Monday, 5 December 2016

Herts Churches: Two for one

 I have visited the remaining two churches in Hertfordshire as featured in Simon Jenkins' Thousand Best Churches.

It was a sunny day for seeing St Mary Ashwell and St George in Anstey village. Both are in the top north east of the county.

Ashwell is a big church with an impossibly huge tower.  I entered with Rosie the puppy to find a gang of ladies of the parish, busy cleaning the place. The girls stopped for their coffee and biscuits and Rosie made sure there was not a single crumb left under the pews on which they took their rest.

Ashwell also for a large light-filled chancel, rich carvings and inside the tower and graffito of old St Paul’s Cathedral in London,

Anstey is further east, on land as flat as your hand. We are close to the hollowed county of Essex at this point. The church boasts a pre-Norman font with a delightful frieze of mermen, head to tail. Quite pagan and most unusual.
Rosie hops up on the priest's church by the nave arch. Oh, that naughty puppy!

Anstey also for its cruciform layout and everywhere examples of the carver’s art, medieval choir stalls and misericords.

Merman Head to Tail

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim