Today we go home. Originally today was forecast to be dry but cloudy instead we have another bright sunny day.
On the way back we intend to visit two churches. Both are exceptional and each one is quite different from the other.
The first church is in a tiny hamlet called Michaelchurch. The church is small and rather primitive. so what’s exceptional about this church? Well we need to go inside for that.
I’m sure that you will have heard the expression “The writing’s on the wall” well that expression applies to this church – literally!
The church is a listed building and was founded in 1056 with alterations being made in the 13th and 17th centuries. However the real interest are the 13th century wall paintings together with some writing from the 16th and 17th centuries.
This is some of the later writing which includes the ten commandments.
The earlier 13th century painting is red and white and must have originally covered the whole interior including the interior of the window alcoves.
That church was astonishing. We have never seen so many 13th century wall paintings in any one building before. Certainly worth a visit and only 5 miles north west of Ross-on-Wye.
We are now going to venture another two and a half miles slightly east of north to the village of Hoarwithy, itself only three and a half miles from Ross-on-Wye.
The grade 1 listed church here couldn’t be more of a contrast with Michaelchurch. This is a Victorian Church built around 1878 in the Italian Romanesque style which was described by Pevsner as “the most impressive Victorian church in the county”.
The church has an imposing campanile of four storeys, with an open arcaded ground floor both of which are visible in the photograph. The church is of sandstone and a north porch, on the left, is linked to the arcades of the campanile by a loggia.
The carvings along the arcade are impressive but, because they are carved from soft sandstone, some of them are weathering badly.
This next carving shows the greek characters Alpha and Omega and you can see that the part of the carving near the camera is more weathered than the part furthest from the camera.
This Logia is particularly nice partly because of its construction, including the tiled floor, and partly because of the view beyond.
Unfortunately the church was closed because of Covid-19 so we couldn’t go inside this time. Hopefully we will be able to re-visit another time.
Well that was a nice 3-day trip and it was very welcome. I have said it before and I’ll say it again – Ross-on-Wye was a lovely little town and we’d hope to go back one day and the Forest of Dean is big and there are lots of places we haven’t yet seen so we’ll want to return for another multi-day visit. Until then ….