"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 18 September 2010

St Alpheges

I gave my son a lift into Solihull on Wednesday afternoon as he had an appointment and so had an hour to "while away". I decided against visiting the shops as I would have made a beeline for Waterstones and I am unable to leave a bookshop without making several purchases!! and with an expensive car service due the following day that may not have been such a good idea!! I decided instead to have a look around St Alpheges Church located at the top of the High Street which I have been meaning to visit for ages.

Its a very lovely church with some beautiful stained glass windows and I even had a guided tour by one of the volunteers. Unfortunately, most of the stained glass window photos I took without flash were a complete disaster so the majority of photos of these shown below were taken with flash which I am afraid doesn't have quite the same effect.

The church is very old with the chancel and chantry chapels being built around 1277 and the remainder of the building completed by 1535. The church is built of local sandstones.

Inside the Porch

The Chancel

Jacobean pulpit dated 1610

The lower crypt chapel of St Francis built in 1277 as the chantry priest's chamber and chapel. The ancient medieval altar survived the Reformation.

The Upper Chantry Chapel

St Katherine's Chapel - the paintings are of saints commemorated by chapels within the church

The Nave

Window by Charles Kempe

Halfway up the side of the window you might be able to make out a wheatsheaf which, according to the guide, is Kempe's trademark.

This is a more recent stained glass window (1977)and was taken without flash

I just had time for a quick walk around the outside of the church before meeting my son. I did keep my eye open for spotted flycatchers as I have seen reports recently of this species being spotted in local churchyards but I was out of luck today.

On the wall by the West door arrow stones can be seen where archers sharpened their arrows in the fourteenth century.

This boulder is a glacial erratic - a rock fragment transported by glaciers during the last Ice Age and eventually deposited a long way from their original source.

Finally, a picture of the War Memorial made of Portland Limestone which has recently been renovated.


Pete said...

another one I have to visit! thanks for sharing

Ragged Robin said...

Its a lovely church Pete. Well worth a visit. The stained glass is beautiful and I loved the simplicity of the Chantry and Crypt Chapels.

Have you been watching Richard Taylor's How To Read A Church series on BBC 4? - its very interesting