Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fleet church and the via mirabilis

click photo to enlarge
A recent unusual and unwelcome bout of illness saw me more house-bound than usual, taking no photographs, and consequently using up my reserve of shots of postable quality. So, I've done what I usually do when my well of current images runs dry; I've looked through those that I previously classified as "possibles" and have selected a few of those for posting.

Today's offering shows the fourteenth century church of St Mary Magdalen at Fleet, a church in the Decorated style, a building of great grandeur, with a detached tower and spire. The A17 road from Sleaford to King's Lynn has  been described as "the via mirabilis...the finest procession of churches in England." A list of all the medieval buildings worthy of a visit on or near this highway is very long but highlights would include Ewerby, Asgarby, Heckington, Helpringham, Swineshead, Sutterton, Algarkirk, Holbeach, Fleet, Gedney, Long Sutton, Terrington St Clements and Tilney All Saints. Indeed, the start of that route is so rich in churches that the old Murray's "Handbook" for Lincolnshire records that, "from almost any church tower near Sleaford fifteen or twenty spires can be counted."

I took this photograph of Fleet church at the end of a winter's day, after the sun had slid below the horizon, before any stars could be discerned, and as the chill of oncoming night signalled an end to photography. I liked the way the man-made, disciplined silhouette of the church contrasted with the waywardness of the skeletal trees. From the position that I took the photograph it looks as if Fleet church has a traditional west tower. However, the smaller shot, taken a few years ago, shows that this is not the case and reveals the campanile to be one of the few medieval examples in Lincolnshire that is completely detached from the rest of the building.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 75mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 1250
Exposure Compensation:  -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On