St. Andrews Church, Bolam ~ September 2017

Last week I posted about mine and Sophie’s trip to Bolam Lake, and for regular followers you’ll know that in the afternoon the clouds came over and we decided to visit St.Andrews Church, which is only around the corner and a minute or so away from the lake. In spite of that, and in spite of having been there before, I managed to not find it and got lost for 1/2 an hour. I’m blaming the sat-nav for confusing me!  Anyway eventually we got there and took a few pictures.

The church is ancient, a grade I listed building, and has been there for 1000 years. 

The tower was built at that time, by the Saxons, with a belfry at the top. The main belfry window opening has a classic Saxon rounded shaft in the middle, said to be made by applying wood turning techniques.

The porch’s round arched doorway has 13th century dogtooth carving around it and reaching all the way down to the ground . The pattern at its best is usually shaped like four flower petals. The outermost nutmeg carving is more a 12th century style. Above it in the church wall is a reused gravestone.

The Chancel

The chancel is typically long and narrow, with an east window of three lancets, which were glazed in about 1880 by F.R. Wilson. The original Saxon chancel was lengthened in the 13th century by the Normans and parts of the former sanctuary arch can be seen, reused. The beautiful altar frontal was donated in 1909 by Augusta in memory of her brother Charles Perkins who died at 2am on25th August 1905.

The South Aisle and at the end the Shortflatt Chapel.

 

The chapel, currently referred to as the Shortflatt Chapel or sometimes Dent chapel, is now so named because it was built by Robert de Reymes, who had inherited half the barony of Bolam. He was a knight and lived at Shortflatt, as did his descendants for the following three hundred years. Shortflatt eventually passed to the Dent and now the Hedley-Dent family.

Robert rebuilt Shortflatt Tower in stone with a licence to crenellate in 1305, after it had been burnt down. The town of Bolam was granted a market and a fair the same year, but Bolam castle was described as dilapidated. He died in 1324 and there is an effigy of him (without legs) in the chapel. It is thought the effigy was shortened to fit in the niche, which originally almost certainly would have contained a statue of The Virgin Mary.

On April 30th 1942, a German bomber  was on a bombing run over England when he was chased by 2 RAF fighters, in trying to get away he offloaded his bombs and flew low. He didn’t make it, but one of his bombs flew into the chancel. On 5th May the vicar’s wife, wrote to her son Flying Officer John Hutton stationed in the Middle East:
‘…Jerry paid us a visit at 4am May 1st. He was being hotly pursued by two of our fighters who were on his tail. He was very low down, and discharged the whole of his load in order to get away, but he failed and lies at Longhorsley. 4 bombs 2 1/2 tons in all. One fell, just missing the walnut tree, which still stands, 30yds from houses wall. An unexploded one lay in the chancel, it had passed through the lower part of the wall in the H>D> Chapel, smashing all the furnishings in that part of the church, none of any value, injuring some windows…the remaining two bombs only made large craters in Windmill field…’.

The churchyard has no less than 16 listed monuments, including the gate, but mostly ancient graves.

The oldest legible inscription on a headstone is dated 1697 and reads:
Hic jacet corpus Marci Ansley de Gallow-hill. Obiit II de Aprilis anno etatis……: salutis humanae 1697.

I think most photographers like a good graveyard to explore, and St.Andrews is one of the most interesting. And old!

Well that’s enough for a post I think. For more of the medieval stonework, mushrooms and ancient graves, the full album can be seen HERE

For more interesting info on the church, the website is HERE

Stay tooned 🙂

 

 

 

Mount Grace priory ~ part 3

Today we’ll have a look at bits and bobs around the grounds of the priory.

The Inner court was occupied on 3 sides by service buildings. This is where they baked bread and brewed beer.

The Kiln House & Granary
The Kiln House & Granary

The Gatehouse is the oldest building in the Inner Court built in about 1400, the gates though are modern.  It did have an upper storey but that was dismantled during renovations to the guest house next to it.

The Gatehouse
The Gatehouse
View from Inner Court to the Priory
View from Inner Court to the Priory

There is a beauty of a Yew tree (think it’s a Yew) in the Inner Court..

Yew Tree
Yew Tree

and I could walk right inside it

Trunks of the Yew
Trunks of the Yew

In the North East Corner of the Great Cloister we found the well house. The water runs from here and fed a central water tower via lead pipes and then on to each Monks cell! Medieval plumbing rocks! They had a few springs and well houses back in the day, some to flush the outdoor loos in each Monks Garden (see previous post) and some for the rest of the priory service buildings etc.

