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Friday, 13 October 2017

Wingham near Canterbury, Kent


Wingham is a lovely little village half way between Sandwich and Canterbury, the main road goes straight through the village, but it is a village that deserves to be explored on foot. Earlier this year I went out to Wingham to see the bi-annual Scarecrow event, which I will blog about next time. 


The sundial above the main entrance to the Church 

While I was there I visited the lovely church of St. Mary the Virgin, which was open to provide tea and lovely cakes for the Scarecrow hunters. I had never been in the Church before, it is just lovely :)


Looking towards the Altar.



The 15th Century reredos situated behing the Altar.


Looking towards the back of the Church, notice the wooden pillars on the left hand side, unlike the stone arches on the right. 
The wooden pillars were put into the Church in the 16th Century, when a local brewer raised money for the repair of the nave, then absconded with the money! The chestnut posts were used at that time as they were obviously a lot cheaper than replacing the arches in stone.


The photos above and below are of the Oxenden Monument, which commemorates the Oxenden famiy, dating from 1682. 


A closer look at the 'putti' or cherubs at the base of the obelisk.




The beautiful wooden roof.


A very unusual, but very effective 'stained glass' type window, made by the children of the village :)


This beautiful old house opposite the Church I believe used to be the home of Paul Hollywood, the Great British Bake Off judge and his wife. 



The Red Lion pub.


Just a bit further along is the Dog Inn, a grade 2 listed building.

As I was primarily in the village for the Scarecrow trail I only took a few photos of the Church and the beautiful medieval buildings opposite. I need to go back sometime when the scarecrow trail is not on, to explore the Church and village more thoroughly :)

Monday, 28 August 2017

Rochester Castle


We visited Rochester Castle on the same day as we visited Rochester Cathedral - a Castle and a Cathedral in one day, wonderful :)


The keep from the Castle Gardens.

Rochester Castle was built in the 12th Century, it holds a strategic position on the River Medway in Kent, with its beautiful keep overlooking the shipping travelling up and down the River. The Keep is the best preserved stone keep in England or France.



Looking down to the lower levels of the building.


Norman arches.


The Castle has been under siege twice since it was built, and a fire in the 13th Century had a great effect on the castle, with many of the buildings in the Bailey not being rebuilt. The Castle went into a long decline, with the Bailey eventually being opened as a Public Garden in 1870.


Looking down...


...and looking up :)


Looking down from roof level, the netting is there probably to stop birds getting inside.

The Keep itself is 125 feet high, built  of Kentish Ragstone, with finely dressed Caen stone window surrounds, and corner stones. The building has been roofless since the 16th Century, Joist holes in the walls show the original floor levels, and remains of fireplaces and internal windows can still be seen.



The Cathedral as seen from the Castle, which shows how close the two buildings are.


One of the roof walkways.


You can see the steeple of the Cathedral in this photo :)

It is thought that the principal state rooms were situated on the 2nd floor, with store rooms below, and private chambers above. 


Looking down on the Castle Gardens with the River Medway in the background.


The Castle Gardens as seen from the roof of the Keep. This area was the Bailey of the original castle, and would have had various buildings on it.


Another view of the River Medway, showing part of the Curtain Wall and maybe some remains of the buildings which once stood on the site.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Rochester Cathedral



Beautiful Rochester Cathedral, as seen from Rochester Castle. The River Medway can be seen behind the Cathedral.


Earlier this year we were lucky enough to win two tickets to visit Rochester Cathedral, as part of the Big Kent Weekend draw. My husband and I were both very pleased to be able to travel to Rochester on a lovely Spring Sunday.



The Norman Great West Door of the Cathedral, showing the wonderful Tympanum above the entrance. 

Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest Cathedral in England, the oldest being Durham Cathedral. Rochester Cathedral was founded in 604 AD by Bishop Justus. As with all of these wonderful buildings there have been many changes over the centuries, with many different examples of architecture to be seen.


Looking East towards the altar, showing the Norman arches, and the wooden roof.


In the photos above and below can be seen the side aisles, built as later additions 




The wonderful organ and organ screen leading into the Quire, and on to the main Altar. Sadly we were unable to visit the area beyond the screen on this occasion, our guide was unable to tell us why, so we will have to visit this beautiful building again another time.


It is always good to look up :D


The Great West Window.


Wonderful stained glass windows.



Remains of painting on the walls.


The newly restored Crypt.


Decorated Norman arch.




More: https://en.advisor.travel/poi/Rochester-Cathedral-18196
A modern Fresco painted in 2004 by Russian icon painter Sergei Fyodorov to celebrate the 1400th anniversary of the Cathedral. 

After visiting this wonderful building we went across the road to Rochester Castle, more of that in the next blog :)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

St Thomas a Becket Church, Fairfield, Kent.



In the middle of a field, surrounded by dykes is Fairfield Church, between Brenzett and Brookland on Walland Marsh, which is part of Romney Marsh in Kent.


Looking towards the Altar, showing the Georgian box pews on either side of the aisle. The two tier pulpit can be seen on the left.


The Altar table.


Looking towards the two tier pulpit again, and a better view of the box pews.

Walland Marsh was reclaimed from the sea centuries ago, the original church dates from c1200, and was at that time intended as a temporary structure, made of wattle and daub, which served the long lost village which was sited there. The original building was encased with bricks in the 18th century. The village and Church are marked as Fayrefelde on a map dated prior to 1595.


Photos of the beautiful roof.


One of the ceiling plaques.


The building was fully renovated in 1912, however the interior was not touched, leaving the wonderful Georgian box pews as they were.


Looking towards the back of the Church, showing the seven sided font.


The door in the centre of this photo is the main entrance to the Church.


This photo and the one above were taken from the two tier pulpit, even though the congregation were in the box pews the Vicar was able to see everyone :)

Although both my husband and I knew of the Church, we were unsure of its exact location, but, although is it a little way off the main road, it is fairly easy to find, and well worth visiting!




The door is not very water tight..

The Church is accessed by a causeway across a field, after collecting the original key from a house nearby.


I love this photo, it seems to capture the feeling of the isolation of the Church. My husband can be seen on the left, walking back to the car across the field, and just out of the photo to the right are the sheep who live here!


A wonderful little Church, I am pleased we visited it :D