Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Ludgershall, Wiltshire

The friendly rector very kindly showed us round Ludgershall church. It's got the most impressive Tudor monument. Pevsner likes it very much. I was suitably awed by the amount of detail and the crazy creatures on it. Sir Brydges and his wife were both resting their feet on little animals. I will include them because they definitely look back to the era of our favourite Norman Knight in Castle Combe. They're not a patch on him, mind :) His and hers:

There was also a super 'green man' in the centre of the church (just outside the Brydges chapel), and some other grotesque faces. We've seen a 'green cat' which must be Norman amongst all the amazing sculpture at Quenington , so maybe this could be Norman too? It's pretty chunky and basic.

But what had originally drawn us here was the promise of something Saxon. The rector proudly drew it to our attention. But it didn't look like anything to us: it looked like someone being Very Hopeful.

Here it is at four different angles. But actually it doesn't have to have been at any of those angles originally.  There's a faintly feathery look about it. But I really can't see anything obviously Saxon, or at least nothing that looks like the knotwork, plant scrolls, or animals from the things we've seen locally. Also it's very thin through isn't it. Why is it so thin?

There's the classic framed Explanation next to it. It says "The Carved centre stone was recently discovered at the East end of the Church, it having apparently been used by the builders for filling in at a previous restoration. As it is thought to be old [?] from an earlier Church, possibly part of a Saxon sculptured Crucifixion, it has been placed here for preservation. E S[?] Builder and Alfred W [?], Rector."  You can indeed imagine the bottom left orientation being a person holding out their arm. But then what would be that lump on the left? I'm not convinced.

Actually one of the coolest things at Ludgershall was this amazing (and surely extremely old) ladder up into the belfry. A beautifully patina-ed, naturally wonky, hand made thing, made precisely for this particular space. It was great.

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