Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hinges and old doors

click photo to enlarge
Today's photograph shows a detail of the priest's door on the exterior of the chancel of the church of St Andrew at Heckington, Lincolnshire.

The solid oak and the rusted, ornate metal work appear to date from a Victorian restoration, perhaps that done by Charles Kirk in 1867. Readers of this blog will know that in Lincolnshire (and many other parts of Britain) church doors are often considerably older - examples from the fifteenth century are relatively common and those from three or four centuries earlier are still to be found.

Many people imagine that the large, intricate scroll-work of the hinges of such doors are purely ornamental. But, as with the tracery, buttresses moulding, pinnacles etc of Gothic churches the seemingly decorative is fundamentally structural. In the case of the doors there are stiles and rails that fix the pieces of wood together. However, the scrollwork of the hinges provides additional fixing and hence strength to the structure while at the same time beautifying the door. If I were to hazard a guess I'd say that this metalwork has rarely, if ever, been painted. It looks none the worse for it!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On