Home > Adventures close to home, Buildings, Places > Winchester, March 2011

Winchester, March 2011

Lying on the floor of the north transept (bad back), the extraordinary layered power of this place. The great bare stones made eleventh-century firm; the vault a palimpsest of patching, all light grey, Hamprshire-white. Holy Sepulchre chapel an intense presence in the distance. And after a very pleasant time with Aled Jones and a camera crew (…Songs of Praise…), I get chantry chapel after chantry chapel unlocked… Edington, early Perp-plain, yet the man himself an Edward II-following extraagance of alabaster and purbeck; Wykeham, a mini-church, the bad tempered clerics at his feet gazing up at the wall-sized reredos, tiny fan vaults in the doors (both of these with two doors, at Edginton at least apparently to encourage lay circulation); Beaufort, as swagger within as without, a great hulk of expensively deep-cut purbeck, yet oddly battered, sunlight raking across the retroquire; but far more inventive and finely done next door, Waynflete, with first-rate limestone marginalia and the good bishop literally with his heart in his hands; Fox, with its tiny priest’s room at one end; Gardiner, with its extraordinary radio-tuned-to-two-stations at once late gothic/well-informed Renaissance interior.

  1. March 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Ah, but that inescapable 1966 pop tune running through one’s head… “you’re bringin’ me down…” dear lord, will it ever stop?

  2. March 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    My baby left town!

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