Sunday, August 28, 2016

St Mary, Whaplode, Lincolnshire

click photo to enlarge
It is customary for English churches to have a bell tower that rises above the top of the nave and chancel roofs. In England it is most commonly found at the west end of the building and connects with the nave, as in this example at Aswarby in Lincolnshire. If it isn't at the west then it is likely to be a crossing tower situated between the chancel and the nave, and often featuring transepts, giving the plan of the church the shape of a Christian cross. A few, often Victorian churches have a bell tower at the east of the building. Where there is no bell tower a low bellcote is usually found on the west end of the nave roof (as at Gosberton Clough, Lincolnshire). This is a short, open tower, only a little bigger than the one or two bells that it shelters under its pitched roof.

However, there is another position for English church towers - detached, or almost detached. Where a tower is completely detached, as at Fleet in Lincolnshire (see small photo) English usage is to refer to it as a campanile. This takes the Italian name for all bell towers and applies it in this particular circumstance. Sometimes the tower is attached by a short corridor, a porch, or some other extension that links it with the main body of the church. That is the case above, in the medieval church at Whaplode in Lincolnshire. Was it once completely detached but subsequently joined to the main building? We don't know, though that is likely to have happened with some "semi-detached" towers.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: St Mary, Whaplode, Lincolnshire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 9mm (18mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/2500 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On