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 Game of Fives in South Somerset

The Game of Fives in South Somerset

The game of fives became a popular sport in South Somerset from the mid-18th C. There are churchwarden accounts that record the problem of fives being played against church towers. One way around this was to construct purpose-built fives walls. These were mainly built...
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...