September 27th, 2007

Hereford Cathedral

We left Kilpeck and carried on to Hereford- where the sky broke and the rain came bucketing down. We parked- where we had no right to park- in the quad of the cathedral school and made a dash for the south transept. There were a lot of mostly elderly people in for the lunchtime organ recital and the refectory was very busy. We bagged the last of the tuna sandwiches. There was a fussy little guy in the queue who was trying to impress his girlfriend with a conversation that went something like this, "Blah blah blah blah bishop. Blah blah bishop blah. Blah blah blah bishop's cousin."

Because of the weather my pictures of the cathedral are grim. Here's a soaring stretch of romanesque wall in the south transept.  The ratty-looking killimy things turn out to be tapestries by the usually rather splendid John Piper.

And here's the massive central tower


More of the same. Only now we're in Leominster (pronounced Lemster) about 25 miles north of Hereford. 

Ah- Romanesque!

The priory church at Leominster is a little bit Romanesque, a little bit Gothic, a little bit Victorian and altogether wonderful. Here's the west window of the south aisle.

The nubbly things studded round the frame and tracery are ballflowers- you see a lot of them in this part of the world. They symbolise the world (represented by the ball) clasped to the bosom of the Trinity (represented by a three petalled flower). 

So how do you explain the fact that some ballflowers- not many, but a significant minority- have four petals?  


Pretty, ain't they? 

Here's a view of the west front.