Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance


At last! A weekly photo challenge theme that I have no trouble interpreting. Endurance lets me use some of the old churches that I have spent the last six month photographing. So as an added bonus I’m going to include a few photographs from the village of Llanelidan, North Wales. Like many small villages, the church, village hall and pub all lie within 200 yards of each other overlooking the village cricket ground and pavilion, but it’s the church I am interested in.

Saint Elidan-Exterior

The exterior of the church is like many in this area, built from solid stone, nothing garish, and like many churchyards in North Wales, there seems to be the obligatory yew tree present. Inside though Saint Elidan’s has a totally different look from the plain exterior. For a start there is a double nave, not obvious when you are looking at the church from the outside, it doesn’t look large enough.

Altar and Sstained Glass

The stained glass maintains a simple look, but there are some medieval fragments embedded in these plain windows. To be honest I prefer this to the more ornate glass that can be found in some churches, mainly because it lets in a lot of light. I visited on a nice sunny day and the light streaming through the windows gave me some nice light and shade areas, making it perfect for some HDR photography. I’m standing in the second nave, looking towards the rear of the church, the altar you see in the photograph above is behind me and to my right

Saint Elidan-Interior

In the photograph above you can see an example of a Box Pew which dates from at least the mid 18th century. It may be earlier though as I’m dating it from the date carved into one of the doors in the pews. I wonder who RP was?

Inscription

Box Pews were prevalent in England and other Protestant countries from the 16th to early 19th century. Up until the Restoration only the Lord of The Manor would sit in church. But after 1569 because the congregation were expected to listen to sermons, seating was installed, mainly stools but later pews and box pews, which allowed the family to sit together and also provided some elements of privacy. Unlike the pews shown in the photograph which are laid out in a formal way, many of the pews were random personal constructions with windows, curtains tables and even fireplaces.  By the 17th century the panelling in many of the pews had become so high it was difficult to see out, or more importantly see in. This led to many of the pews being used for anything other than prayer and William Hogarth was quick to satirize this trend with his paintings and sketches.  Eventually the ad-hoc box pews were replaced with more formal uniform designs providing a classic line in the church. Later these were replaced by benches but as you can see examples of them still exist to this day.

Whilst I was in the church I was allowed to photograph the old bible that you can see in the glass case. It felt brittle and I was conscious that I was handling something really old. Flash photography wasn’t allowed so I had to rely on the natural light in the church.

The Bible

Let me take you back to the churchyard where I found this stone. There’s no name on the stone as you can see from the first line and later the inscription goes on to say

Where I was born or bred it matters not
From whom descended or of whom begot
I was but am not ask nomore of me
It’s all I am and all that you shall be

Anonymous Grave

Well that’s it for this week. As usual you are free to use any of the photographs on my blog as long as you abide by the licensing terms which you can find from the menu at the top of the page. In essence you can use them as long as it’s not for commercial use and that you credit me as the photographer, but read the license terms for full conditions

10 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

  1. Andrew September 22, 2014 / 22:02

    I like the bible photo very much and I am surprised but delighted that they allowed you to do so. Natural light works beautifully. Lots of interesting info too. Much enjoyed.

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    • Mike Hardisty September 23, 2014 / 15:55

      Thanks Andrew. The bible photograph and all of the church were part of a series that I took for a project. Surprisingly they wanted some extreme HDR photographs and others that were dark and gloomy for information boards and brochures

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  2. petspeopleandlife September 23, 2014 / 00:50

    I never tire of seeing your church photos and reading the history. The simple poem I really like. Very nice post and a beautiful very old church.

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    • Mike Hardisty September 23, 2014 / 15:53

      Over the first six months of this year Yvonne I spent hours an hours in churches photographing them for the Sacred Doorways project which has now gone live. As I always owned the photographs I could have used them at any time but I decided to hold back until now.

      Sacred Doorway is a tourism project which opens many of the old and isolated historical churches to the public and includes information boards with history and points to see, as well as photographs, brochures, postcards etc which can be bought, with the proceeds going to the upkeep of the individual churches

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife September 25, 2014 / 03:17

        You can be very proud about recording so much history with your wonderful photography. I really admire what you accomplished.

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  3. Joan T Warren September 23, 2014 / 02:32

    I loved this! Thanks, too, for the little history to top it off.

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    • Mike Hardisty September 23, 2014 / 15:40

      Hello Joan, thank you for commenting. I have always tried to give a little bit of history behind the photographs as I think it makes them more relevant

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      • Joan T Warren September 25, 2014 / 13:27

        You’re welcome. Yes, adds more perspective.

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  4. TheBigForest September 30, 2014 / 19:00

    Thanks for linking to our post about an English country church. We have also just posted a series of articles on travelling around North Wales over on our blog. Wonderful place North Wales! Good wishes. The bears at TheBigForest.

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    • Mike Hardisty October 5, 2014 / 17:44

      I’ll pop over and have a look at the articles

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