"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

Thursday, 29 November 2018

A few more photos of Warwick

Walking into Warwick from the St Nicholas car park

Plants in Walls at the churchyard of St Nicholas.

Buddleia manages to root everywhere!

The Church of St Nicholas - I am not sure if this church is open but should check before further day time visits.

One of the gates to Warwick Castle - I haven't been into the castle for years since we took D and E when they were little when there was a "medieval jousting" event. It is stuffed full of history but to be honest I found it too commercialised.

East Gate - this is one of 3 medieval gateways into the town of Warwick. The Chapel of St Peter was built above the gate in the 15th century and was altered and refaced in the 18th century.

After spending a couple of hours in St Mary's we just had time for a brief wander round the town.

We just had to re-visit and stock up at this olde worlde sweet shop.

Then onto Lord Lecyester's Hospital and the Brethren's Kitchen for a very late lunch. This tearoom is a superb find - the food is delicious and the interior charming. Highly recommended if you ever find yourself in Warwick.

15th century wardrobe

Lord Leycester's Hospital is fascinating and another place in Warwick worth visiting. We didn't have time to look round again but if you want to see my past post on it please see here

In case you thought I had left Timothy at home here he is giving you a wave.

You may recall the memorial plaque to Thomas Oken in St Mary's - he died in this house on 29th July 1573.

Mill Street - on one of our previous visits we had a look round the lovely Mill Garden. It is quite small but full of plants and in a lovely setting on the bank of the river and overlooked by Warwick Castle. Please see here if you would like to see the garden.

Moon rising over Warwick Castle



*D - photos taken by my son with the Canon SX50HS
Rest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330

Monday, 26 November 2018

Ringed Mute Swan 4ALB at Coniston Water

John from "The Stray Rambler" blog left a comment on one of my Coniston posts about the ring he had spotted on the leg of an adult Mute Swan in one of my photos. I had completely missed the fact that the swan was ringed so many thanks to John.

Cropped photo of the ring with the letter number combination clearly visible.

John had kindly tried to find out more about the swan without success and I couldn't find out any information either so I sent the details off to the BTO ringing department.

A few days later I had an email from the NW Swan Study giving some details about the swan. She was originally ringed as an adult female on 8th December, 2009, at Marine Lake, Southport and has been on Coniston since 24th October, 2013. It was good to learn a little more about the swan and I am really grateful to NW Swan Study for sending me details.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

St Mary's, Warwick

From the early 12th century St Mary's became the most important church in Warwick due to the patronage it received by earls. It is likely that it was built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. The Norman crypt (not visited last weekend but I will later give a link to my last visit which has a few photos) is all that now remains of the 12th century church.

In the 14th century the Earldom of Warwick was held by the Beauchamp family. Thomas Beauchamp during the reign of Edward III made plans to replace the 12th century church but he only lived long enough to see the original crypt extended. The church was re-built by his so Earl Thomas II. The final phase of medieval building resulted in the Chapel of Our Lady which was consecrated in 1475.

On 15th September, 1694, a great fire destroyed the centre of Warwick including the nave, transepts and tower of St Mary's. Rebuilding of the church took 12 years and designs by Sir William Wilson of Sutton Coldfield were used. The church has remained more or less unchanged to the present day.

The church tower is 174 feet (53 metres) high.

The Nave

Banner by the Regimental Chapel.

The Transept Organ Case built for the 18th century organ of Thomas Swarbrick.

The Chapel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was established in 1940 in the North Transept. The modern stained glass windows are by Philip Chatwin.

Memorial to Thomas Oken (died 1573) and his wife Joan. He was a great benefactor to Warwick and left money to the charities of Warwick. In the final post on Warwick I will include a photo of the house where he died.

The Chancel - a fine example of the early Perpendicular style.

Wood carvings in the choir stalls

A photo I should have included in the previous post on the poppies.

The alabaster tomb of Earl Thomas Beauchamp I and his wife Katherine Mortimer located just in front of the high altar.

Thomas Beauchamp (1313-1369)

Earl of Warwick
Knight of the Garter
Lord Marshal of England
Guardian of Edward, Prince of Wales (The Black Prince)
Commander of the Battle of Crecy 1346

Katherine, Countess of Warwick) was the daughter of Richard Mortimer, Earl of March

The "Weepers" around the side of the tomb consist of 36 mourning relatives and show 14th century English fashion.

Sadly, I failed to take a photo of the roof with its flying ribs which apparently is a fine example. Also missed were the plate marking the grave of William Parr, brother of Queen Catherine (Henry VIII's last queen) who died suddenly on a visit to Warwick, a squint, two rings which would have held the Lenten Veil and the sedilia and piscina! I think all the poppies distracted me! This church like many others I could visit again and again and even then I am sure I would miss features.

The stained glass in the Chancel is 19th century and some windows are by Kempe.

It was thrilling near the Chancel to find a Brass Rubbing Centre. I think I have mentioned before that as a child brass rubbing was an activity which really appealed to me but I never actually did any. Perhaps on a future visit when the church is quieter I may have a go.

The Beauchamp Chapel or The Chapel of our Lady in all its medieval splendour - I could wax lyrical about this chapel it is just awesome and so beautiful.

This Chantry Chapel was built between 1442 and 1462 to house the tomb of Richard Beaumont. Fortunately the fire of 1694 spared the chancel, crypt and this chapel.

The porch entrance was built in 1704 by Samuel Dunkley, a local Baptist Minister, in a style which imitated 15th century Gothic.

