Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Vanity of Mankind - as shown in its churches!

While pootling around Merry England we have stopped at a range of churches, from smallish parish churches to the huge cathedrals, which frankly make current attempts to dominate with phallic high rises pretty tragic. Given the technology available, the cathedrals we have seen so far - Cirencester, Winchester, Salisbury and Chichester, are mind boggling. As they are meant to be of course. It was all about reminding the population, and the king, that the church was both huge and mighty. And God of course.
I could write fifty posts about them and I probably will write a few but the first thing I noticed about them is how many dead people are buried IN the churches. In the floor, in the walls, it's really pretty ick if you dwell on it. But that's how they rolled. And of course, the grandeur of one's tomb was very important to one's own grandeur.
 A particularly fine example of lat 19th C Arts and Crafts copper, probably they should probably stop polishing it though. This is in Salisbury Cathedral. The fashion for interment in the church had passed by then but memorial plaques were de rigeur.
 14th C, covered in carved graffiti! Salisbury
 Tudor Maximalism in Salisbury. It's great that they have painted it up as it would have been.
 In a Norman church in a wee village called Uffington. His nibs was a big benefactor in the late 16th C. He looks very restful, and casual compared to the very formal tombs in the big cathedrals
 Heaps of people are buried under the floors. Ick! But the reason I chose this one is because it uses the Old English for of The, which is the letter eth (looks like a Y) with an e above it, which is where the whole Ye thing came from. It's tosh - eth is pronounced 'th' as in 'the' and 'that'.
 These guys are so cute! His head rests on his helmet and he holds his gauntlet instead of a sword, and notice that he and the Missus are holding hands? Talk about your 14th C love story...this is in Chichester Cathedral.
In Chichester again, this very plain tomb is from 1121! It predates the whole fancy pants tomb trends. Quite moving.
So there you go, 1000 years of interment trends.

1 comment:

  1. I am very glad to see that you are enjoying yourself, you deserve to! Mwah!