Friday, 30 August 2019

In the Cotswolds

I was walking in the Cotswolds yesterday with my walking friends. It was a quite magnificent walk – great churches, beautiful rolling landscape, stone-built villages, and good late summer weather to set it all off. The highlight was Northleach, a small town dominated by one of the magnificent 'wool' churches of Gloucestershire, built in an age when great wealth often created great beauty. This church, glorious from the outside (that's a part of the beautiful South porch above), is strangely disappointing inside, after the initial jaw-dropping impact of its sheer size – vast height, length and width. It's an extremely bare and bright interior, the modern furnishings are unimpressive, the huge East window (Christopher Webb, 1963) is an awful anticlimax, and the whole thing feels as if it has had far too much attention from restorers, cleaners and scrapers over the years. It is spick and span to the point of sterility, and it's hard to detect anything numinous about it. Wonderful brasses, though, and plenty of them.
  Northleach is, like much of the Cotswolds, on the tourist trail, and it's not hard to see why. These villages of honey-coloured stone are quite achingly picturesque, to the point where they can seem almost like some kind of theme park. There is something unreal, and faintly depressing, about this endless perfection, this bland niceness, all marinated in heritage cosiness and, of course, money – its rich, horsey reek is everywhere. However, it is good to see the arts of stone carving and drystone walling still very much alive. And letter carving – the well lettered modern headstones in these Cotswold churchyards are a joy to see.
  And, speaking as a monument man, I have to add that the Cotswolds are home to at least two great Baroque monuments – to the Bray children at Great Barrington

and to Edward and Juliana Noel at Chipping Campden.


  1. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
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    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
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    شركة نقل عفش بمكة
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