Friday, October 2, 2009

Holy Ground in the Cotswolds

As we traveled through the Cotswolds, we were struck by the beauty of the ancient churches that we found in each town. Many dated back to the 11th century when they were first erected.

Some are even older than medieval times. This charming one was in the town of Lower Slaughter.

Attached to each church was a graveyard showing signs of age.

If the walls could talk, what stories would they tell?

Stories of births, marriages and even deaths.

Many graced by beautiful glass such as this one in Burford

and another in the small village of Bibury

where its cemetery marked the graves of townspeople from long ago.

One of the most spectacular churches was St. James in Chipping Campden. Its beauty can be attributed to the rich wool merchants of the 15th century,

and is one of the finest churches in the Cotswolds built in the Perpendicular style.

On not quite as grand a scale, but of a lot of interest to us was the ancient church that was adjacent to the manor house where we stayed in the petite village of Buckland. More about that manor house in a later post.

Although parts of it displayed signs of neglect, the church was overall in great shape for a structure which dates from the 13th century.

Strolling the grounds of the church and the cemetery we caught beautiful views of the pastoral landscape.

Inside angels guarded memorials from long ago,

such as this one for James Thynne, who died in 1708/9.

While strolling through the village of Stanton, I was surprised to spy something perched on top of the steeple.

Some brave soul was gilding or painting the weather vane.

Now that's one brave soul who's doing "heavenly" work! Wonder if he gets hazard pay?

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