Monday, 26 October 2009

The Singing Keyhole

We're so used to seeing humour in the ornamentation of medieval churches- gargoyles, fantastical corbels, carved bench ends- but Victorian churches and restorations tend to be far more austere.
I still can't quite make my mind up about this keyhole in the door of the little church in my neighbouring village of Blaston in Leicestershire. It isn't as though this escutcheon would go unnoticed, and I really like to think that the church furnishers saw the joke and let it pass. After all, our notions of stiff and starchy Victorians has continually been disabused- their Queen had a laugh from time to time I'm sure. It could have course be that someone drilled those eyes in at a later date, but I doubt it. The great architect Sir Ninian Comper appears to have done something similar with the keyholes at his stunning St.Mary's in Wellingborough, and he never appeared to be a barrel of laughs either. Perhaps they're just happy accidents, because we are always oddly attracted to any inanimate object that makes a face, everything from buildings with windows for eyes to certain views of electrical plugs.

5 comments:

Circe said...

Hey, nice post labels, Peter! I am only jesting when I suggest that perhaps you suffer a mild case of Pareidolia?

Because I don't really believe it; love that funny face! Great shot. Thanks for sharing it!

(I'm sure some crack team could determine if the eyes are original or were added later... get right on that & let us know what you come up with ;)

Vinogirl said...

Mr. Ashley, you may like these faces.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m56F4EKN9hg

Peter Ashley said...

Circe: I've always thought I'd got Pareidolia. I've got everything else. See the opening chapter of Three Men In A Boat.

Vinogirl: Thankyou so much for the link to the face film. Just wonderful.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Blowing the picture up (itself a rather scary experience), the holes look old. But what does it matter whether or not it's deliberate? It's there!

(Pareidoliac? Moi?)

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