Saturday, 28 April 2012


In the absolutely beautiful weather we had today, I spent the entire time outside on a recording day with Oxford Buildings Record and their project with the Victoria County History volume for Oxfordshire. Wandering the village of Ewelme with 20 other volunteers, we were basically being exceptionally nosey under the pretence of recording. 

However, within one mile of village there were some intriguing examples of vernacular architecture. Now, those that know me know that I am not vernacular architectures most biggest fan, yet some of these cottages, along with the in-depth knowledge of the team leaders, managed to change even my rather stubborn mind ( as well as making me realise that I have a long road of learning ahead........)

I won't go into detail, but here are some examples. 

3 phase thatched cottage (16th C - 1997):

Grade II listed Iron Foundry that still has everything inside, bellows included! 

Believe it or not, this is a Primary School. 

Carpenters mark on a rafter in the village's Almshouse that dates to 1437. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Normanton Church

Last weekend I went up to visit a friend in Leicester who is getting married in September. As I hadn't seen the venue yet (and as I am chief bridesmaid) she drove me out to Rutland on Water to take a peak.

I had seen some pictures, but they just do not do the little church justice. Placed right out on the edge of the water, it is the most beautiful Neo-Classical estate church that I have ever seen.

Grade II listed, it is surrounded on three sides by water and has a stunning view. The tower and western portico, which overlooks the estuary, were built between 1826 and 1829 by Thomas Cundy Jr. The design was based on that of St John's Church in Smith Square, Westminster.

The use of Ionic and Corinthian capitals as you work your way higher up the building is a common theme with neo-classical architecture. Generally, the more leaves the capital has on it, the more female it is.

The nave and apse date to over a century later and can be seen in the different styles of ionic capitals and collumns, as well as the keystones and hood moulding around the windows to the right of the picture:

We couldn't go inside as there was another wedding going on. So i'll finish off with a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the lovely couple-to-be in September. This is a stunning building to start the rest of your life together!!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Lincoln Cathedral 

Last year, as part of our MA, we ventured out of York to Lincoln Cathedral. Begun in 1092, it's soaring central and western towers can be seen from all parts of this city. 

Taking nearly 3 centuries to build, by 1400 it became the tallest building in the world and standing at the foot of the western front you can certainly get that impression. 

However, for this post, it is not so much the grandness of the building that I want to talk about, that can be seen by most Cathedrals throughout the country. It is more what the minute details can reveal, those that go undiscovered when you wander through the nave staring at the ceiling many meters above you and falling over your own feet. 

As in my last post on Buckland Church, church interiors were not the blank spaces that we associate with religious buildings today and if you look closely at the stonework, traces of the bright colours that used to cover the walls are visible.......

Located on the rood screen, between the nave and chancel, there are elements of red paint that elude to past appearances of this great space. It is these glimpses that give a true picture of the building's past. So the next time you wander into a Cathedral or Minster and, after you have gawped at the ceiling so long your neck aches, take a closer look at the stonework and see what secrets can be revealed. 

I was meeting up with a friend a few weeks ago, half way between Swindon and Oxford off the A420 in a little place called Buckland. As usual, I was early and to waste time I went for a walk round the village. In my wanderings I stumbled across the church. 

Located down the back of a little residential street, it is one of the most individual churches I have seen in a while. The windows on the church tower and the large, traceried window next to the porch indicate that it was originally Norman in date.

 The building lines that can be seen on the tower show the initial layout of the church, with the transepts, nave and chancel being higher in height than they are now. It looks as though the structure was changed in the Gothic Revival of the early 1800s.  

One of the most beautiful thing about the church though was the interior!! As I am not overly sure if you are allowed to put up images of church interiors without permission, I advise you go and have a look for yourself. Coloured interiors of churches today are so rare, that it was just wonderful to see this still surviving and I had to share it. I am quite jealous of the residents of Buckland.......