Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tardebigge, Worcestershire

St Bartholomew’s Church

According to the guide book, there has been a church on this site since 1138, however, the current church of St Bartholomew's was built in 1776 in sandstone from designs by the architect Francis Hiorne of Warwick, following the final collapse of the tower of the old church on September 3rd 1775.

The old church was partly in Worcestershire and partly in Warwickshire, but the new church was built slightly to the north, thus being entirely in Worcestershire.

The slender spire, 135 feet high, was restored in 1902, when the topmost stone, dated 1777, was removed and now rests beside the altar.

It was difficult to photograph the whole church but a model inside the church shows what the building looks like.

The church building remained substantially unaltered until 1877 when a new chancel was erected. The chancel has internal dimensions of 18 ft. by 33 ft. with an apsidal east end. It was designed by Henry Rowe and Sons of Worcester. It was completed in 1879. The east window depicts The Ascension and was dedicated on Christmas Day 1922.

The Nave viewed from the chancel. The gallery was reduced to its present size during the Victorian 'restoration' in 1877-9.

The oak parish chest bears the names Thomas Cookes and William Dunn, church wardens in 1687 but is thought to be of 16th century origin.

The stone font was given by Anne Maria Benton in 1860 in memory of her sisters Mary and Margaret Bartleet.

The west doorway under the tower is arched and is flanked by columns carrying an entablature and pediment.

The name Tardebigge means 'tower on the hill'. The church is on the top of a hill and a short walk from the church leads to a wonderful view down to Tardebigge Wharf on the Worcester Birmingham Canal. The wharf later became a BW yard which, during the Second World War, was the mooring of the narrowboat "Cressy", the floating home of the author L T C Rolt. Rolt's account of his travels on the inland waterway network, the book "Narrow Boat", was read by Robert Aikman, and the two arranged to meet aboard "Cressy".

Near here there is a plaque that commemorates their meeting in 1945 and their subsequent founding of the Inland Waterways Association. Years of work by the IWA changed the attitude to canals from "stinking ditches that should be filled in" to "national assets that should be preserved and restored".

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Headington, Oxford

St Andrew’s Church

Some parts of the church date from the twelfth century, and it is thought to have been established by Hugh de Pluggenait, who was Lord of the Manor of Headingon from1142 to 1201; but there was probably already a small Saxon building on this site.

The chancel arch and part of the chancel are the oldest remaining parts, dating from Norman times but as I was there early in the morning, the church was locked so I couldn’t see them!

The present tower was not completed until c.1500, and the south porch was added in 1598.

There is a much restored 15th century cross in the graveyard.