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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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
- Endurance Illustrated Photographically (carolyncholland.wordpress.com)
- In an English Country Churchyard (thebigforestuk.wordpress.com)
- Charm and Simplicity in a Country Church (Dennis Aubrey) (vialucispress.wordpress.com)