St Mary's, Alton Barnes
Visiting this Saxon church in 2001, we found it was closed because of FMD restrictions. We had a good lunch at The Barge in Honeystreet afterwards, though.
"The ‘long and short’ stone corner quoins, the impost moulding of the present Victorian chancel arch And the tall narrow nave (25ft by 15ft) point to the Saxon foundation of St. Mary’s but the church has been subject to successive works of restoration. The tie-beamed and wind braced roof is sixteenth Century, while the three decked pulpit, balustered font, and panelled gallery are all Georgian. The Complete chancel was rebuilt by Nicholas Preston in 1748 as is recorded by an external tablet but the three windows have an earlier history, very likely coming from the fourteenth-century chapel of Shaw-in-Alton since excavations at that site in 1929 revealed a fourth window of similar identity.
"Evidence also points to the filling in of a Saxon north doorway at the present window site and its replacement by the present entrance. The only piece of notable stained glass in either church dates From 1737, a heraldic panel commemorating the Reverend Lamplugh, builder of the nearby handsome Rectory. Such mid-eighteenth-century activity coupled with the purchase of the present chalice and Paten in 1757 reflects the increasing prosperity of the small farming community at the time of the ‘Agricultural Revolution’...
"In 1904 St. Mary’s underwent extensive restoration and the two bells of 1626 and 1788, the latter from the famous Aldbourne foundry of Robert Wells, were removed from the eastern gable to their present position. During the operation five wooden panels were found to surround the bells and on examination these revealed a series of Jacobean inscriptions overpainted on an earlier religious scene. The panels originally hung over the chancel arch since their dimensions were shaped to the recess above the crossbeam and comprised of two passages from the Gospels, the Ten Commandments, and a Royal Coat of Arms.
"During excavations in the fields adjacent to both churches to lay mains drainage for the villages much archaeological evidence of Roman occupation was found." - All Saints, Alton Priors and St. Mary’s, Alton Barnes - A Short History (www.wiltshire-opc.org.uk/)
(Taken on a Pentax ME with a Tokina 19-35mm lens, on Fujicolor Superia 200, scanned by Kodak)
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Simon & Garfunkel - A Simple Desultory Philippic (1966)
Homage or satire? I suspect the latter. Bob Dylan returned the 'compliment' with his version of The Boxer.