St Wendreda's Church and its Angel Roof

(22 images)

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St Wendreda's angel roof was installed almost 500 years ago in 1527 in the 18th year of the reign of Henry VIII.

This is a record of the 2015 project to photograph in detail the amazing and unique example of medieval wood carving found in this North Cambridgeshire Fenland church.

It is an immense task, the work is still in progress, and this website will be subject to change and continuing review.

 

close up face of angel with shawm, north side    close up face of angel with psaltery on the north side

close up the little dragon in St John's cup    close up the Virgin Mary previously wrongly interpeted as 'Christ Glorified'

Including new discoveries and interpretations such as finding St John's little dragon in his cup and that 'Christ Glorified' is in fact the Virgin Mary.

 

All photographs are copyright Malcolm Grant Purvis of fellsphoto.co.uk and may not be used without permission.

 

Scroll down to find the links to all the Saints and Angels as well as the stained glass and the views from the tower and many other things of interest.

 

St Wendreda's Church and churchyard (HDR image) : 16x9 format for desktop background

St Wendreda's Church.  This dramatic HDR image has been prepared in 16x9 format, 1080p, as a computer desktop background for you to download.

(Save the image (right-click & save image) then navigate to it ('StWendreda'sChurch_desktop-background') in Explore (the file directory). Right click on the file and select 'Set as desktop background'.)

 

 

Photography in St Wendreda's Church is challenging. The dynamic range (the difference between the brightest and darkest areas of a picture) is far beyond the capabilities of any camera.

The church and, in particular the chancel, is dark, contrasted by intense light through the high clerestory windows.

Whilst this illuminates the musicians on the north side, those on the south side are relatively poorly lit, as well as the observer suffering from intense glare when looking up at them.

The glare is also the reason that many visitors are not aware of the saints standing on their plinths above each of the musicians.

The angels in the roof itself, often dismissed as being 'like birds', implies that the observer has not seen that they each carry symbols of the crucifixion or the symbols of the guild that sponsored them.

Wendreda and Etheldreda miniature of Wendreda and Etheldreda are so high up as for it to be almost impossible to see their features: Wendreda being in near darkness.

The benefactors who paid for the roof, the Hansarts, miniature of the Hanarts  standing high in the dark corners of the west (tower) end of the building, are generally overlooked.

As for the devil: miniature of the devil few can even find him, much less discern his features.

These photographs allow you to view this unique treasure of English wood carving not possible with the naked eye.

 

musician angels (1995) saints and angels (2015)
 
the Church : interiors and exteriors  the stained glass
 
the Church in vintage postcards March town 
 

 

link to the Tower page : panoramic view east link to the new images : floor memorial and view to chancel
NEW  30th May  :  panoramas from the Church Tower NEW 6th June  :  new images incl. the font
link to the all the musician angels : close up of angel's face link to the new exteriors : looking up at gargoyles on teh SE corner of the porch with the tower above
NEW 15th June  :  all the angel musicians on the north side  NEW 15th June  : new exteriors 
link to the all the musician angels on the south side : close up of angel's face St Matthew : link to page : all the saints
NEW 23rd June  :  angel musicians on the south side  NEW 21st June  :  all the saints - both sides
link to the faces of the musician angels on the north side : close up of angel's face link to the faces of the musician angels on the south side : close up of angel's face
NEW 1st July  :  faces of the angel musicians on the north side  NEW 1st July  :  faces of the angel musicians on the south side 

 

link to new postcards page : suggestions for St Wendreda's shop link to new T-shirts page : suggestions for St Wendreda's shop link to new T-shirts page : suggestions for St Wendreda's shop

St Wendreda's Shop : suggestions for postcards & T-shirts 

possible race routes

                        

the Kathryn Hansart monumental brass The Hansart brass

Anthony Hansart being responsible for the installation of the angel roof.

"Here lyeth Katryn wife to Antony Hansart syst to ye Robard
Southevelt knight and counceler to ye Kyng Henry ye VII  and to
Kyng Henry VIII on whose soules (1Hn) have mercy Amen

Which Katyn died ye 7 day Septemb Adm MV +VII
"




('Southevelt' is Southewell given that Kathryn is wearing
the Southewell coat of arms)


(click on the brass for enlargement)

 

The angel roof seen from the pulpit.

 

 

St Wendreda's Church angel roof looking up from the centre of the church

 for full screen enlargement close bookmarks then click in picture

 

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this page launched 11th April 2015 : last modified 6th November 2015