Angels

A Mother

No ‘Sunday Roof Angel’ today, but another kind of angel…..The Madonna and The Baby Jesus.  I found this beautiful icon in the Parish Church of St Mary The Virgin, in Axminster, Devon. Thought it was just right for ‘Mothers Day’ here in the UK.

Sunday Roof Angel (3) St John the Baptist, Stamford, Lincolnshire (5)

In the beautiful church of St John the Baptist in Stamford, Lincolnshire, there are many different types of angels.  This angel is holding a book with some text on it.  The angel, I think its an angel, and not an apostle, because some of the photos of the same type of angels show tucked in wings, is in the roof of one of the side aisles.

March 2016

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.

St Sebastian’s Church, Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire – Gargoyles & Angels

 

St Sebastian’s Church, Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire, another church which was well and truly locked, in May 2015, the same as on the first occasion that I tried to visit, in 2014.  I think actually that the exterior far out weighs the interior, from what I have read, although again it would be nice to make up my own mind.  Externally the 15th century builders added battlements and pinnacles to the roof line to give the building a uniform appearance. Below these, on the tower and clerestory, there is also a frieze of shields.   From what I have read that the earliest parts could be early 13c, the south arcade and the chancel.  Late Romanesque capitals on the eastern most bay of the north arcade suggest that there were transepts here that were superseded by the aisles. The north arcade is much taller than its southern counterpart and is in Perpendicular style.  The Late Romanesque capitals are worth a third visit, maybe one day.  The exterior is full of wonderful medieval gargoyles and grotesques,

There are some very interesting creatures on a frieze, although I only took a few photos, I’m sure that they must have a symbolic meaning, but as yet I have no idea.

The churchyard is full of fascinating headstones, including some “Belvoir Angels” winged angel faces, which are a type of early 18th century Swithland slate tombstone found in the district, named after the Vale of Belvoir, in the East Midlands.  

A little history ………The Belvoir Angel is a motif local to the Vale of Belvoir (Beever) and the Framland, in the East Midlands, carved in slate in the late 1600’s and first part of the 18th century. Usually found immaculately preserved on small slate headstones, it speaks of the blessing of God at the time of passing from the earthly to the heavenly state, with a protective angelic covering. A typical Belvoir Angel design has certain standard features, stylised as the following first photo.  

I found a lot of these angels in America and even one on the Isle of Lismore in Scotland.  There are highly decorative ones and the plainer ones are called Naive, which are the one I like most.

Dated 1719, a true Belvoir Angel Headstone.

A more ornate Belvoir Angel.

This angel is on stone and not slate, so is not a typical Belvoir, but still a nice angel.  It could be that the Belvoir Angels were expensive and some people copied them.

Again a more ornate Belvoir Angel.

An angel headstone, although not on slate.

A very ornate Belvoir Angel.

 

 

 

Sunday Roof Angel, Cleeve Abbey, Somerset (2)

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The wagon type roof of the refectory in Cleeve Abbey, in Somerset, brought the biggest smile to my face, wonderful roof  angels.  The refectory was remodelled in the 15th century and the angels date from this time.

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Golden Winged St Michael

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I found another stained glass window of St Michael to go with the other one that I have recently posted, again from the Church of St Michael the Archangel in East Teignmouth, Devon.

Another for my ‘A Series of St Michael’

February 2017

Roof Angels, St Nicholas’ Chapel, Kings Lynn, Norfolk

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If you look up in St Nicholas’ Chapel, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, the largest chapel in England, you will see some of the most beautifully craved angels in the chapel’s 15th century roof, that have greeted visitors for the last 600 years,  We dropped in a few weeks ago, well it was more like the chapel was open, and even if I have visited a trillion times, it would have to be a trillion and one times.  It’s such a beautiful building and the angels hold a total fascination for me, well all roof angels do.  So it was a quick point with camera and then back to shopping, and yes, the camera even comes shopping, well you never know….

What I like about these angels, are their shadows on the roof, some look like crosses, beautiful 🙂

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One holds a recorder – the earliest ever portrayal of the instrument in church carving.

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The angel below is holding tools, you can see large nails and a hammer.

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February 2017