invaluable booklet told me that the parish church would be open, something which on two previous visits here I had never found to be the case - surprising as it is one of the major churches of Wales. Rain threatened and Janet put up her brolley for the first time as we walked.

Denbighshire / Clwyd / Wrexham County -1

Myddleton Monument, St Mary's Church CHIRK
Originally uploaded by ChurchCrawler.

Yesterday saw a useless display from my team in the Principality, and it seemed we used up all our luck before kick-off as my readers will see!
It was a day of heavy-looking rain-laden clouds with the occasional brighter period. We made good time and after a coffee near Shrewsbury we were so early that we decided to make an extra stop en route to that I had planned. Hence open we found

ancient county Denbighshire, post 1973 Clwyd, and now part of the county borough of Wrexham. The tower stands at the west end of the north aisle, with the nave to the south. No structural chancel and a rather short and wide interior which could be described as twin naves rather than nave and aisle divided by a three-bayed arcade. The interior is charming with much woodwork from Georgian times which includes a west gallery and a fancier roof over the "chancel". The aisle roof is much older with hammer beams which carry carvings of fanciful animals.
The monuments deserve close scrutiny, the best to Sir Richard Myddleton, his wife (who died early at the age of 28), and between their two standing figures and urn with a relief of their infant daughter. In front semi-reclines their son William which seems almost an addition to the composition and is in slightly whiter marble. He died aged 25 and the inscription suggests he only survuved his father for a very short time. All is of c1718-22 and erected by the only surviving sibling Mary.
A modern hall adjoins the church at the NW corner, looking actually larger than the church! Here was a friendly lady who was caretaking the church as part of the "DISCOVER - Open Church Network, opening the doors to the historic churches of Wrexham" and the aisle was full of display boards about Chirk's history. There was an excellent booklet with leaflets on the churches in the scheme, including my original target of Ruabon. I was disappointed to read that this church was only open by appointment - but if we had gone straight there we would have been disappointed. I asked the lady about an enchanting looking church in a display on Chirk's Other Churches and she gave me directions.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Demolishing a cathedral

Originally uploaded by Mary Hawkins.

This is a first attempt at blogging a picture of the www. It is a picture of St Ann's Cathedral in New York City being demolished. This updates a page on my site
which also has a link to another flickr picture.

As a result of this experimental page, I have set up a second blog "ChurchCrawling - Pictures from the Net" which now has an access link in the right-hand panel. Rest assured this page will continue to reflect my visits and pictures from this point onwards and C-PftN will amass over time oddities and news picture entries.