Saturday, August 06, 2011

All Saints, Wraxall, North Somerset

3rd August 2011 - Today had a little drive around to try and get inside some of the more difficult local churches to take some better pictures. All were locked! I also visited one of my favourite local churches at Wraxall, always open every day, and deserving of a visit for those who love Kempe glass as all but two of the windows are his work, and all of quality.  

I first came here on the 8th of February 1968, invited by a teacher at school to tea with him and his wife and church. He also wound the clock so I have vague memories of climbing the tower. The latter is gorgeous, prettified by the Victorians I know but their parapet and pinnacles are a wonderful crown. Inside too much is over-restored but apart from the windows there is a medieval font attached to a pillar of the arcade which also has a book-shelf resting on a little figure. Can't recall another one of these but there must be.

Also unusual is the coloured Gorges monument in the chancel, Sir Edmund d1512, with two recumbent effigies on a tomb chest decorated with a central coat of arms flanked by two angels holding shields. There are some amazing details - she wears a wedding ring, he also has a ring too but on a different finger. Lady Gorges lies in front, her feet rest on the cutest lion, his on a greyhound - usually the man has the feet on a lion and the wife on the dog. Perhaps Lady Gorges was not one to be messed with!

I found two previous entries by me in the VB, the February one and another on a sunny but freezing cold 4th January 2003. It is however a surprise to see so few entries in the book, especially since Tyntesfield is a major tourist attraction in the parish just up the hill from the church. But then there was no pen, a situation I rectified by relocating a pen I found under a pew at the back of the nave. Memorials to the Gibbs in the south chapel, an enlargement by Blomfield of the south transept attached to the tall porch. The porch has an upper room with a window into the chapel, has a C13 outer door and shelters a Norman doorway. A walk round the church also repays with an unusual memorial in the churchyard attached to the vestry, some old stonework built into the churchyard wall, and two buildings erected in Georgian times.

St Leonard, Bourton on the Hill, Gloucestershire

My last church of the day, alongside a fairly busy road to Moreton in Marsh, with nowhere to park outside. Externally mostly Perp but inside there is a late Norman south arcade and a C14 chancel arch and north arcade; the reticulated east window is also C14. One small fragment of the former galleries survives over the west bay of the north aisle. There is an English Altar with carved angels on newel posts. Odd C14 stone screen to the organ chamber, brought here apparently in 1927 from Moreton in Marsh. The bay behind is nearly filled by the organ but there is an ornate image niche just visible in the SE angle.