Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Terrington St Clements church

click photo to enlarge
I've visited the church of St Clement, "The Cathedral of the Marshes", at Terrington St Clements, Norfolk, quite a few times. It is one of many large, medieval churches that rise up from the flat landscape that borders The Wash. What draws me back to this one is the beauty of the exterior of the building, the way the Perpendicular period windows light up the interior, and the interesting furnishings that the building holds.

St Clements, like a few churches in the area, has a tower that is separate from the nave. Presumably the medieval builders feared that if it was attached to the main structure any movement of the soft soil below would bring it down and with it the rest of the building. It is a sturdy, wide tower, built in the early 1500s. In 1670 it became a refuge for villagers when a great flood inundated the area. Food had to be brought to them by boat from King's Lynn as they waited patiently for the waters to subside.

My main photograph shows the south side of the church with its very typical Perpendicular (fifteenth and early sixteenth century) windows, parapets, buttresses, pinnacles and panelling. Above the roof the top of the tower can be seen, the pinnacles a little too thin for my taste, and the clock squeezed awkwardly into the space between the bell openings and the panelled and decorated battlements. The smaller, black and white image shows the imposing west end with the tower set to the side, and the nave and its aisles embellished with spirelets on the angle turrets. There are small transepts. Where this feature occurs there is often a tower over the crossing. However, here the risks of such a venture, should a collapse happen, were too great.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 24mm
F No: f7.1 Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On