Saturday, October 01, 2016

Castor's church tower

click photo to enlarge
Castor is a village that has moved about a bit. Not in the physical sense, but rather in terms of the local authority of which it is a part. It was originally in the Soke (or Liberty) of Peterborough, a historic anomaly associated with the city and diocese. Then it became part of Northamptonshire for a while and finally it was subsumed in Cambridgeshire (along with Peterborough). Older citizens of the village can be forgiven for not remembering where they live.

That is not the only interesting feature of the village however. It also has, buried beneath the ground, the remains of a palatial group of Roman buildings. Its church has a dedication unique in England, to St Kyneburgha, the daughter of Penda, King of Mercia (d.664). She is alleged to have built a monastery at Castor. Then there is the church itself, or more specifically its tower. There are many churches of cathedral rank that can boast a tower of the Norman period that is ornately decorated. However, there can be no parish church with a tower so richly embellished. The chevrons, billet, lozenge and fish-scale diaper, corbel table, windows, bell openings and blank arcading all make for a richness that captivates the eye and makes one think anew about the supposedly crude work of the builders and masons of the 1100s.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title:Church Tower, Castor, Cambridgeshire
Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 21.8mm (59mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On