Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Pillars of the Community

More from Exton. Everyone (including me, as you have seen), gets carried away by Exton church and the monuments. Pevsner rushed through, barking at his assistants about lucarnes and stiff-leaf; Hoskins kept coming back before going over to Tixover churchyard for forty winks. Both missed (or ignored) this little building up at the top end of the village. There's nothing grand about it, just a set of pillars carefully constructed in curved bricks holding up a roof of Collyweston slates with a ball and cross finial on top. Exton was once an important staging post between Leicester and the Great North Road, (the Fox and Hounds pub on the tree-lined green still bears witness to this), and I had thought that this was a market cross. But I am reliably informed that it is in fact the housing for a now extinct village pump. It has immense charm, and I was looking forward to saying that it doesn't take much imagination to make the grass and trees disappear, replacing them with a rough cobbled area filled with wooden crates of vegetables, trestle tables stacked with butter and eggs. Nevertheless, this was still a meeting place for villagers, albeit with buckets rather than baskets, their children playing tag around the brick pillars whilst they gossiped and sheltered from the rain.

4 comments:

Ron Combo said...

I can see some Hungarian lorry driver, half-cut on Slivovitz and with one eye on his SatNav, wondering why he isn't near Plymouth yet turning that into a sad pile of bricks.

Peter said...

The pretty little structure sheltered a pump, not a market - still a centre of gossip, no doubt

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Peter, it explains an awful lot about it. I have amended my blog accordingly.

Diplomat said...

I need to investigate the worn stone and brickwork. always on the look out for rope-chased mouldings etc. What's the standard of graffiti like? Found a great HDG 174? in a holly tree the other day, beautifully carved.