Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Folkingham church tower

click photo to enlarge
A year or so ago the tower of the church of St Andrew in the village of Folkingham, Lincolnshire, was missing some pinnacles. That was a great shame because the tower has a particularly fine set that surmount the four-stage Perpendicular period (fifteenth century) structure. It's not unusual for English church towers to have a large pinnacle at each of the four corners. Commonly these have battlements (merlons and embrasures) between them. It's less common, but not rare, for there to be subsidiary pinnacles placed mid-way between the corners. But to have smaller pinnacles set in the space between each corner and subsidiary pinnacle is much less common. St Andrew has this unusual and attractive arrangement. However, the years and the weather must have taken their toll on the stone and mortar because a strong wind dislodged a number of them, one of which fell through an aisle roof.

I visited the church shortly after this event when a tarpaulin covered the hole that the masonry had made as it crashed through the roof and rafters. You'd think that good fortune wouldn't enter into an incident such as this, but it did. The aisle into which the pinnacle fell is where the church's eighteenth century font - a fluted bowl on a baluster - stands, and mercifully it missed it! Nearby are the old stocks and whipping post that came from the House of Correction (an old prison) parts of which still stand on the edge of the village. These too escaped unscathed. On my most recent visit I took this shot of the tower with its renovated pinnacles, clearly marked by the bright newness of their stone.

The corner in which the church stands, off the Market Place, is surrounded by eighteenth century buildings with pantile roofs, and I decided to capture these in my image without including the contemporary clutter of the parked cars below.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 55mm (110mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On