This year so far has been one entirely unlike any other in my life to date, as I finally became a home owner at the ripe age of 31. This systemic shift in circumstances means that life has changed in immeasurable ways in the last 6 months, and time has to be taken for things like renovating my Victorian cottage, and keeping my jungle of a garden under reasonable control (and not always succeeding entirely). But exploration and adventure are still my lifeblood, they’re just a little less frequent than in recent years.
After an initial false start from the satnav who actually took me to another church a stones throw away, I finally found the quaint, unassuming church just down the lane.
The church itself is on no grandiose scale, or exceptionally exuberant, but the details and decoration here are absolutely everything. On approach to the building, unusual corbels line the walls, with animals and men peering down with menacing glee.
Below these are a huge range of curious creatures, some devouring themselves, some devouring eachother, others with great serpents erupting from their mouths. It truly is a frenzied scene of fascination and sinister strangeness! The lone angel in among all this chaos seems almost out of place in the scheme, but is likely there to remind the viewer to choose salvation over sin and temptation (generally the most accepted idea of what these carvings represent, though we will never truly know).
The motifs continue down the columns either side of the door, with serpents intertwined snaking down towards the ground, surrounded by organic looking knotwork, more birds and beasts, and the unusual addition of figures. These figures are often considered to be warriors, but like so many other elements of this incredible carving its true meaning will be forever a mystery (which I rather like).