Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Doorways





























































A trip to the Cotswolds last week: more history than you could shake a stick at. 

The stone building in the picture directly above is Odda's Chapel, built in the late 1000's in memory of Odda's brother Aelfric. 

The golden square in one of the other photos marks the burial place in Tewkesbury Abbey of Edward, Lancastrian Prince of Wales, killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 in a field on the edge of town still called Bloody Meadow today. Emblazoned in the roof directly above his grave is the Red Rose of Edward IV, Yorkist King of England. 

Deerhurst Priory Church is one of the finest examples of a Saxon Church anywhere- the font is ninth century. The turkey in the coat of arms was the first time anyone had seen such a thing, the turkey being reputed to have been brought back from America in the 17th century. The beasts head still bears traces of its original medieval paint.

At Chedworth, a second century Roman villa complex, recently-discovered mosaics were being reburied to protect them. You could still see the water line in the old baths and the steps the Romans used to walk down into the plunge pools.

The Thirteenth century Cistercian Hales Abbey, pulled down during the Reformation, still retains a feeling of great peace and serenity.

Belas Knap, a long barrow built around 3000BC, still has its original stones standing. You can walk among them.

Amazing to think how the world has changed around these things and yet here they all are, still standing, still present, much as they were when they were made and the world was a good deal younger about them. Strange to touch a wall and know that other fingertips touched the same stones a thousand years ago, to go through a doorway and know you are following in much older footsteps, seeing what they saw, feeling perhaps a little of what they felt; sensations that the buildings bestow.