Thursday, 5 March 2009
Isn't it odd how one changes one's mind about things. In the 1970's I lived in Tur Langton in Leicestershire, and just because this church wasn't on a ley line (the original is now only an arch in a garden just outside the village) we flared-trousered know-alls dismissed it out of hand. "No sense of holiness" we opined, looking at it from the pub windows opposite and never going in it unless one of us got married or died. Now, I can't get enough of it. Designed by those dynastic architects, Goddards of Leicester, the new church for the village arrived eye-wateringly in a field given by Sir Giles Isham in 1866. Much red brick, as can be seen, but with Box stone dressings and blue brick detailing. Goddards had been busy restoring local churches in the area (Slawston, Glooston) and used the local 13th century idiom for the spire, but in brick rather than stone. Inside (we increasingly find ourselves in there) it's a Victorian riot of polychrome banding, patterned encaustic floor tiling and much decoration on the pews. And a 'very florid font', as Geoff Brandwood and Martin Cherry have it in their very informative Men of Property, a study of six generations of Goddards. Round here you just can't get away from them- schools, banks, churches, lodge houses. All now glowing in early March light.