Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire

All together now

Although sometimes I can’t resist writing about great architecture like that of Lincoln Cathedral, this blog usually focuses on more ordinary buildings. So, much as I enjoy ornate ecclesiastical spaces, grand country house vistas, and great art on the walls, I’m often to be found squinting hopefully up back streets and poking about in small parish churches. It’s my view that such unregarded places and spaces often have something for all of us to enjoy, and I like sharing my enjoyment.

This capital, which is just about the first thing you see when you open the door of St Mary’s, Ludgershall, seemed to sum up such ideas of sharing and togetherness. The church dates mostly from the 14th and 15th centuries, and in a 14th-century church in a remote village, you’d normally expect simple octagonal pillars (as we have here) with fairly plain moulded capitals. But on this capital and two others (one a close cousin to this but without the linking arms, another showing just heads) a local mason has gone for something more adventurous.

We’re not looking at the work of a master carver here but that’s not the point. It was enough that whoever carved this capital (and perhaps some similar ones across the border in Oxfordshire, which I hope to find soon) could make people smile. And perhaps suggest some symbolism too. What does it say? The church (or the people) united? Auld lang syne? Anachronistically, I just think of it as All together now.


Peter Ashley said...

I think they're 14th Century hoodies, linking arms against the Medieval Riot Police.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Thank you. If they're hoodies, maybe someone should go over to Ludgershall and give them a good hug.

Boris said...

Hey Philip! Nice blog with lots of interesting pictures of English architecture!
There are some architecture photographs as well on my blog, if you want to have a look:

Thud said...

I thought they were lugging that capital up.