The stained glass is the work of John Pruddle, King Henry VI's glazier. Sadly, the East Window consists mainly of broken pieces of glass reconstructed after destruction of the window in 1642 by Puritans. There are some lovely figures round the window representing the 9 orders of angels - sadly the photos I took were not very good due to the sun shining through the windows directly at them so I haven't included these.

Doom painting on the west wall which represents the Last Judgement. It was originally painted by John Brentwood in 1449 and restored "in the manner of Mr. Michelangelo" by Robert Bird in 1678.

The chapel was restored in the early 1970's supervised by the Danish expert, Inger Norholt

The plaster reredos designed by Timothy Lightoler to replace the original which was destroyed by Puritans represents the Annunciation and was made in 1735.

The tomb of Richard Beauchamp

Born 28th January 1382 near Droitwich, Worcestershire. Died on 30th April, 1439, at Rouen aged 58 and eventually buried in this chapel in a Purbeck marble tomb.

Knight of the Garter
Captain of Calais
Friend of King Henry V and guardian of King Henry VI
Lieutenant General of France and Duchy of Normandy
Custodian of Rouen castle during the imprisonment of Joan of Arc
The Beauchamp Chapel was built according to instructions in his will.

The gilded effigy of Richard Beauchamp is clothed in his armour and with his hands open so that it can look upwards at the figure of Our Lady high in the vaulted roof. 14 weepers representing mourning relatives and friends appear around the sides of his tomb. Richard's head rests on a swan (part of the Beauchamp crest) and under his right foot is the Beauchamp bear and under his left is the griffin (emblem of the de Spencer family - Richard was the heir because of his marriage to his second wife Isabella). Over the effigy is a "hearse" i.e. a cage like construction which may have been built to support a fabric cover which would only have been removed when mass was said for his soul. There are only two other such hearses in the country - at Gloucester Cathedral and in the church at West Tanfield in North Yorkshire.

Tomb of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick 1528 - 1589 known as the "Good Earl"

4th Son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Brother of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Knight of the Garter
Privy Councillor
Master of the Ordnance
Chief Butler of England
Created Baron de L'Isle and Earl of Warwick by Queen Elizabeth I

The effigy lies on a carved piece of alabaster with genealogical heraldry round the sides. The heraldry is superb and at times like this I do wish I knew more about the subject. Strangely his head lies on a roll of rush matting which perhaps refers to his life as an active soldier. He is said to have died of gangrene from an old leg wound incurred at the Siege of Calais. The coronet he wears is incorrect and not original and was probably added in the 19th century.

Tomb of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1533 - 1588) and Lettice, Countess of Leicester his second wife

It wasn't easy to get photos of this tomb with all the people milling about not to mention the iron work. I am not very tall only 5 feet one and three quarters inches (don't forget the three quarters of an inch!) so it was difficult to get photos of all the tombs from above. To be honest I could have done with one of those awful selfie sticks (if they do one for cameras) so I could get the camera several feet higher!

Anyway to return to Robert Dudley.....

5th son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Favourite of Queen Elizabeth I (I really must go back to Kenilworth Castle!)
Knight of the Garter
Privy Councillor
Knight of the Order of St Michael
Master of the Horse
Holder of Kenilworth Castle
Founded the Lord Leycester Hospital Warwick - this is a wonderful place and so worth a visit - in the final post on Warwick I will give a link to a previous post when we had a look round as this time we only popped in for lunch

Lettice, Countess of Leicester, was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys, cousin of Queen Elizabeth I. She was the mother of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.

The 18th century ironwork surrounding the tomb is by Nicholas Paris. The tomb. as with many other Elizabethan tombs, is full of of bright colours, gildings, motifs - ribbons, strapwork, obelisks and allegorical figures together with heraldic symbols such as the Bear and Ragged staff, the cinquefoil of Leicester and the green lion of Dudley. The Bear and Ragged Staff - is crest of the Earls of Warwick and it is said to derive from the name of a Saxon earl Arthal meaning bear and the young ash tree torn by another Earl (Morvidus) to kill a giant.

It is interesting to note the difference between the late medieval tomb of Richard Beauchamp and the Elizabethan tombs.

Tomb of Robert Dudley - "The Noble Impe"

? - 1584

Son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Lettice Knollys
Nephew and heir to Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick.
His tiny suit of armour is in Warwick Castle.

He died in childhood age unknown although it was probably below the age of 7 as his figure is dressed in a gown rather than the breeches boys wore from age 7.

I finally managed to drag myself away from this magnificent chapel and back into the nave.

The pulpit was presented by local freemasons in 1897 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The panels are carved from a gospel oak in Chantry Wood, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

The font dates from the 1704 rebuilding following the Great Fire

The bread shelves in the South Aisle were made in 1713 by Joseph Blissett, Mrs Johnson and Mrs Smith. Every week 32 loaves were given to the poor the parish by the Sexton. This practice continued until the early 20th century.

The West Organ was rebuilt in 1980 by Nicholson's of Malvern.

While I had been looking round the church D had gone up the tower. There was no way I was going to clamber up 150 steps with my wonky knees and when I got to the top my dread of heights would have meant I would have skulked at the top of the steps any way.

Views by D from the tower.










Before leaving we had a quick look round the gift shop - I came away with one of the roof bosses/misericords!

To see the crypt on my last visit please see here

*D - Photos taken by my son with the Canon SX50HS bridge camera
Rest of photos taken by me with the Pansonic Lumix FZ330

Information Boards around St Marys
The Collegiate Church of St Mary - Pitkin Guides
The Collegiate Church of St Mary Warwick - The Beauchamp Chapel