Archive | 22:04

I’m A Sucker For A Flying Buttress!

24 Oct

Ink Drawing: Gargoyles at Saint Mary Redcliffe.

I was stuck in Bristol for a couple of hours a few months back, waiting for a train from Temple Meads station, so I went for a wander over to the magnificent Saint Mary Redcliffe church, a beautiful Gothic building started in the twelfth century and finished a couple of hundred years later. It has wonderful flying buttresses and I’m a real sucker for a flying buttress! The very first church on this site was way back in Saxon times and the present church was badly damaged when struck by lightening in 1446. During World War Two, a bombing raid hurled a large piece of tram track into the churchyard where it remains to this day, sticking out of the ground as a reminder of how near the church came to being destroyed.

Queen Elizabeth the First described it as “the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England” and it has close associations with the tragic Thomas Chatterton, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the brilliant artist William Hogarth, who painted a triptych for the church, removed in Victorian times and now stored in St. Nicholas Church in Bristol. I sat in the grounds during Evensong and made this sketch in my ‘origami’ sketchbook, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens. The building is festooned with magnificent medieval carvings and there is a huge amount of variation. Grotesque gargoyle heads jostle with the sculpted features of ordinary folk on windows and turrets. I only had time to draw a tiny fraction of the magnificent building but I must go back and take a look at the Gothic interior and track down the Hogarth triptych sometime.

 

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