Paris in springtime is what most people think about when the city of Paris pops up. I am sure it is utterly wonderful, strolling alongside the River Seine hand in hand with a loved one, perhaps a river tour on one of the cruise boats, sipping champagne in an old-fashioned intimate restaurant where the waiters wear those long black aprons and hover politely. But what to do when it rains? Paris in the rain can be cold and miserable. Yes, there are the numerous art galleries to visit, but if you have already been there and done that then perhaps a wander through the 19th century ‘Les Passages’ might do the trick.
Put on your walking shoes, hide the credit card and let’s go exploring!
Following on from last week’s post about Witley Court today I am showing you the windows from the local parish church for Great and Little Witley. A more elaborate church on such a small scale I have never seen; thank goodness this didn’t burn down at the same time as the house. It is a very small church as you can see from the header photo above!
Nine of the ten windows made from stained and enamelled glass by Joshua Price in 1719 and 1721 from designs by an Italian artist are scenes from the New Testament. I’ll let you try and work out what they depict.
(click an image to enlarge)
The pictures on the ceiling are painted by the Italian artist Antonio Bellucci (1654 -1726) and are oil on canvas.
This delectable baroque style church is St. Michael and All Angels Church, Great Witley.
Witley Court in Worcestershire was once a grand Victorian country house, developed over several centuries, but it’s heyday was in the 19th century when the 1st Earl of Dudley invested heavily in the refurbishment of the house spending the equivalent of £100 million. His fortune came from the coal mines of the Black Country together with iron works, chemical factories and the railways.
After the First World War the family’s fortunes declined and the second Earl decided to sell it to a carpet manufacturer from Kidderminster. In 1937 the main part of the house was destroyed by fire, believed to have started in one of the kitchens. Now you see the shell of the house, without any glazing in the stone mullion window frames.
The main attraction to the site is a restored working fountain which represents Perseus and Andromeda and reaches the original high cascades when fired on the hour between 11 am and 4 pm.
There are also lovely woodland walks and restored parterre gardens and the ruins of a gorgeous conservatory which once housed exotic plants and had an enormous cast-iron, plate glass roof.
When visiting Tenbury (Wells) we grabbed a Tenbury Heritage Trail map from the tourist office and set off to admire the buildings from Tenbury’s past. After looking around the Pump Rooms (last week’s post) we carried on into Market Street, which leads into Market Square and where we discovered another unusual building that was also built by James Cranston.
The Round Market (which is actually oval) was built to enable the farmers’ wives to sell their butter and poultry inside, with walls to keep out the wind and rain. Market Days are still held on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
But as usual I was drawn to the wonderful windows – just look at the shapes above the gateway! And the trefoils and quatrefoils at the top of each window (click image to enlarge). Divine.
(source of information from Tenbury Tourist Information Centre )
This unusual building is the ‘Pump Rooms’ in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, built and designed by William Cranston of Birmingham in 1861.
It was built in oriental Chinese Gothic style (oh really?) and is one of the earliest examples of prefabrication. The metal prefabricated sheets were made in Birmingham and assembled on site.
It was built to promote Tenbury Wells as a spa town after a saline spring was found in the grounds of the Crow Inn. The 58 ft well is situated below the octagonal tower. It was aimed for middle and working classes, but never attracted the clientèle. The building fell into disrepair and in 1939 the well was filled in. It was later restored by the district councils of Leominster and Malvern Hills with the help of English Heritage. It is now used as an administrative office, by the community for events and also for weddings.
(click to enlarge)
Door finger plate
Lovely tiled flooring
(source of information from Tenbury Tourist Information Centre and information plaque)