"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

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Bakewell - Part 2: All Saints Parish Church - Saxon Crosses, Stained Glass, Misericords and Font

After the Emperor Moth excitement - back to Bakewell

All Saints Parish Church

There has been a church on the site since 800 AD and possibly even earlier. In 1110 the building of a stone church was instigated by William Peverel, a Norman Knight, in the Norman style. In the mid 13th century the church was re-modelled in the Early English Style. Interior and exterior renovations took place in the 1840's including the construction of a new spire. There were further alterations in the late 19th century and just before the First World War

Dandelions and daisies were flowering in the churchyard despite

the fact that the grass had recently been mown :( Although daisies will tolerate close mowing due to their growing habit.

The grass did look a bit longer in some areas and to be fair, due to the arrival of rain, I didn't have chance to explore the whole churchyard so there may well have been areas that had been left to their own devices to encourage wildlife.

These stone carvings were particularly lovely.

Whilst B ordered tea and cakes, I explored the Newark which was adjacent to the tearoom. After the Reformation this became the mortuary chapel for the Vernon and Manners families and there are various family tombs from the 15th and 16th centuries.

These symbols reminded me of something from the Da Vinci Code!

After eating my cake rather quickly, I went off to explore the church.

The font is 14th century and was described by Pevsner as "the finest of its kind in the County". The carvings depict Christ, John and Mary, Peter and Paul, a Bishop, a priest and John the Baptist. On the rim there are the remains of a font cover lock which was used to protect against magic as ordered by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1236.

The stone fragments on display date from Anglo-Saxon, Norman and early Medieval times.

The Chapel of St Michael and St George

The War Memorial altar


Rather lovely wooden carvings on the choir stalls

I am absolutely fascinated by misericords (or seats of mercy as they are called) and the wonderful wooden carvings and the stories behind them. There were lots at All Saints although unfortunately most of the ones I've taken photos of don't seem to be mentioned in the guide book. Apologies for incomplete carvings (its not easy squeezing between the stalls and trying to get a photo!). They date back to the thirteenth century.

Initially, I thought the first one was a depiction of the Green Man but apparently its a pun on achers (3 rotten teeth that ached and 3 acres to support a cow!).

I think this one might represent St George and the Dragon?

I really must see if you can buy a book on misericords and how to interpret them.

Part of the nineteenth century mosaic floor in the Chancel

14th century alabaster Foljambe Monument

The stained glass windows, apart from one installed in 1905, date back to the mid/late 19th century.

The 1893 Window of Saints and Angels adoring the Lamb of God by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday

The C E Kempe window of ~1905 of St George and St Hubert who saw a vision of the crucified Lord in a stag's antler and was thus converted. The window shows the influence of black and white photography through its cloudscapes.

The Wheatsheaf trademark of Kempe

I didn't take photos of all the windows so missed the Clayton and Bell window - one of the perils of reading the guidebook after you've returned home!!

It was raining as we left so I only had chance for a quick look round the churchyard and managed to get a few photos of the Saxon crosses. It was only when I got home (again) that I discovered I should have taken photos of all faces of the crosses as they are all different and represent pagan and christian panels so I've only included information of the cross faces that I took pictures of.

This is the 8th century Saxon Cross (it would once have had a cross on the top). Possible interpretations of the pagan panels which show the pagan view of the world. Symbols show an ash tree with Woden above humans on branches with a squirrel whose role was that of messenger between gods and humans.

The Anglo Scandinavian Cross

Evidence suggests that this was found on a ridgeway above Beeley and and was brought to the church for safekeeping. Again the cross head is missing. It is a listed ancient monument and dates from 1000 AD. Some crosses like this marked parish boundaries whilst others commemorated a major event. Sadly, many were destroyed and unbelievably used as foundations for roads :(

South Face - it is believed the face at the top is a Norse mask. Pellets below may represent fruits of vine i.e. Christianity. The 2 crosses with loose, unconnected rings suggest 2 tribes whereas the lower rings are connected suggesting the joining up of tribes.

A view from the rainy churchyard over the town and surrounding countryside.

The church is beautiful and very interesting and well worth a visit if you ever visit the area. There were a lot of other fascinating features that I missed/didn't have time to see. Just beyond the church is the Bakewell Old Museum which I would have liked to have looked round.

Sorry for all the photos - you can see why I split the post on Bakewell into two!!

References : All Saints Parish Church, Bakewell Guidebook plus various information boards around the church.


Margaret Adamson said...

it was lovely to see inside the church this time and I relaly love all the stain glass windows and wood carvings.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks so much Margaret. Glad you enjoyed the post :)

Deb said...

I love the stone and wood carvings and the figurine that looks like Queen Elizabeth I. I know there's quite a few books on gargoyles but I haven't seen any on misericords. I'd love to know if you find one Robin. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks so much Deb. I have a book on Gargoyles and several on the Green Man :) I did get a book (at Ludlow from memory) on misericords but that was just about the ones at that church. I will certainly let you know if I find anything - in fact, off to check now! (Although I am supposedly banned from buying any more books as I have far too many!!!)

amanda peters said...

It's a stunning church, all the carvings in the stone work and wood are amazing. I like the display of stone fragments and the mosaic floor.
Amanda xx

Bovey Belle said...

I don't know about Norse mask but if you look carefully I think you will see wings - so it's actually an Angel! I don't know who wrote their guide book but they didn't do a degree in archaeology (I studied the Pictish stones and Romilly Allen so know a little of wot I speak!) The carved stone inside the church with the concentric rings is MUCH earlier than Medieval or Saxon and dates back to the Neolithic!

Interesting post though, with some super photos - LOVE Misericord carvings.

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda. A really interesting church to visit - quite a lot I missed to.

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much for your comment. I bow to your superior knowledge and yes, I can see the angel wings too :) The information on the fragments and crosses came from boards inside the church so not quite sure who wrote up the information.

The crosses are well worth a look if you go to Bakewell again.

Countryside Tales said...

Fascinating stuff as always. The old crosses were beautiful and the font too. It looks an interesting place indeed.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks CT. The old crosses were probably my favourite items - so fascinating :)

David Turner said...

A thoroughly enjoyable tour of another beautiful place of worship RR, the wood carvings and the stained glass are a joy to behold. I didn't realise that the Manners had any connection with Bakewell and I wonder if they are the same branch as the current Dukes of Rutland? The Anglo-Scandinavian Cross is also a fascinating object and considering its age relatively well preserved.

Many thanks again for this tour of Bakewell and its church, and kindest regards to all :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. It really was a superb church with so much of interest. Wish I could have got more photos of the crosses (shame about the rain!!). Will have another look at the Church guidebook and see if I can find any more information on the Manners and let you know via a comment later or tomorrow. Thanks again David. Best wishes Caroline

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Hi again David - I can't really find anything in the guide book that answers your question. The Manner tombs include one for Sir George Manners (d 1623), his wife Grace who founded the Lady Manners School, and their 9 children. There is also a gravestone of John Manners, 3rd son of Sir John Manners who died in 1590, aged just 14. Also a monument to Sir John Manners (d 1611) and his wife Dorothy (d 1584) below which are 4 figures representing their children. There is also the Woodruffe Brass (which I didn't get a photo of set up by the Duke of Rutland.

Fascinating stuff History - wish there were more hours in the day so I could pursue all my interests!!