Sunday, 9 October 2011
Three Secrets, Three Wonders
On my recent walk I passed through the village of Bartlow and I mentioned that the church held three secrets and behind the church lay three wonders. I promised I'd tell you about them and indeed I shall. Right now.
The church is unassuming enough, at first glance much like many another village church. A smallish flint built church surrounded by its churchyard. The round tower, which dates from Norman times, is unusual in this part of the world, but wouldn't get a second look from most passers-by.
There's a nice sundial around the back too. But you'll have to venture inside to see the secrets of this 13th century building.
For inside there are wall-paintings around six hundred years old. The one shown above, which is part of what was once a much larger work, shows St Christopher. I hope you can make it out - I couldn't see it at all, but took the photo anyway and now I can see it clearly. St Christopher was often depicted in churches and invariably occupied the wall opposite the entrance. The very good reason for this was so that travellers could enter the porch and offer up a prayer to the saint without disturbing the service which might be taking place inside.
Here St Michael is seen weighing the souls. The devil is trying to tip the scales in his favour but is thwarted by Our Lady using her influence on behalf of the sinner to be judged, according to a leaflet I picked up in the church.
Lastly a picture of St George and the dragon, though sadly only the dragon remains.