March 18, 2016

Five Pugin details

 It's Friday again and time to take part in Amy's Five on Friday meme. Click the image at the bottom of the post to be taken to her site and see other people's entries.

The Catholic Church of St Giles in Cheadle, Staffordshire is a fantasy structure with a richly decorated interior and gothic-esque exterior. The design is the work of one man - Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. Although he contributed to many well known buildings, including the Houses of Parliament, there are very few places where he had sole control of the final design. It's stunning.

Let's start with the west door, before we go inside. Aren't those rampant lions wonderful? And all that gothic detail around the door is very reminiscent of the Middle Ages, even though St Giles was built in the 1840s.
Here's another wonderful gothic detail from the exterior. I'm a sucker for a dragon and this one seems rather splendid to me.

Inside, every surface is covered in detailed decoration. This section of a pillar shows the complex letter Gs (for St Giles) incorporated in the design.

This shot shows just how much decoration the church has. No surface escapes. Every item is highly ornate and brightly coloured; painted and gilded and shaped into fantastic structures. There's a lot to take in.

And here's a part of the wall. showing how complex patterns are put side by side, adding to the myriad, contrasting styles that make up the whole. I love the colour and the cacophony and the impossibly crazy, mind blowing impression the building leaves you with.

Now click on the link below to visit Amy and her Five on Friday supporters.

March 11, 2016

Cow Parade

Visitors to my other blog will know that I visited Stoke on Trent a few weeks ago, where I found the wonderful Keiller collection of cow creamers at the Potteries Museum. If you want their history go to the other blog to find out more.

Meanwhile this is for Amy at Love Made My Home and it's a Five on Friday entry.  Click on the pic at the bottom to visit other people's blogs who join in with the meme.

So here's a few of my favourites from the cow parade.
I liked this one because she looks so patient while she's being milked.  She's also looking straight ahead. Lots of the creamers have their heads turned one way or the other.

This cutie doesn't look quite so calm about being suckled by her own calf, but you have to admit, her floral pattern is rather sweet. I love the fact that her lid had a knob on top so it's easier to lift up to fill her with cream or milk.

After the feed, this mum is keeping a close eye on her calf - isn't it wonderful how she's looking down at him?  She looks a little worried. I hope he's OK.
This example shows just how elaborate these creamers can be: two cows, a calf, shrubbery and a milkmaid!  I'm not sure it would be easy to pour from though.
And this is my favourite. The museum runs a fund raising scheme in which you can adopt some of the cows, and this is Garten Bos, one of the potential adoptees. I almost bought an adoption pack, but maybe I'll drop some hints for upcoming birthdays and other celebrations.....

Now click on the link below to visit Amy and her Five on Friday supporters.

March 04, 2016

Five stiles for Friday

Here I am again with Five on Friday for Amy's meme. This week I'm taking a look at stiles - those wonderful contraptions that let you cross fences, walls and other boundaries. It's to link in to a post I've done this week on my other blog.
Don't forget to click the link at the bottom to visit other people's entries.

OK, so here's the first example. It might look like a gate, but those decorative ironwork pieces are fixed so you have to go around them and squeeze through the gap. It's a way of ensuring that livestock can't get out of a field, but humans have no trouble passing through. This one leads to the churchyard at Breedon on the Hill. (That's the one you can see as you drive up the M(A)42 through Leicestershire.)

Here's a nice stone one from Hathersage in Derbyshire. There's plenty of millstone grit around that area to build sturdy examples like this. They're firm under the feet and easy to cross.

Here's a complex design from the National Trust property Calke Abbey (yes - Derbyshire again). That extra bit on the left with the three uprights is a lift-up section so dog walkers can let their pets pass underneath rather than trying to get them over the top. (Have you ever tried to get a dog to cross a stile?  It's why I have cats these days.)

And this one's in Wales. Probably the tallest stile I ever saw! Those cross pieces at the top make it easy to climb though, because you have something to hold on to. It's near Ruthin

And this complex little number is, as you can see, next to a canal. The Trent and Mersey, to be exact, close to Trent Lock.  I'm not entirely sure whether it's Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire. The Trent is the boundary between three counties (including Leicestershire) at various places along this stretch and it's always hard to tell exactly where you are. The river is behind you at this point.