Sunday Roof Angel (2) St John The Baptist, Stamford, Lincolnshire (4)

There are several roof angels that I want to use for ‘Sunday Roof Angel’ from St John The Baptist Church in Stamford, Lincolnshire.  There are three different types, and they in turn are all different, but this angel is the only one with a ‘Green Man’ which is one of the roof bosses.  Most Medieval churches will have a green man in some form or another, but they are hard to find.  If you look at the second photo you will see that the rest of the bosses are faceless, apart from this one on the bottom of the left hand side.  

A very short version of the meaning of the ‘Green Man’……..Leaves or vegetation are a very important symbol in the church and can be seen in the sculpture of churches of all ages as well as in windows. Leaves are a symbol of life, eternal life if you wish. In the older heads the leaves or branches with new leaves originate in the mouth, two, one at either side.  A head with leaves thus described, is nowadays called a Green Man.

17 comments

  1. Lovely — though, despite enjoying the colours, not sure they’re strictly authentic? — and loving yet another Green Man image. (Of course, if we want to be a bit snooty, we could call it a ‘foliate head’!)

    1. I think you are right, I seem remember reading somewhere they were restored in the 19th century, but they make a nice change. I like ‘Foliate Head’, I could do a new series on them…..no no…. I must stick to the angels, at least for a while 🙂

    1. Thank you, you are quite right….lots pf people start to look up when they see me pointing the camera upwards and then, they see the angels for the first time 🙂

    1. Good I’m glad you found it interesting, I have always thought they were an odd thing to have in a church, but I now I see them more, than just being a pagan item 🙂

      1. I should think a Mennonite church is very similar to a Welsh chapel. They hardly have any decorations, but they can be so peaceful and very beautiful in being so simple. Yes its good to learn new things 🙂

  2. Hello again. I was away from your blog for a while and have enjoyed catching up. Quick question; How is”newish” looking clocks on them? Was there a nationwide movement to put up clocks, or are they replacements? Just wondering.

    1. Just realized my total lack of grammar lol….What I meant to say is, “How is it that so many old churches have the new clocks on them?”

      1. Hi Carla, nice to hear from you. Most medieval churches had sun dials on the front of the porch or on the tower, when they were first built. There are some clocks on churches towers that are 18th century, but most were fitted to the church towers by the Victorians. These then, might have been restored or replaced even up to present times. Each church could make its own mind up, if it wanted a clock, some were paid for by local subscription, and some had benefactors….. I’m not sure that the church had money to pay for clocks, it wasn’t necessary to have a church clock, as the bells were rung out every 15 minutes. It could be that the town or villagers wanted to see the time and what better place then the church tower, or maybe even just a clock tower, so that is when they would hold a subscription and pay for it them selves….. Hope I haven’t bored you and that I have in some way answered your question. Nice to know that you are catching up on the posts, Lynne 🙂

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