Church architecture in Hertfordshire and elsewhere, art, books, and whatever crosses my path

Thursday 19 December 2019

Label stops in Eyeworth church, Beds

I've tried to get into Eyeworth church several times over the years, and always drawn a blank. This isn't all that surprising: it's in a tiny hamlet with a population of less than a  hundred, and it's hard in such circumstances to arrange for the building to be opened and closed each day and for someone to keep an eye on it, or for someone to volunteer to be a keyholder who will be ready to lend it to passing ruin-bibbers, randy for antique,* who happen to knock on their door. I imagine that its regular congregation is small and shrinking, and that the problem is only going to get worse.

Until such time as I do manage to gain entry we can at least look at the pictures of the interior on the Bedfordshire Parish Churches website, where we can glimpse in particular three good 17th century monuments. Here for now are some recent pictures of the exterior, and in particular of seven little label stops from the windows, generally ignored but to my mind making a visit worthwhile even if you can't get through the door.

They're 14th or 15th century, very worn and weathered, but defiantly full of character. They're mostly semi-comic; the cartoonishly nonplussed penultimate one is my favourite. How clever of the last one to arrange to wear the lichen as a hat. 

* The reference, of course, is to Philip Larkin's 'Church Going'.

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