Marden church (St Michael and All Angels) is a total gem though for the Norman carving enthusiast. The south doorway by which you enter is ridiculously ornate. There are zigzags, beading, steppy patterns and lots of flower motifs. It was rather overwhelming for the artist especially at the end of a day's drawing. You wouldn't credit how tiring driving around looking at carved stones and eating snacks can be. So I went inside to check out the surprises inside.
It seems that Marden has the most amazing chancel arch - so solid and wide, with chevrony zig-zags pointing in all directions. It's a little wonky (as you'd hope) and kind of flattened over the top. What made it really interesting was that the zigzagginess went under the arch and around the back. Which seemed very upmarket. It reminded me of a similar feature at the bemuralled church at Kempley St Mary.
Even the feet of the columns had a bit of decoration.
So thoroughly overwhelmed by all this I sat down to draw a little of the arch, the impost blocks from which it springs (if that's the right terminology). There are little flowery motifs here as well.
It's so hard to know what to focus on when there's so much. It makes me feel very tired. I want to engage with it, and drawing the sketch above did make me feel like I had. And of course the arch will with luck be there for a jolly long time yet, if I want to go back and visit it. I know a lot of the enjoyment and benefit is about just finding these places and experiencing them. But I enjoy stopping and observing and interacting by drawing, and sometimes I feel I don't do justice to the location somehow, if that's not happened. It's hard to explain. Hmm.