One of the places I like most of anywhere I’ve been is the tiny Kilpeck Church in Herefordshire, England. I was looking for a picture and came across some of my old photographs of this church.The earliest reference to this church is from 650 AD, but the current church was built around 1140 AD. It is still used as a village church and is correctly called the Parish Church of St Mary and St David in Kilpeck. It sits on the Welsh borders, close to the Severn and Wye Rivers. The church is tiny, not holding more than a few dozen people, but it is still used on a rotating basis with several of the other local churches.
The most extraordinary thing about this church are the 89 carved corbels below the roofline. Although some are missing, the ones that remain are just incredible. They are carved from red sandstone, which is not a hard-wearing material, but over nearly 1000 years, they’ve acquired a shell that protects them from the elements. He looks like something Picasso might have sketched, doesn’t he? This is a ram’s head.The carvings are very detailed, especially considering how old they are and the tools which were used to carve them. Just the logistics of figuring this design makes my head spin!Of all of the carvings, this one is the one that stole my heart! It’s almost contemporary in its style, something out of a comic book! Here’s another view:That I am getting such joy out of something that was carved so long ago, by some unknown craftsman, fills me with wonder. Time marches on.