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Tony Grist

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Two Oddities [Aug. 25th, 2019|08:34 am]
Tony Grist
The church at Doddington is dedicated to The Decollation of St John the Baptist- decollation being a fancy, medieval word for beheading. No-one knows why. It could be that it once possessed a stone that was supposed to have been used as the execution block; there's a rumour of such a relic having been passed around in the area.

It's a big handsome building- but I what I really like are oddities- and here are a couple:

On the sofit (I believe that's the right word) of the window embrasure of a chapel on the north side is what is claimed to be the only surviving image of St Francis of Assisi in English medieval art. It's very worn and faded, but it still has presence. Those eyes look into the soul...

And then there's this- a ledger stone, set into the church floor, from which the inscription has been entirely removed- not smoothed away, but chopped out with neat, methodical blows from a chisel- and the cuts left visible so no-one could doubt that it was a deliberate act. Who lies under? Who wanted the record of this life erased-and why? Was it an act of revenge or spite? And why has the heraldry been left untouched? There's a story here but no-one knows what it is.


[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-08-25 02:49 pm (UTC)
The Saint Francis is wonderful and does indeed show the soul of the saint.

I would love for somebody to process that stone to see if the inscription could be recovered. You have to wonder about who would do that and why. It is most intriguing!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-25 04:50 pm (UTC)
Was it done openly or surrepticiously? The culprit could have smashed the stone with a sledge hammer but they didn't- they went to work very carefully...
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