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February 2020

All is Bright

Church of All Saints  HillesdenThe South face of All Saints church. The tower is 15th Century with geometric style windows, but the rest of the church was built later in the Perpendicular style. In the middle is the South Transept.

All Saints, Hillesden, is a Perpendicular church. This style is easy to recognise; the windows have strong vertical stone bars, or mullions, that mean the windows can be made very large to let in the maximum amount of light.

Makers of stained glass could use the great areas of glass to their best advantage, and a church like Hillesden, built in this style, is a light and airy place. 

Hillesden’s walls are thin compared to older churches, but buttresses between the windows makes the walls stiff and strong. The thin walls allow in yet more light. Because the windows are not deep set, sunlight can come in from almost any angle.

Much use is made of vertical lines in this style, as you can see from the pillars in the church.

Nave and South aisle  HillesdenAll these large windows make the church airy and bright. This is the nave, the south aisle and South Transept, and the original rood screen. Beyond it is the chancel, and in it but barely visible here, are rows of carved angels at the top of the side walls. I have a clearer shot of the chancel here, in my previous post.

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Open Mondays and Thursdays

The south aisle  HillesdenThe chancel, Hillesden.

On Monday mornings from now on, you’ll be able to see a new regular post to start the week; the Monday photo. The regular post that usually appears on Wednesday morning will be moving to Thursday morning.

This week’s two posts are related. I had gone to Hillesden for our first Monday photo, (see the post below) and thought I’d just pop into the church; the last time I visited the village I hadn’t really seen it.

I like the older churches with their massive walls and narrow deep set windows, but Hillesden church is lovely; light and airy yet still solid, with the old glass in the big windows throwing patterns of sunlight over the inner walls.

So that’s the post for this Thursday: Hillesden church, “The Cathedral in the Fields”. Not what I had planned, but I just couldn’t resist it.

Eight Miles, High.

Mursley water tower  from Hillesden
The Monday Photo

Mursley water tower sits on a hill that’s over 500 feet high; it's a local landmark. I’ve often spotted it from the roads and fields in the villages around Mursley, but I didn’t realise it could be seen from eight miles away until I visited Hillesden.

Hillesden is also high on a hill, and from the hill the water tower is unmistakable on the distant horizon. To the right you can see two radio masts that are on a farm just the other side of Mursley, and the trees in front of them are part of the village.

The darker band of trees you can see a bit closer to the camera is Addington. Winslow, between the two villages, can’t be seen at all.

Mursley water tower was built by the Buckinghamshire Water Board in 1938, so that mains water at a good pressure was available to the central and Northern parts of the county.

Have you ever spotted a local landmark from a great distance?

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Road closed due to floodingEasy to change-over warning signs on the road to Oxlane bridge.

You might have noticed that it’s been raining a bit. While we don’t seem to have it as bad as some areas, the ground has been saturated and Padbury Brook has burst its banks.

At the Medieval bridge at Thornborough, the water on Monday had risen four feet above the level I’d seen in December.

Flooding at Thornborough bridgeThornborough bridge on Monday.

Six arches of Thornborough BridgeThornborough bridge at the beginning of December last year.

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Nice Job!

Quainton  Orchard Cottage

I was amazed to find that it’s been a whole year since I stopped at Orchard Cottage in Quainton, to watch the thatchers at work.

It isn’t nice working at height in the winter; I’ve done it. Just a few feet up a ladder, the breeze at ground level becomes a wind that goes straight through you. But they did a good job; the cottage looks great. They rebuilt the chimney, too.

The cottage was first built in the 17th Century, and later enlarged. From what the listing says, (it’s Grade 2) the 18th Century extension is on the end furthest from the road, on the right of the photo. My aunt and uncle moved into that end in 1955 when the cottage was divided into two. I wrote about the cottage and what it was to live there in the 50s last year.

Thatching is a highly skilled job, but If you fancy giving it a go, this is the book for you!