Thursday, May 7, 2015
Travelling across Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire today, fields of yellow-flowered rape stood out in bands between green grass and trees, blue and deep grey skies. There wasn’t time, today, to stop and photograph such views, taken in beyond fences and dashing objects on the road. So here’s a picture from a couple of years ago, of a similar field in Gloucetsershire with the tiny 13th-century church of Hailes, probably originally the cappella ad portas of the once-great Hailes Abbey, a major medieval pilgrimage centre.
This image symbolises my belief, exemplified I hope by many of the posts on this blog, that a major part of the impact of a building has little to do with the architecture itself. Here at Hailes, the architecture is modest, although it has a simple Early English gothic perfection of its own. But it’s the setting that counts. Up a winding lane off the main road. Orchards beyond. Ruined Cistercian arches not far away. And in front a yellow field that would make the pulse of a Van Gogh race.