Easter 2009, and a four day trip in to East Northants and Rutland to photograph some of the further flung churches in the catchment area of this site. I visited the church of the Holy Trinity at Blatherwycke on a very dull Good Friday. Very bad lighting conditions, and this proved to be indicitive of what I was to expect over the coming three days.
The Bank Holiday Monday that I was due to go home also dawned dull but the clouds soon lifted and the sun came out! You know that you have had a bad holiday when you can remember all the times that the sun came out. This was the first sighting of the sun since 10-30 on Friday morning, when I was at Bulwick!
....and what a difference the sun made. I made a quick detour to re-shoot Holy Trinity, and I was glad that I did. This church is set in beautiful grounds and when I arrived the sun was streaming in through the stained glass windows on the south side. As a result, patterns of light fell across the floor and highlighted the late 16th Century monument to John Stafford on the north wall.
Interesting monument this as both Sir John and his wife, with two daughters and five sons below, are all facing the same way. Males and females would normally be found facing towards each other on monuments such as this.
Also, take a look at the picture showing the two daughters. To the right of the daughters is a Chrisom. This represents an infant death, where the child has passed away within a month or so of their baptism. Common place in certain parts of the country, this is the only one that I have seen to date in churches within the catchment area of this site. However, there are two on a monument a few miles away at Stoke Dry.
There is a very fine brass on the north wall to Sir Humphrey Stafford, which is dated 1548. To the left of the image of Sir Humphrey is a small plate detailing six male children. The top half of the female figure to the right of Sir Humphrey, his wife Margaret, is missing and there is just an indent where a plate would have stood detailing the female children.
Lots of stained glass to be seen here. I was particularly taken with a window on the north wall showing two people on prayer looking towards a shining cross on a hill. Dated 1865, this is a lovely piece of work. Images of man's mortality are few and far between in this part of the world, but there was a representation of a human skull on a monument on the south wall.
Some nicely carved gravesones can be found here. There is a delightful view to be had from the north end of the church grounds, looking out towards a lake. When I was first at Holy Trinity on the Good Friday there was a swan asleep on a nest in the middle of the lake. Quite delightful. An absolute joy to be here.
Blatherwycke village is just a few houses, and the church is now looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust. In days long gone the whole place was bigger and there was a second church, St Mary Magdalene, just a short way away. This was closed in 1448.
Parts of Holy Trinity date back to the late 11th Century. The Westren tower was re-built in the 17th Century. The chancel is mid 14th Century. Some Victorian restoration was done here, with the whole church being re-roofed and much of the stained glass being installed.
The font here is 12th century, but Victorians have been at work here as well as the font stands on an early Victorian base.
This is a gem, and should be visited if you are in the area. I believe that the church was oepn all over Easter and is open at weekends in the Summer.