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Tony Grist

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Cuckoo [May. 3rd, 2016|09:41 am]
Tony Grist
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In The Interests Of Accuracy... [May. 2nd, 2016|09:58 am]
Tony Grist
...And in case anyone goes looking for them and is disappointed the Royal Arms I talked about yesterday aren't in St Mary, Kenardington, but belong to the neighbouring chuch of St Matthew, Warehorne. This kind of mix-up can happen when you visit three churches  in the course of a single day.

St Matthew's looks like this...



It's a large roomy building. Here's the chancel.



According to a website I browsed there's a secret tunnel leading from the church to the Woolpack Inn across the road. Who dug it? Smugglers, of course. Russell Thorndike- who wrote the Dr Syn books- wasn't diverging too far from the known facts when he posited a clergyman as the leader of a  Romney Marsh smuggling gang.
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St Mary, Kenardington. [May. 1st, 2016|10:33 am]
Tony Grist


Kenardington sits on the ridge overlooking the Kent and Sussex marshes. It was once a port- in the days before the marshes were drained and turned into good grazing land- and sufficiently important for the French to raid it in the 14th century and burn the church. Earlier there was a fortified camp here but no-one seems to know whether it was held by the Saxons or the Danes. A farm next to the church is called Battle Farm- which tells its own story.



The Royal arms are those of Queen Anne- and predate the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland which made her the first ruler of Great Britain.  The motto, however, isn't hers ("Semper Eadem") but that of her predecessors and successors ("Dieu et mon Droit"). So, either the painter didn't know any better or the arms date from an earlier reign with Anne's monogram replacing that of her uncle Charles II or her father James II.

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And Here's Another [Apr. 30th, 2016|11:53 am]
Tony Grist


This is from the Vaux Passional. It's English, dated 1503-4 and once belonged to Henry VII
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Following On From The Last Post [Apr. 30th, 2016|11:42 am]
Tony Grist

Here's a Noli Me Tangere with Christ not only carrying a spade but wearing a broad-brimmed hat. It's a woodcut by the great Albrecht Durer and dates from 1511
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An 18th Century Headstone With A Rare And Elaborate Design [Apr. 30th, 2016|10:39 am]
Tony Grist


Headstones with Biblical scenes are rare. Here the Risen Christ- carrying a spade- appears to St Mary Magdalene- who initially mistakes him for the gardener.  Behind her two figures in loincloths are paddling in shallow water- at least I think that's what they're doing. I don't know why they're there. There could be a reference to Baptism or- possibly- to crossing the river of death. The date on the stone is only partially legible. I'm guessing at 1781.

So far as I know this particular design is only found in Kent. This example is at Woodchurch and I know of another in the churchyard at Hadlow. There are others at Stone in Oxney and Boughton Monchelsea. The last of these also seems to have the two mysterious paddlers- though the image is badly eroded- and they may just be attendant angels. All of the Christs carry spades. The images are sufficiently similar for a common source to be likely.  I'm thinking village stone masons may well have got their ideas from popular prints- and if we could identfy the original it might explain the paddlers. It was not unusual for artists to give the risen Christ a garden implement- most commonly a spade but also occasionally a mattock. There are examples from the Middle Ages onwards. In some of them he also wears a hat- as in this famous painting by Rembrandt.
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All Saints, Woodchurch [Apr. 29th, 2016|04:22 pm]
Tony Grist




These glass panels look 17th century to me- and almost certainly not English. The allegorical figure on the left represents Faith or The Church. The panel on the left shows Joseph being grabbed at by Potiphar's wife.



Fragments of medieval glass. The roundel represents the interment of The Virgin 
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The Smock Mill At Woodchurch [Apr. 29th, 2016|08:59 am]
Tony Grist


According to Wikipedia Kent is particularly rich in smock mills. It also says they got their name from their resemblance to a person wearing a smock. Actually I worked that one out for myself, but it was nice to have it confirmed.

The Woodchurch mill dates- in its present form- from 1820- though there are records of a windmill in the village as early as 1660 and on the present site in 1729. It used to have a twin- and old photos show them side by side. This is the white mill and the twin was the black mill. The black mill was used as an observation post during WWII and was demolished in 1946. The white mill seems to have been largely rebuilt- though along traditional lines- in the 1980s- and is in working order.
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April Come She Will [Apr. 28th, 2016|09:57 am]
Tony Grist
Heard the first cuckoo this morning.
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And The Same Universe Also Contains The Likes Of "Sir" Philip Green [Apr. 27th, 2016|12:39 pm]
Tony Grist
We had a guy in yesterday doing some minor building work. Ailz handed him a wodge of notes-  representing what we thought was a fair payment for all he'd done- which included going to the shop for materials- and he handed a couple of them back. "That's too much," he said.

How often have you known that happen?
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