Visiting Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury, to my mind, is one of the most inspiring towns in England, and as such, is one I often find myself visiting.  One of the reasons I love Shrewsbury, as those of you who read my book review blog will know, is because of Brother Cadfael 🙂  However, it is also has a number of impressive churches.  Four of the five photos below are of St Mary’s, now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.  In the fifth photo, taken from beneath the bridge next to the imposing railway station, the church-like building at the top of the photograph is in fact the town library.

My favourite photo of the weekend has to be the little monster found perched on the outside of St Mary’s…isn’t he adorable? 🙂  I have a soft spot for demons, especially grotesques, gargoyles and imps…

Hoping you all had a good weekend,

Sammi

Gargoyles and Grotesques

I have always loved and been inspired by church architecture, and one feature of churches that I love above all others are grotesques.

Grotesques are stone carvings, often strange, distorted or fantastical in appearance.  Their purpose was said to be twofold: to protect a building by frightening away evil spirits and to serve as a reminder to parishioners of the ever-present danger of falling into evil.

I took this photo of the grotesque in St Michaels and All Angels, Edmondthorpe, Leicestershire a couple of weeks ago.

I took this photo of the grotesque in St Michaels and All Angels, Edmondthorpe, Leicestershire a couple of weeks ago.  This church is in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust.

Gargoyles are a form of grotesque, the difference that separates them is that a gargoyle will have a water spout coming out of its mouth in order to direct water away from the sides of a building, where over time it will cause damage.

This is one of the gargoyles from St Peters church in Tempsford, Bedfordshire.  You can just see the start of the water pipe protruding from its mouth...

This is one of the gargoyles from St Peters church in Tempsford, Bedfordshire. You can just see the start of the water pipe protruding from its mouth…

The same carving as above, showing the water spout and face of the gargoyle...

The same carving as above, showing the water spout and face of the gargoyle…