Monday, October 18, 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls

St Mary's Church

As the bells of St Mary's pierce the heavy silence of this bleak morning, John Donne's words spring into my mind:

Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

St. Mary's church is a positive factor in my life, even though I don't attend it and am not religious in the traditional sense.


Mystical Church

Shenley Church End, Church of St. Mary

Last night it snowed a lot (6)

Last night it snowed a lot (10)

Shenley Church End - St. Mary's Church

The Church of St Mary, in Shenley Church End, dates from about 1150 and originally comprised of chancel, nave, north and south transepts and perhaps a central tower. About 1190 the chancel was rebuilt and the only parts of the original structure remaining are the transepts and the west wall of the nave, at this time the south aisle was added.

Much work took place on the structure in the 14th and 15th centuries. The large five-light window was added in 1490 which has been considerably repaired. At the west end is a pointed door of the 14th century and above is a large 15th century of five cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head, all extensively repaired. In the north aisle is a large monument to Thomas Stafford of Tattenhoe (d1607).

The tower contains a ring of six bells; the treble is modern, while the second and third are by Newcome, 1615 and 1616 respectively, and the fourth and fifth by Bartholomew Atton, 1593 and 1610. The tenor, which bears the inscription 'Missi De Celis Abeo Nomen Amen Gabrelis,' was probably cast by Robert Burford in the early 15th century. There is also a small bell with no inscription, but probably of the 17th century.


Ruth said...

Your photographs of this church, from different positions and in different seasons and states of precipitation, are just splendid!

Trulyfool said...


This is the sense of inferiority America fights to overcome.

Long pedigrees.

(They're not always pretty, but they're nice to look back on.)


rauf said...

'for whom the bell bells toll, not for me' is a book to be written by me. i have only titles in my head Claudia. Please don't worry i will not write any book. Glad that i didn't make a fool of myself as i wanted to say that it was an Alistair McLean book. That was 'when eight bells toll' Normally i have the titles in head long before i write the posts. 'Cow is my brother' will come very soon.

rauf said...

Saint Mary is revered (right word ?) by Muslims as well Claudia. She is one of the four women revered by Muslims. Only 4, that is not much is it ? Prophet's first wife Khatija, (he had many, 31 altogether, recorded) Then Prophet's daughter Fathima. Mother Mary and Maria (name disputed, in some account she was a slave girl, some say she was the wife of a Pharaoh )who saved infant Moses as in 'the ten commandments' the movie.

i thought house of Levi was Levi jeans factory.

Peter said...

Wonderful photos ... you really feel the atmosphere! Yes, churches are often old, with some adjustments over the centuries. In France, a lot had to be done to repair the destructions during the Revolution. Even if you don't respect the religion, you could at least respect the church and cathedral builders!