Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Aslackby church

click photo to enlarge
In a piece about Ropsley church that I posted in 2009 I reflected on the thoughts that go through my mind when I visit a church for the first time. The other day, before the rains descended in what seemed like a permanent way, I photographed the exterior of Aslackby* church. And, though it wasn't my first visit to this building - I've been several times - the first thought that entered my mind was the same as on my first sight of it: what is that arch outline on the tower?

My first thought is that the church tower was originally a crossing tower rather than the west tower that it is now; that the present nave was once the chancel and that the arch was the drip moulding marking the place where a transept had been. I've seen such things before. Or, was there an intention to build in that way, but a change of mind resulted in the current, more traditional layout, and the drip moulding was left on the tower face, a reminder of what was to be, but never materialised. Reading Pevsner on the subject I found that he too ponders along similar lines. Whatever the reason, it adds a little mystery to this small, fairly unexceptional church that dates mainly from the fourteenth century with a few bits from earlier and rather more from later.

I've photographed Aslackby church before, but the light and sky on this January afternoon were very good, so I composed a shot from across the road, near the ford that was filling with the afternoon's plentiful rain. I'd never noticed the old-style, black and white road sign before - perhaps it has been recently been painted - so I used it in my composition as a visual counterweight to the church tower.

* for the local pronunciation of the village name Aslackby, which departs significantly from what it looks like it should be, see this post

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 28mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/160
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On