Saturday, 9 August 2014

Chirton, Wiltshire (the return)

The church of John the Baptist in Chirton is home to beakheads and a carved font, both from the Norman era. Beakheads can't be beaten, and there aren't too many in Wiltshire.

The beakheads are quite small, but they're very varied - not just animal heads but hands and little figures. The columns featured a slightly less grand version of the 'hinges' we saw at South Cerney.

Romanesque beakheads and chevron sculpture at Chirton church, Wiltshire

The font has twelve arches containing what you'd imagine is the twelve apostles. They were all reasonably individual in how they looked. In fact the more you looked, the more you realised that the designs that framed the figures weren't mechanically repetitive either. Most if not all the figures were carrying books but the one I drew also had a key - and that, it seems, would be Peter.

a Romanesque carving of a saint on the church font at Chirton, Wiltshire

The design around the top was the very sort of thing that I like to draw. It's got some logic but it's also unpredictable. And it's organic and planty. The sketch below has two layers because I just ran the drawing on. What's drawn is probably about half the circumference of the top of the font.

romanesque foliage pattern on the church font at Chirton, Wiltshire

There were also some very nice designs on the capitals within the church. They also looked pretty Romanesque in style, though they were so beautifully crisp that it was easy to wonder if they were really so old. I think they probably were though, they had a certain unsymmetrical bold look about them

Images © Rhiannon 2014

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