Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wootton Wawen

I don't know how many times I have driven through this lovely village (bespoiled by the main road but surviving nonetheless). The other day I decided to stop and look inside the church of St. Peters, advertised as the "oldest church in Warwickshire". I should have done so long ago!

St. Peter's, Wootton Wawen

The history of Wootton Wawen mimics many similar sized villages, with its manor house (now a hall), mill and millstream, black and white half-timbered houses, important roads and a canal.

The church is an interesting structure with the original Saxon stone chancery preserved inside the later Norman walls and tower. So that, in the heart of the church you can see the difference between the seim-circular Saxon arch and the much stronger and splendid pointed Norman arch:

St. Peter's, Wootton Wawen

While I was inside the church the wind outside was blowing quite strongly and the roof rafters were creaking rather alarmingly, though I am sure the building must be safe. An inspection on the outside shows that there has indeed been a lot of movement of the structure and several areas have needed significant buttressing. It looks as though many enlargements have taken place through timne, not always with a prudent thought as to how much the existing foundations might be calable of bearing.

I spent some time taking HDR shots of the rafters and while doing this I remembered that, probably 40 or 50 years ago, thieves stole all the lead sheeting off the roof one night.

Church Rafters