The Well House
The Well House
modern well house :D
modern well house 😀
Monks cells
Monks cells

In one of the gardens we found these stones which must be part of the demolished bits.

spare parts
spare parts

another interesting tree..

Hidey Hole
Hidey Hole

Looking up at the Priory is this modern statue of the Madonna & Child by Malcolm Brocklesby…

Ummm
Madonna & Child

The inscription reads “This Madonna is not the meek and subservient figure portrayed in many renaissance works, but a determined and intelligent young woman who understands the wonder and the importance of her calling; she is also aware of the suffering that this will entail. The figure of the Madonna is integral with that of the Cross, which is an inescapable part of her existence, and the way in which she holds the Christ Child high suggests the subsequent Ascension rather than the immediate prospect of a sacrificial death.” Which is fine I guess. Art and all that 🙂

To the Guest House
To the Guest House

Some poppies in the grounds near the gatehouse..

poppy bloom
poppy bloom
Inner Poppy
Inner Poppy
poppies to be
poppies to be
Chatting poppies
Shall we kiss?

So that’s it for today. No expeditions this weekend, but have been adding to the SX70 project which you can access from the menu if you are interested in polaroid shenanigans.

Also one of my flickr contacts is now doing a blog here on wordpress, his portrait and light painting works are great, he’s a really good photographer and you can find  him at Flatworldsedge. Tell him I sent you 🙂

laters gaters

😉

The Sunday fraggle report~ Prudhoe Castle

Yesterday I went out with my friends Sophie & Mike to visit Prudhoe Castle in Northumberland.  Sophie, Mike and I came together through Flickr back in 2011, and now and then we get together at a weekend and go visit somewhere interesting with our camera’s.  Sophie is a doctor of psychology and teaches at a University, and Mike is doing a degree in photography.  Yesterday we got together and went to Prudhoe Castle, a scheduled ancient monument and grade 1 listed building near the River Tyne in Northumberland. It has a long history, starting out as a a Norman Motte and baily, built sometime in the mid 11th century, and passed through a few families, notably the Umfravilles and The Percy’s and was attacked several times by our Scottish brethren, a short but interesting history can be found HERE.

Anyway, the weather wasn’t overly fab for photography, but I did my best.

 

The view from the road as you walk up to t he castle.

Purdah Castle, iPhone 6 panorama
Prudhoe Castle & Mill pond, iPhone 6 panorama
same view (fuji XT1)
same view (fuji XT1)

The Gatehouse built in 1150 contained the chapel .

The gatehouse
The gatehouse

The outer bailey contained the lower-status service buildings and a multi purpose great hall, but not much left of that.

The Outer Bailey
The Outer Bailey and East tower.
steps to the East Tower
steps to the East Tower

The Inner Bailey was enclosed by the first stone curtain wall of the mid 12th century but had to be rebuilt in th e 14th century after subsidence.

The inner bailey
The inner bailey

The Keep.  The west wall of the keep shows the scar of the gable end of the Norman roof, indication the great height of the open-roofed upper hall. Within the west wall a flight of stairs goes up to the battlement level walk. The south and east walls are no longer there so no other Norman features remain.

The inner stairs
The inner stairs

Lots of lovely little clumps of aubretia were growing in the walls all around the place.

albretia
albretia

Found these 2 carvings on the way out of the keep.

heads
heads

Also near the site of the castle this prehistoric stone was found with cup and ring carvings, during the restoration of the castle.

prehistoric stone
prehistoric stone & cup & ring carvings.

The carvings were made by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people between 3500 and 6000 years ago, Northumberland has quite a few dotted about, amazing to see one.

Not sure what this was, found it in the chapel. Maybe some sort of alter or font.

?
?

The castle had it’s own mill which was rebuilt a few times, the 18th century saw the last one and is now a ruin. The mill was the only one available to the villagers for grinding flour.

18th century mill
18th century mill & Mike
the stream that leads to the mill
mill pond dam
wall flowers
wall flowers
the stream pathway
the stream pathway & 50 shades of green
Ancient woodland around the castle, and Sophie.
Ancient woodland around the castle, and Sophie.

A walk around the outside of the castle and I took a pano with the iphone to show the south and north west drum towers

south drum tower
north west & south drum tower (iphone6 panorama)
primroses in the grass
primroses in the grass
lily's in the mill pond
lily’s in the mill pond

So thats my tour of Prudhoe Castle, or at least the best of my shots 🙂 after this we went on to Bailey Gardens to do some flowers, but that I’ll leave until the next post,

laters gaters

😉