Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Cotswolds: St. Nicholas Church, Oddington


St Nicholas Church is picturesquely tucked away in woodland on the edge of Oddington. (See also upper left photo, yesterday). My Airbnb host told me about it and advised me to visit and I was very glad she did. It is originally a Norman church with later additions, but it is remarkable for its medieval 'Doom' painting - a huge fresco of the Last Judgement, painted on the wall in about 1340. It was whitewashed over at the time of the Reformation and only rediscovered in the early 1900s. Unfortunately time and poor restoration have caused significant deterioration but it is still possible to identify the figure of Christ (centre below), with his feet above a sphere, which may be the world or the moon, surrounded by apostles and saints. Below are angels with trumpets to wake the dead.



The church holds several other wall paintings from different periods (including one dated 1520 that is believed to be a satire on Cardinal Wolsey, who was Lord of the Manor of Oddington at the time), a beautiful Jacobean pulpit and an ancient handcart for transporting coffins. The church was abandoned in the 1850s when a new Victorian church was built more centrally in the village (and that perhaps saved it from a restoration which might have involved losing the paintings for good) but it has been brought back into occasional use. It has no electricity and so no heat or light. For a more detailed (and very interesting) description of the church and its paintings, please click HERE.




6 comments:

  1. That's really a very old church, beautiful !

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  2. Great that natural lighting provided enough light for taking photos of the paintings. So glad they have been restored. It's interesting that the old church had stone floors also, as I have heard many were just dirt floors.

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  3. What a find that was Jenny! It is wonderful!

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  4. Hey, that's not fair! I go to a lot of trouble to find church paintings but have never found one quite as good as that.

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  5. Beautiful photos, you capture the essence of the place as much as photos can.

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