Saturday, 21 January 2017

Baroque, one locked, three lovely churches

WILLEN St Mary
Is a classical gem possible in the Milton Keynes landscape?
Built in 1680 St Mary building is charming, an adjective not often associated with MK.
It was locked, so we missed or    rather glimpsed through the apse window, the pink wash with white plasterwork and missed the wall panelling and box pews. We will return!


OLNEY St Peter and St Paul 
Olney was the childhood home of the architect George Gilbert Scott and residence of William Cowper English poet and hymnodist. So one expects grand things. The early 14th-century tower rises beyond a meadow by the River Ouse.
The Victorian ‘laying of hands’ dominates a nave and chancel restored by Scott in the 1870s.
Olney's interior is spacious but scraped and heavily ‘refurbished’ in the Victorian manner, as a church more Midlands than Home Counties.

GAYHURST St Peter
Gayhurst church is reached through the main gates to the big house.
The house passed through the hands of Sir Francis Drake and Everard Digby (of the Gunpowder Plot) before the Wrighte family acquired it in 1704 and built a new church in the style of Wren, bless ‘em. Two baroque wonderments just down the road from each other

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And Gayhurst's wow factor is the monument to Sir George Wrighte and his son. This is a superb work of Baroque modelling  - Mr Pevsner approves. Both father and son stand bordered by Corinthian columns as if modelling their Georgian get-ups. The box pews are intact, that of the Wrighte family, of course.

Honey coloured Baroque bathed in sunlight

Superb Baroque