Saturday, 31 May 2014

Britford, Wiltshire

As Mr Pevsner says, at St Peter's at Britford there is some decoration 'that is unique in English pre-Conquest work' and he suggests it's from the 9th century. So you can imagine, I was rather eager to get here, I was very much looking forward to it. But it wasn't long that we'd stepped through the door that both of us felt a bit weird about this place. Thinking women from the 21st century like to rationalise these things - I mean was it the gloominess, was it the unnerving way you couldn't see into the transepts from the nave, was it the really awful and oppressive smell (of what? of what? of the flowers (no), of something far more revolting eww)? I don't know what made this place so horrible but it really was and we hot-footed it out of here, though not before I took a few hasty photographs of the carvings. We both felt freaked out for ages and as though the horrible smell was totally stuck in our nostrils. In the course of my weird obsession we've been in a lot of churches and none of them were like this, it was horrid. Everyone writing in the visitors' book seemed to love it, mind. It actually makes me feel a bit weird to think about it even now. But trying to forget about all that subjective malarky, the carvings are indeed rather interesting. You can read at length the debate about their age and origins on the impressively detailed Extraordinary Book of Doors website.

Anglo Saxon knotwork at Britford, Wiltshire

Anglo Saxon knotwork carving at Britford, Wiltshire

Anglo Saxon knotwork carving at Britford, Wiltshire
In these three pictures I've used colour to highlight the way the knotwork works. 

Anglo Saxon foliage and knotwork carving at Britford, Wiltshire

 Images © Rhiannon 2014

1 comment:

  1. Wow these are excellent! I always say, trust your instinct.