Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ansty, Wiltshire

Return of the curse of the font base:

There's no place to hide in Ansty's church (it's very small and simple) and there's no place to hide for the alleged artist when drawing Ansty's font. It's very small and simple. It's got a row of lightbulb-like shapes dropping from the rim. It's probably the simplest decoration we've seen.

The base though, well my excuse is that it was partly hidden behind a vase of flowers. Which I couldn't be bothered to move. But making up the angles is what my brain likes to do. And what it thinks, is not really what the eye sees. I remember being at school with my arty friend Anna and for some reason we were drawing a cube. I drew it graph paper style. I can remember her trying to explain it wasn't right. I don't think I really understood. I wasn't really seeing and I don't think school art lessons pointed out how to? She also tried to tell me that the slates on a roof passed by the school bus weren't grey, but a subtle sort of purple. It took many years before I understood the truth of that one too. She was a natural artist. I like to think I've worked on it and have got my eye in a bit now. But for some reason font bases persist in eluding me. More Fonts Must Be Visited.

Ansty was ludicrously quaint. There's an interesting thing about it at the Wiltshire Online Parish Clerks website. The Knights Hospitallers had a 'Commandery' at Ansty, and they built the church. They had a hospice too where pilgrims could stop off on their way to Shaftesbury Abbey and elsewhere. There's also a manor house which was built at the same time. All these buildings, and the church, are grouped around a big and aesthetically pleasing fish pond. So they could have fish for tea, even if they couldn't have chips because potatoes hadn't been invented yet. The document on the link says this group is 'the finest example of a Commandery of the Order of St John that has survived in England'. So that's pretty cool. But you'd be impressed too if you visited, especially on a sunny day with the light glinting off the water. Chris Parker has a lovely photo on Flickr.

Images copyright Rhiannon 2014.

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