Whereas the most people on the stormy (Storm 'Ciara'; in Germany 'Sabine') and rainy last sunday stayed at home, our garden group (26 persons) was very, very kindly welcomed with tea, coffee and cake in Elkstone Church "St. John the Evangelist" by some members of the community. It is a very active, "low church" community as the lady said to me, she informed us from the pulpit about the history and architecture of this famous church in Gloucestershire.
"Elkstone is one of the great Norman churches. It dates from about 1160, some 20 years later than Kilpeck in Herefordshire with which it is often compared. ... The sanctuary is pure Norman and a real delight, comparable with that of Kilpeck. The original tower arch and the sanctuary arch both have straightforward Norman zig-zag mouldings surrounded by courses of pellet and billet moulding respectively. The tower arch, however, also has two delightful dragon-head stops. similar to those on the west door of Bishops Cleeve, also in Gloucestershire. The east window is surrounded by more Norman moulding, this time with a pretty floral design inset between the courses of zig-zag. There is an elaborately-carved boss at the intersection of the four plain ribs of the sanctuary vault. Altogether, the sanctuary and the old tower arch make a delightful unspoiled late Norman composition." A real delight is also the Norman tympanon of the south portal. On Friday I showed the tower in the rain. Later I'll post some more pictures of this beautiful Elkstone Church, "a prayer in stone", surrounded by carpets of snowdrops in the churchyard and a special neighbour snowdrop garden of a church member we were invited to visit, too.
Originally I should meet some SCrs here, but we had to cancel our meeting because of the weather situation on last sunday.
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