Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Grotesques At St. Wulfram's

Or funny faces, as I prefer. St. Wulfram's has a line of them from one end of the church to the other, scores of them, some of the more amusing and provocative I've seen. I've added captions here and there; many just leave you speechless. Or wondering...what were they thinking? 12th-13th centuries.
Sonicare was popular even then; don't forget to floss

On the phone


Bad hair

Still processing this one


Along just one I said, scores of them, each different

New, deathly pose

Obviously dogs have been fetching tennis balls far longer than we thought


Embrace? Or maybe stranglehold?

Male version of Sheela-na-gig? Heela-na-gig?

Group activity




Grantham St. Wulfram's Parish Church

St. Wulfram's is another five-banger. It was near Peterborough, and we'd been there before, way back when, and we couldn't find a place to park our Roadtrek. Something about Sir Isaac Newton. This time we found street parking with ease, just a few hundred feet from the church. St. Wulfram's gets it five Jenkins stars largely for having the tallest of all English steeples, 283 feet. It was erected, so to speak, in the first quarter of the 14th century, and Jenkins speculates it may have been the tallest building in England until the 20th century. I've noticed that nearly all of the five star churches we've visited so far have something to do with size.... Be that as it may, our visit to St. Wolfram's was altered somewhat by our arriving after visiting hours and touring during the rehearsal of the mixed young person's choir, I mean, quire. The church was interesting and impressive, and the music, though halting and repetitious, was beautifully punctuated by giggles. A treat we didn't want to intrude upon. St. Wulfram, BTW, was bishop at Sens in the 8th century, and a missionary to the Frisians, the original speakers of what we now know as English. They murdered him. In any case, it really ties so many things together. The steeple notwithstanding, what I found most interesting about St. Wulframs was the line of funny faces, grotesques, that wrap around the building. Some of the best we have seen on this campaign and worthy of a separate post.

North aisle, off of which the north porch is the visitor center

Helpful model

Ad majorem gloriam Dei

Some work still to be done on the north porch addition

Interestingly carved chair

In the south aisle

Quietly peering over into the chancel and quire


Click to enlarge and read about the gendered first editions of James I's Bible, as
produced by the King's Printer

Original organization chart

Looking into the gallery

Rare view into font hood

We are all works in progress

Across the street, The King's School; what they don't tell you is that it was from
the steeple at St. Wulfram's that young Isaac dropped apples and oranges,
attempting to gather evidence for his Theory of Differential  Gravity

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Peterborough Cathedral, 2

Continuing our visit to Peterborough Cathedral...
Well, Mary Queen of Scots was buried here, by Old Scarlett,
but her son, James I, had her moved to Westminster Abbey

The Hedda Stone, kept near the altar, a relic of the earliest abbey on the site,
Medeshamstede, dated to 870 CE; shows people with halos

Rare dorsal view: more halos

Katherine of Aragon definitely is buried here; flowers still arrive daily from the
Spanish embassy

Peterborough's clock, a relative youngster compared with
Wells or Salisbury

A few images from the painted ceiling...there are scores

Peterborough main square outside the cathedral grounds

Many pretty, mostly Georgian sights; ignore the cell tower...