Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Lincolnshire churches and more

Alan Barton is an Anglican curate in the Saxilby and Stow group of parishes in Lincolnshire. He describes himself as ecclesiologically and Anglo-Catholic and as an antiquarian, with a Ph.D in the history of art. He has two splendidly illustrated blogs Lincolnshire Churches and Vitrearum's Church Art , which looks at decoration and vestments across the country which I have added to the blog roll.

It is heartening to still find clergy with these scholarly interests, and in Lincolnshire he has a rich field in which to study. As someone with Lincolnshire ancestry and a great love of the county and its architectural heritage I think his blogs are well worth looking at. Lincolnshire is the second largest of the historic counties -I have no truck whatsoever with the 1974 mucking about with thousand year old units. I don't approve of the nineteenth century legislation tidying up detached parishes, let alone the enormities perpetrated by the "infamous Heatho-Walkerian 'reform' " (to quote the late, great Peter Simple) changes. As a county it has a wonderful array of medieval and indeed later, churches, more varied and far less well known than the great flowering of building in late medieval Norfolk and Suffolk, but just as spectacular. All three counties witness in these marvellous buildings to the prosperity of medieval eastern England. Lincolnshire not only boasts the cathedral in Lincoln itself, but a selection of churches that take the breath away. However it remains one of the least known or appreciated of English counties. If one cannot get there at least one can enjoy the photographs.

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