Arguably this side of the Temple Church, the round church, is more famous than the Chancel Church. There are only four round churches in England, this is one of them.
I started the walkabout in a clockwise direction. Curious, no? how people instinctively move around things in a clockwise direction. The Round Church has a diameter of about 50 feet or so, its really not that big but its much taller than its wide, so it feels very light and airy, but strangely enough, the sheer amount of amazing things at the bottom means that very few people look up. Here is a part of the wall with arched top.
There are photographs of various illustrations, lithographs, drawings of what the church was before etc. etc. I am not sure if this is a good idea, it seems to draw the attention away from the actual stone work but then I suppose I am a purist..But that’s how the Chancel Church looked way back then.
this is how it looks now. Big big difference, eh?
Obviously in a knightly outfit, with chain mailed hands in prayer, but the legs are in a very strange position. Can you see how his right leg is over the left leg? Fascinating, what was the story behind this? Usually the effigies are placed straight. The knight has a long sword and triangular shield, with his faithful hound sitting at his feet.
The rather stubbed font but very beautifully and intricately carved.
The photographs keep on going, but notice the expressions on the faces on top, so many different faces, so many expressions, laughing, sad, excited, inquisitive, amazing.
Another stained glass window. I think this relates to Christ’s birth, you can see the adoration of the Magi on the bottom left, the shepherds on the top right with baby Jesus.
More faces. Apparently these faces were made by the stone masons who were apparently very irreverent, made strange and weird faces, but in other churches, they were placed very high up on the church where nobody would see them. Interesting that they have been placed here. And what’s with this animal with long hair on the right? Looks like a panther or a lion with a severe haircut.
The exit door. Its huge and hinged on the right. The hinges would have to be very strong to take the weight I guess. You can look at the ironmongery to see how this massive door was constructed. Also look at the huge locks.
The circular window on top of the door has these people reading scrolls with Jesus in the middle. Hmmm
This is the scene of the church when the Germans bombed London, the church was heavily damaged but was repaired. It escaped the Great Fire of 1666 but Christopher Wren still poked around this Church. Amazing set of people that this church has been associated with.
Another stained glass window. The bottom two panels show the scenes of Adam and Eve and then both of them being expelled. Eve has a nice booty, eh?
The chap on the right seems to be bellowing at the chap on the left who is very sad, lol. Amazing work, this is almost 900 years old. Can you imagine the mason and stone carvers having a giggle while carving this? Or the face of the priest who would have seen this for the first time? If nothing else, they had a great sense of humour, no?
William Marshall. What surprised me was how small these people were, assuming these are life sized, their heights are around the 5 feet 5-6 inches. I would have expected them to be bigger and taller specially if they had to swing those massive long swords?
This church was made to resemble the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Consecrated in 1185AD by Heraclius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. This man faced off to Saladin. I felt a shiver as I stood there, connected in London to events way past into the dim mists of time, Jesus, the Romans, the Persians, the Arabs, Saladin, Richard Lionheart, Constantine and the kings of England, knights Templar and and and.
Fascinating place, I strongly recommend anybody with an interest in history to visit this place and sit quietly at the pews, just soak in the history. Brilliant