Monday, 5 November 2012


I called at Toddington this morning for a couple of reasons, one of which was to photograph the church as part of my Gloucestershire Churches project. Not for many years had I turned off the B4077 down the lane leading to St Andrew's - which I don't ever recall going inside before. We went past once, many moons ago, to look at the adjacent Manor from the outside: then, it was in a relatively early state of neglect - very soon, matters became a lot worse, until Damien Hurst bought the estate a year or two back. The whole of the Manor is now swathed in scaffolding, awaiting a new incarnation as an art gallery - assuming Hurst doesn't go the same way as Timon of Athens.

Like the Manor, Toddington church is vast and rather forbidding. But the oak hammerbeam roof looks magnificent on a bright morning such as today's: there's not much stained glass to darken the interior, and what's there stimulated little excitement in me. A large chapel to the North contains white marble effigies of the ancestors of our former guide - the 1st Lord Sudeley and his Tracy missus, dating from the late 19th Century, yet in the style of the 14th. So, one can't help wondering what if any impact Hurst might have upon "his" church in due course.

Coming away, I spotted this relic of the past. There are not many fingerposts left in Gloucestershire - I tried to capture some of the plainer variety by photographing them a couple of decades ago, before they were replaced.

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