Church Buildings

Village Sign & Church of Great Dunham, Norfolk

Norfolk is full of wonderful churches and Great Dunhams Church, St Andrews, is a little gem.  This lovely little church is more Saxon than everything else, so it has a right to be on the village sign, which is great for my ‘Village Sign & Church Category’.   I haven’t be able to find anything out about the sign, but its the church that is really interesting…..post to follow soon.

January 2016 ‘Village Sign & Church’ Category 

St George’s Church, Woolhope, Herefordshire

 

On the day we visited Ledbury, Herefordshire in February 2015, which was last nights post, we found a church to explore.  Herefordshire has some wonderful churches and much to my shame, I have hardly posted any, so to make amends, this post is St George’s Church in the village of Woolhope.   I have posted some of the wonderful stained glass windows before, but will included them again.

The church is approached from the south by a long path from the timbered ‘Skallenge’ (lych gate), dating from 1581.

On the day of our visit, the graveyard was full of snowdrops, almost like a carpet in some parts.  I found several interesting cherub headstones and one very upset looking one, as the following photo shows.

I wasn’t too worried about the church not being open, as all the churches we stopped to explore in Herefordshire had been open and yes it was unlocked.

The one thing I did notice very quickly were the extremely thick columns as the structure is largely Norman, from the second half of the 12th Century.  The Norman work is seen in the North arcade, a window in the Sanctuary and a carved head under the tower, but much of the present fabric, internal woodwork and fittings, date from a major restoration in the 1880s under the benefaction of the Booker family of Wessington Court.

The 13th Century tower commands the valley named after Wulviva who, with her more famous sister Godiva, gave the land to the Dean and Chapter of Hereford. The sisters are commemorated in a striking window in the North aisle.

 

 

A Church in the South Tyrol, Italy

Another photo from the train window, while traveling from the UK to Venice, Italy 2016.  We saw a great many tall red spired churches, in fact in the end they all look the same and I have spent quite a while researching this one.  But every time I think I have found it, something is not quite right.  The church appeared after we had passed Reifenstein Castle, as per my previous post, but it was before Trento……my, thats narrowed it down a lot… anyway its the image of the church that counts 🙂

 

Church of Ognissanti, Florence, Italy

Last year, 2016, we visited Florence, Italy, it wasn’t a particularly nice day, but what amazed me was the amount of people there were, I actually thought that in October, it would have been quieter, got that wrong.  It didn’t help that we got lost once we left the train station, we walked for ages until we worked out that we were totally going in the wrong direction, we cut through some back streets to the river and then realised where we should be.  But if we hadn’t got lost we would have missed the beautiful church of Ognissanti (All Saints).  Not a large church, but it was open, it was free and the best thing of all……you could take photos, as long as you didn’t use a flash.  After all the closed and photo forbidden churches in Venice…. I was going to photograph every inch of it.  

The Church of Ognissanti is a Franciscan church and Sandro Botticelli is buried here, which I didn’t know until I got home and carried out some research.  

A little history…. I added the information boards at the bottom of the post….The original church was completed in 1257, but was almost completely rebuilt in the baroque style in 1627.  There is a beautiful blue terracotta glazed lunette, over the entrance, in the style of della Robbia, but the artist was actually Benedetto Buglioni. There are frescoes by Ghirlandiao and Botticelli in the church. 

Below is Giotto’s Crucifix which dates from the 1320’s, which has been carefully restored over eight years.   It was a lovey surprise to see it shine in the darkness, so very beautiful.  

Giotto’s Crucifix

Some information I found………….Formerly in the sacristy for 84 years, Giotto’s monumental Crucifix is back in the Florentine church for which it was painted in 1310-1315, after a careful 8-year long restoration by the Opificio delle Pierre Dure, which has restored the luminosity and brilliance of its colours and glazes, its volumes and its modelling.

The Ognissanti Crucifix was a neglected Italian treasure which a team of experts have now repaired and identified.  After long being attributed to a relative or school of the early Renaissance artist Giotto, the Ognissanti crucifix is now believed to be the work of the 14th-century Italian himself.  The painted cross, which hangs in the Ognissanti church in Florence, underwent extensive cleaning by the local restoration lab Opificio delle Pietre Dure.  The project was led by art historian Marco Ciatti, who has concluded that the crucifix is a Giotto masterpiece dating from the 1320s.

The majestic tempera on panel realised by Giotto and his workshop around 1310-1320 had been sadly neglected for centuries.  Kept in the sacristy of the church of Ognissanti, it was rarely seen and the vigorous modelling of the flesh tones of the figures, and the many precious details of the pictorial surface, were hidden by a severely altered layer due to a treatment of the past and century-old grime. The restoration of Giotto’s Ognissanti Crucifix was started by Paola Bracco in 2002.
The crucifix is situated in a chapel to the left of the transept. The crucifix was originally located above the rood screen in the transept of the Ognissanti church, but this no longer exists.

The church seems small inside, with no aisles, and compressed almost for being very densely decorated. Vertigo-inducing trompe l’oeil architectural ceiling painting by Giuseppe Benucci.  When you look at the ceiling at different angles, it seemed to move.  The ceiling seems a lot higher than it is, and it looks like the angel is about to fly from the balcony, which is really flat against the ceiling, so very clever.

St Jerome in his Study, fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1480.  Unfortunately I have no idea who painted the rest of the frescos, but I love the little round ceiling with the angels.  I will let the photos continue the tour of this amazing church that we were lucky to find.

Hill Top Church

In 2016 while travelling through Austria on a train, I saw this beautiful church, I think its a church.  We were near Innsbruck, but I have no idea really where we were.   We passed by so many wonderful castles, churches and monasteries up high in the hills and mountains……. and not one could I visit, oh well, I will just have to make do with…. just looking at them again.

October 2016

The Church Path

Another church I have yet to post about, St Margaret’s Church, Cley-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk, but I thought this photo would be a good reminder 🙂

Visited October 2015

Village Sign & Church, All Saints,West Haddon, Northamptonshire

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West Haddon in Northamptonshire, has a very nice sign, with a sheep, church, canal and some Almshouses.  The church is ‘All Saints’, which I still have to post about, as it has a wonderful font.  We visited the church in November 2015 and I just noticed the sign as we were hurtling past, hence its a bit blurry.

I found a little history of the Almshouses….The sons of a doctor who had moved into the village in the 1730s became some of the biggest farmers in the parish and one of them, John Heygate, became the nearest thing the village had ever known to a squire, endowing the village with a school, while his heir, William Lovett, established the Almshouses.

The canal depicted, I think, is the Grand Union Canal, but the sheep, I have no idea.  It could be that maybe the Heygates (the biggest farmers from the 1730) had sheep, or the area is know for sheep.