Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Browsing Posts in Churches


This evening, myself and few others visited the pleasant country town of Strathaven, about 40 mins drive from Glasgow. Strathaven is very well kept and has much to offer the visitor including:

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This afternoon, I have decided to feature some unusual, possibly 10th century, stone carvings from the Church of St. Helen’s, Bilton-in-Ainsty, Yorkshire, which I recently visited. These unusual carvings can be found in the Lady Chapel of this church which has origins dating back to Saxon times. Being of possible 10th century AD date, the carvings could be from the Viking era. The vertical stone immediately above may have been the shaft of across. This and the other stones may have been re-used as grave-markers at various times. I find these carvings pleasantly primitive and striking. In their day they were intended to convey messages at a time when most of the population would have been illiterate and Christianity a relatively new introduction.

Elsewhere today, I have been busy:

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This evening, the focus of my blog is on the historic Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Alne, Yorkshire, England and in particular the ancient Viking and Norman carvings which attract a lot of visitor interest.

There has been a church on this site for about 850 years. The current church has many interesting facets but I am going to focus on just three which are discussed and illustrated below.

Firstly, there is the massive 12th century stone font which is still used for baptisms. This close up shows the classic Green Man image which may relate to a pre-Christian natural deity. Note the branches or vines sprouting from the mouth.

Here is the font.

This image shows shows a lintel over a Anglo-Saxon era priests door. The well worn carving may well be from the Viking era.
Finally, this video clip shows the Norman era carved arch over the main door. This is very significant and attracts many visitors. The carvings represent beasts from the Bible although there are also some secular ones.

Elsewhere, the weather today in Glasgow has proved quite miserable and not conducive to getting out for pics. However, have received quite a number of interesting private tour enquiries which I am hopeful will convert to committed tours.

Posted to my separate GlasgowAncestry blog information on McLean family history. Also did some more work on my main website.

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