Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Towcester. Pronounced, "Toaster".

Decision taken, tomorrow we move no matter what. Unless............
But today it was out bus pass and onto the number 86 to Towcester. Another town which had never impinged onto my consciousness, apart from the fact that it has a racecourse.

The first thing that you notice is that the A5, Watling Street goes straight through the town centre.  In Roman times Towcester was known as Lactodurum (Thank you Wikipedia, I am a shameless plagiarist but I do like to give credit where it is due.) and I'm sure that in those days the main street was busy with chariots.

There's a rather splendid Town Hall fronting onto what was the market place, now a car park, and behind it is St. Lawrence's church. As usual we had to have a nose around.

I've never been one for the grand architectural features and as far as perpendicular or decorated styles go I admit to being a bit lost but I do love the smaller details.

These are rather more sophisticated than the two at Stoke Bruerne and being inside have not suffered the ravages of the weather, but they have the same sense of fun, is the chap in the top picture cheering on the other fellow, who could be up to almost anything, playing bowls? Or something more nefarious? They face each other across the arch of a side chapel.

Nearby, a scratch or mass dial, a simple sun dial, obviously a reused stone, it must have come from outside at some time.
Just under the second grotesque is a medieval wall painting,

a reminder that pre reformation the inside of the church would have been glowing with decorative pictures of religious subjects.

Ecclesiastical re-cycling. at some time they took down a Jacobean gallery that ran across the north end of the church, waste good carvings? Not likely, voila! A new pulpit and pew backs.
More graffiti, sorry.

The tomb of Archdeacon Sponne, died 1448 had attracted a few incisions.

Nothing very exceptional but on the side,

these look like mason's marks but normally, on a high status tomb, they would be hidden, not on display, intriguing.

On the arch of the north door, badly weathered, who carved an image of a waffle?

I'm sure it's a town worth a bit more exploring but being fed up with Watling Street's incessant traffic and being half frozen we caught the next chariot   bus back to Stoke Bruerne.
For general interest, there is a nice butchers. It's in the half timbered building in the last picture. Plus a couple of Co-op supermarkets and it's only ten minutes by bus.

Watch this space..............

No comments: