Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Netheravon, Wiltshire

The last couple of trips, B and I have arrived at the location most dripping with Romanesque goodness as the last of our stops. And this is not conducive to drawing owing to mental and physical exhaustion. So this time we decided we would go to the most promising place first(ish). This was a good idea, except it started to rain. I could have stayed here a lot lot longer.

It's immediately obvious that you're somewhere different - the tower of the church is very unusual looking (well, certainly for this neck of the woods). I must credit Duncan and Mandy's website again for the photo below.

Anglo-Saxonness abounds. I really loved the fantastic little doorways that opened into the north and south of the tower. I'm hoping B will provide me with photos of these. The stone was beautifully coloured, peachy and orange and sand. If it hadn't started raining I'd have cheerfully painted these doorways. Originally the tower had been central in the church, and you could see where other walls had adjoined it.

On the west end of the tower were large doors, and these were framed by deliciously carved capitals on tall plain columns. They were superb. I drew only one but there were four.

The Quadruped (with classic tail between legs pose) has unfortunately lost its face to weathering. But much of the rest of the carving was fresh and tactile. The colours were warm and very appealing. They weren't necessarily part of the stone though - B's suspicions were confirmed when I geekily got out my hand lens and we squinted at the wall - red lichen.

I suppose the columns may have been moved or carved when the tower was rejigged? How old are the carvings? The tail-through-leg may have started early I guess. There's lots of speculation (and considered deep thought I'm sure) about the church's structure on the Anglo-Saxon-Churches website.

Inside, walking through the tiny south doorway, the tower soared up, with a superb round arch and tall tall columns into the nave. This was really something special. I liked it here a lot.

from Duncan and Mandy's website

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