Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Teigh and its church

Another in my occasional series of interesting churches.

This one is near Oakham, and a church I've intended to visit since walking the Rutland Round in 2012.
From the outside it doesn't look special, but its interior is light and welcoming, and today was filled with the scent of fresh daffodils.

The base of the tower is all that remains of the original 12th or 13th century building. The present church was built in 1782 by the rector, Robert Sherard, Earl of Harborough. The style is "Strawberry Hill Gothic", and the pews face inwards.
Looking toward the pulpit, with the trompe l'oeil window.
toward the altar at the other end of the church.

The two fonts - the smaller one was originally attached to the altar rail. The stone one was carved by a former rector, Anthony Singleton Atcheson.

Teigh is one of the "thankful villages", where all those who served in World War I returned home.

Notable rectors of Teigh

1321 Richard de Folville joined outlawed relations in robbery and murder. He was overpowered by the under-sheriff and his men in Teigh church in 1341, and beheaded in the village street.

1604 Zacharias Jenkinson, a Puritan, refused to bow at the name of Jesus, or stand at the Gospel.

1782 Robert Sherard, later Earl of Harborough, rebuilt the church at his own expense.

1830 Anthony Singleton Atcheson, water colourist and stone carver - he carved the stone font.

1940 Henry Stanley Tibbs was interned on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathiser, but later released as harmless.

Quite a selection for such a small place!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Painting the Modern Garden

The blushing pink on petals close to white
of climbing roses entwined among the trees
the play of light and shade and form
I think I sense the faint smell of decay
from leaves heaped up and rotting on the soil
I lift my head and swear I taste the breeze
and hear the distant notes of a piano

Such is the power of paintings
of gardens full of vast flowerbeds
rioting colour and subtle change of tone
the shapes of leaves and petals
the fruits of long physical labour
with spade and soil or brush and pigment

canvas fixed on walls like windows
where we spy the artists’ friends, lovers,
children and dogs among the plants
or sometimes absent, as the place speaks
its own language, draws us in a while
to a world which feels more real than ours

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Grey cat at Tickencote

oh grey cat of Tickencote
are you the guardian of the church
or a volunteer guide?

You watch us as we park the car
and as we lift the latch 
below the lych gate roof

We walk among the gravestones
looking at the carved window arches
and the inscriptions to the dead

the moss-covered ancient mound,
the solid stone statement tombs
and there you are, rubbing against my leg.

A bench for contemplation
faces the old hall's lake
and you leap up, then lightly to a table tomb
the sunlight catching the way your fur
outlines your frame.

When we open the heavy oak door
to admire the chancel arch
and grotesques in ceiling corners
you follow and show us the old cast bell
replaced some eighty years ago.

You stroll along the tiny nave
into the chancel - we'll not miss much.
As we leave we make sure you are outside

our farewell photograph sees you seated on the wall
blinking in the cooling sun.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Are we at the seaside yet?

I wake after a night of troubled dreams
chasing teenagers from a building site
through a fairground

to find that rain has been falling all night
on saturated ground
not gentle pattering, but hammering steadily

rain lies in deep pools in gardens
on roads, on fields
refreshing the mud I hoped was drying

if this continues it'll be a case of 'man the lifeboats!'
and make vast vats of porridge and cocoa

so far inland
sea level's rising - 
has the shore reached our valley overnight?
That'll save my friend a birthday trip to Hunstanton.

the roads are flooded
facebook warnings flash up
take care, even the top road
worse than we've seen

I'm pleased the house is on a hill
I haven't been outside to check
are we at the seaside yet