The Shell-Headed Niche Part 1: Rome, Renaissance, & Baroque

The Shell-Headed Niche Part 1: Rome, Renaissance, & Baroque

When I was researching Tudor and early-Stuart gatehouses in the central southwest of England, one of the common features that occurred was the shell-headed niche. The niche whether empty or filled by a statue becomes a significant architectural device in England from...
Medieval Echoes: A walk by the River Brue in Bruton, Somerset

Medieval Echoes: A walk by the River Brue in Bruton, Somerset

Walking around Bruton, particularly down by the riverside, one can get the feeling of medieval Somerset. The single-span bridge would have seen trains of packhorses and mules, laden with woolsacks, woollen cloth, and silken cloth making their way through Bruton and...
The Somerset Medieval Church: Bells & Cockerels

The Somerset Medieval Church: Bells & Cockerels

I find myself increasingly noticing and enjoying the sound of church bells, whether it is the local bell ringers practicing, the time of day, or they are ringing out joyously for a wedding. The height of many church towers means that they can be heard across the...
A SELECTION OF WEST COUNTRY MEDIEVAL FONTS

A SELECTION OF WEST COUNTRY MEDIEVAL FONTS

Baptism is a key, and usually the initial, sacrament in the life of a Christian. Early Christians performed the rite with immersion in water. In the medieval Christian church, the process of infusion was practiced – the pouring of water on the head of the new...
Somerset Hunky Punks: Isle Abbots & Curry Rivel Parish Churches

Somerset Hunky Punks: Isle Abbots & Curry Rivel Parish Churches

A feature that occurs on many churches in Somerset is the Hunky Punk. The grotesque carvings are particularly numerous in the county and the term comes from Somerset dialect. The term derives from 2 old English words – ‘hunkers’, which is squatting on haunches, and...