Friday, 6 July 2012

St Andrew's Church, Castle Combe

I was looking through my photos the other day, reminiscing over the excitement of my university days, and came across these images of St Andrew's Church.

This cute little church belongs to the village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire. The village itself has played staring roles in quite a few Hollywood films throughout it’s years; Rex Harrison’s Doctor Doolitle (1967), Stardust (2007) and War Horse (2011) just to name a few.

The church is Norman in origin, with the chancel belonging to the 13th C. The nave is a little later in date and was built during the 14th C, and work on the bell tower began in 1434. A chapel was built during the 15th C and the Lady Chapel during the 16th C.

However, during the 19th C the church was found to be in poor condition and it’s foundations in an even worse affair. So quite remarkably, the church was taken down and replaced brick by brick (hopefully with better foundations) to the original design and floor-plan.

You can still see the change in phases throughout the building, though obviously, it does have to be questioned how true they are, through the different use of material throughout the church; from smooth style in the upper clerestory to the more rubble style of the chancel with its quatrefoil and norman style windows.

Inside, it has predominantly late Romanesque (norman)/early gothic arches, with the one at the east end being more intricately decorated than then the aisle ones. I can’t tell you what with, as my picture is of rather bad quality.

There is also a petite, but beautiful fan vaulted ceiling in the bell tower that is Perpendicular in style.

King’s College in Cambridge is the most famous example of a fan vault style ceiling. The style is attributed to Gloucester Cathedral which was built during 1351 and 1377 and has the earliest known example in its cloister walk.

                                                      King's College Chapel, Cambridge

                                                                    Cloister Walk, Gloucester Cathedral

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