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Ringerike

On Monday we went to Kilpeck church to see the Ringerike style carving on the outside. (http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803115839277) (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=B5ANBpiLHl0C&pg=PA202&lpg=PA202&dq=ringerike+kilpeck&source=bl&ots=Pbf6rxwr_U&sig=GYm_0kd3GhRzF23V0SqbTMtrjks&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RClxUu2MGIaK0AWD44HADQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=ringerike%20kilpeck&f=false).

The doorway has carved pillars at the side that shows “Welsh Warriors”, apparently even though this is only a few miles outside of Hereford this was at the time more a part of Wales.

There are also snakes eating their own tails. There are some great line drawings here: http://www.jamesstevenscurl.com/drawings-line.php.

It’s quite amazing how little they’ve deteriorated in around a thousand years. Apparently they haven’t been replaced or touched up significantly. Surprising given that it’s sandstone.

There are also decorated corbels jutting out under the roof. These show all sorts of things, hare and hound, musician, wrestlers and most famously a sheela na gig (a fertility symbol…or church porn), James thought this was very rude.

There are also some dragon heads that look like a cross between Viking and Celtic influences. Some of the corbels look very Norse, others more Celtic and other more like Aardman Animation!

There’s also a fantastically decorated window high up on one end. Next to the church are the remains of a castle so the area was clearly much more inhabited centuries ago.

There’s a lot of better information on-line about Kilpeck Church. (http://thejournalofantiquities.com/2012/06/10/kilpeck-church-herefordshire/).

 

 

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