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Author Topic: Anglo-Saxon churches  (Read 37250 times)

Eanflaed

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Anglo-Saxon churches
« on: October 05, 2016, 09:23:48 AM »
I'm very interested in Anglo-Saxon churches as some of you may know(!) and wonder if anybody else is (apart from Harry and Guy). If so, my favourite websites for inspiration are: www.anglo-saxon-churches.co.uk and www.greatenglishchurches.co.uk The former is a huge educational resource and the latter is a labour of love compiled by an enthusiast (not all churches are included but the ones that are are thoroughly explored).

Bowerthane

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2016, 03:05:17 PM »
Thanks for these, Eanflead. 

I certainly used to like visiting Anglo-Saxon churches, not just the obvious ones like Earl's Barton but I took to tracking down the more obscure ones.  I sat drawing the Anglo-Saxon arch inside one Norfolk church with one of those round, flint towers until the light failed and, being on a walking break, got stranded with only a tenner on me! ( A kindly pub landlord let me a bed-no-breakfast for that exact amount).

What slowed me down was the realization that, sadly, nowadays clergymen often have to lock churches when unused.  It's a long way to go just to look at the outside.

Have you visited "Saint Bene'ts" ( Benedict's) in Cambridge?  It has a lovely atmosphere.  Now that you have to pay to get into any part of King's College Chapel, it's the one I try to visit whenever I'm in Cambridge.







Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2016, 11:37:54 PM »
It's the next one on my list Bowerthane! I've already researched it and know it's always open:-) I always try and find out opening arrangements for individual churches, sometimes it takes a bit of finding on the net. The really famous ones like Deerhurst, Brixworth and Breedon on the Hill are usually open. My latest target was Wittering (Cambs) and I only found who the key holder was by looking on the church door - magnificent chancel arch was worth the effort :)

Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 12:11:26 AM »
Visited St Bene't's today! It was a last minute, almost chance thing, but I'm so glad I went! I recognised it at once by its tower - like finding an old friend in an unexpected place! You are right, Bowerthane, it has a lovely atmosphere as well as a rather good tower arch. And I think the pillars (but not their arches) in the nave could be AS. It doesn't say so in the guide, but they are identical in design to the acknowledged AS pillars in Great Paxton church. And it's not a design I've seen anywhere else.

Bowerthane

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2016, 02:49:55 PM »
______________________________
I recognised it at once by its tower
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Have you visited St Michael at the North Gate in Oxford, Eanflaed? I recognised it at once by its tower as a young jobseeker thumbing my way round the south of England and sleeping under hedges ( for crying out loud) and I am embarrassed to confess that I hadn’t heard of it.  Yet there it was, shoe-horned into Oxford's Cornmarket Street: boxy, long-and-short work, little round arches under podgy pilasters.  Unmistakably Anglo-Saxon.  I had no time to look inside as I was busy beating the mean streets of Oxford so as to make an exhibition of myself to virgin employers with my Direct Approach, all CV and portfolio like Dick Dauntless, and realising I wouldn’t half like living and working amongst Professor Tolkien’s old haunts, in “the city of dreaming spires”...  Imagine my motivation and joy when I landed a job at a printer’s in Gillingham.

About fifteen years later, the only other time I’ve been to Oxford, I was on my way to meet up with some friends at the Rollright stones.  So I found some time to soak up the ambience, case Merton College, nose into some cool bookshops ( gasp, Tolkien stuff!) and... overran by an hour and had to grab a taxi.

Obviously I’d be happier knowing that any third time really would be lucky, and I won’t be disappointed if ever I make it inside.


( By the way, have you heard the folk belief that nobody can count the Rollright stones? Well it’s true!  Some stones are small and could have split away from a bigger neighbour, so no two people make the same decision as to which are the proper stones, and if they ask a third person to settle the disagreement, he or she proves to have come to yet another total, and so this world-historic issue never ends...)





Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2016, 06:21:44 PM »
Like you Bowerthane I've seen St Michaels but never been inside. I was job seeking in Oxford too - and didn't end up there either! But it's on my list definitely. And I like the Rollrights too - very photogenic,  such pretty colours!

peter

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2016, 07:43:25 PM »
  I used to go to the ISIS Guest House in Oxford, which is a college guest house for visiting lecturers, masters etc. during term times. But during late July, August and early September rooms can be booked by the general public, all the facilities and staff remain and the breakfasts are brilliant. You have to book early because of the limited number of rooms. I just hope it keeps going because I know I'll succumb to the call of The Ashmolean next summer! The A/S girls and guys at the Ashmolean are just great!

Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 11:51:00 PM »
That's a very useful tip Peter! I really fancy doing that,  and the Ashmolean!

Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2016, 09:21:28 AM »
Still on the subject of churches, but changing venues, have any Essex Gesiðas been to Hadstock church recently and if so is it always open? I tried to visit a few months ago but couldn't open the door - wasn't sure if it was locked or if I was just being feeble! Didn't want to damage the oldest church door in Essex!

peter

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2016, 06:30:19 PM »
  Did you go to Bartlow Hills (just over the border in Cambridgeshire) while you were there? The church has an unusual round tower and if you walk round behind it (it's a little, narrow path) the large Roman Burial mounds can be found.
   While I'm writing, have you found a copy of The Bayeux Tapestry-The Story of the Norman Conquest 1066 by Norman Denny & Josephine Filmer-Sankey. It's aimed at teachers and is for slightly older children and the original illustrations are great. It might be good for your talks to children.          ISBN No. 0 00  1950058 4   Collins. London.

Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2016, 07:53:45 PM »
Thank you Peter! I shall certainly check out that round tower at Bartlow Hills. Your book recommendation is very timely as we are having a meeting on Saturday to discuss the education package for Key Stage 2.

Phyllis

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2016, 02:28:14 PM »
Eanflæd - I have a copy of the book Peter mentions if you ever need to borrow it :)

Wes hal
Phyllis
Phyllis

Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2016, 04:34:21 PM »
Thanks Phyllis - might even use it for an article George and I were discussing  :)


And thank you again Peter. You are such a helpful man! It was so nice to meet you at Hastings (is that offer of a small seax still open?? :) :)

peter

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2016, 05:17:49 PM »
  Yes, I'll definitely make you one (have made a start on a scabbard), but  I've just come out of hospital and I'm back in, probably for the duration of Christmas (wow, really great!), so you may have a long wait I'm afraid, sorry.   I have got my own little education package that I used to use (BBC publications and other bits and pieces), but I can't remember if I gave you the details once before  (it's my age, I think), if not, let me know.

Eanflaed

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Re: Anglo-Saxon churches
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2016, 06:35:45 PM »
Oh Peter I'm so sorry to hear you're in hospital and for Christmas too. I'll have to keep you amused with my random posts! You sent me an absolutely fabulous piece about AS weapons, which is so good I won't need to buy another book on them. Is that what you meant? Dont mind waiting for the seax as I know it will be perfect.