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The Breedon Angel is one of a number of fascinating pieces of Saxon sculpture to be seen in the church of St Mary and St Hardulph at Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire. The style of the pieces - small friezes, panels and individual figures - is notably different from continental European sculpture of the period. Some is quite weathered and must have originally been placed on the exterior of this originally monastic church: it is all now inside for protection from the elements.
The "Breedon Angel", probably a depiction of the Archangel Gabriel, is the largest of the sculptures. The figure is framed by an arch and gives a benediction in the Byzantine manner. It is carved in stone quarried at Barnack near Peterborough. Dating the angel is difficult but it is thought likely to have been carved around 800AD.
The fame and value of this early and fine piece of sculpture is such that the piece on display in the church is not the original but a replica. It was made in 2001 by a process involving 3D laser scanning. Because Barnack stone is no longer quarried a very near match was sourced from Monks' Park Quarry in Wiltshire.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm (90mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On