Thursday, July 22, 2010

St. Cyriac's Church

St. Cyriac's Church-08
We were going to Oxford for the day, but missed the bus to Chippenham by five minutes (it can be hard to walk briskly so soon after a full English breakfast*).  With an hour to spare until the next bus, we wandered to St. Cyriac's Church on the outskirts of Lacock.

St. Cyriac's Church-17
We walked around the church, admiring the windows,

St. Cyriac's Church-03
The church is known for its collection of "grotesques"
the gargoyles,

St. Cyriac's Church-07
and the cemetery. We wondered whose grave this was, stuck in the ivy-strewn corner of the cemetery.

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The rector came out while we were wandering the churchyard and told us we were welcome to enter and have a look.

St. Cyriac's Church-14
This stone lady watched over the foyer.

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The heavy doors opened after some coaxing.  We crossed the threshold into the silence of light and air, and our breath was taken away.  The walls were thick with the reverence of centuries of worship.

St. Cyriac's Church-54
Not a relic of the past, St. Cyriac's is still a church. Sunday School tools were left out in the sanctuary.

St. Cyriac's Church-37
These were the first of many death memorials we would see during our time in England. Scattered on the walls to our right were plaques commemorating church members who are most likely buried somewhere in the church floor.

St. Cyriac's Church-34
Note the skull, or death's head.  Nothing like our modern day gravestones!
Here is a typical memorial.

St. Cyriac's Church-46
Look closer and you'll see Sharington emblem: a scorpion
Up front, in the oldest part of the church, is the Sharington tomb, built in memory of Sir William Sharington, owner of Lacock Abbey, who died in 1553.

St. Cyriac's Church-47
The ceiling above the tomb, with remnants of the original paint.

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Our hour nearly up, we took one more long, fierce look about the church before leaving to catch the bus to Oxford.  Of all the churches we visited, this is the one where I felt most at home.

*We requested a full English breakfast little knowing what we were in for.  Out hostess cooked us scrambled eggs, baked beans, link sausage, bacon, black pudding, grilled tomatoes, and fried mushrooms.  And if that wasn't enough, there was also toast with jam and marmalade (which I did not care for), cereal, and yogurt.
Of course, there was tea.  There is always tea in England.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Dear Laura,
My goodness, what a church. The cool air inside came right through the photos.
Your description of the breakfast for giants warmed me up, though :}

Very best,
Natalie in KY