Thursday, 16 September 2010

A Spectacle in Copford Church, Essex

Following our visit to the bleakly beautiful St Peter's chapel in Bradwell-on-Sea Maximillion and I travelled to another jewel amongst Essex churches, St Michael & All Angels at Copford (to the west of Colchester). Located in the ancient manor of the bishops of London it is set in a lovely tranquil location. Maximillion and I ate the last of our cake and took tea before progressing to the church itself. Once inside, we gasped at the amazing mid-twelfth century interior painting, and I let out a stifled cry of "huzzah!". Meanwhile M. jumped about from foot to foot excitedly... 
"Splendid Munro, simply splendid!" he exclaimed. I noted that his eyes were welling up with tears, and that he was dribbling slightly - a sure sign of a Ragged Ramblers' emotional and intellectual engagement with a special place.

Being fresco painting (painted onto wet plaster) this meant that 'hot' Protestant iconoclasts were unable to scrub the offending images and distractions from the walls, resorting instead to whitewashing over it. Re-discovered in the nineteenth century, some of the painting was 'restored' and, even, overpainted. Nonetheless, we think it remains a stunning spectacle and would heartily recommend that you pack a picnic and go on a Ragged Ramble there yourselves. 

~ Munro Tweeder-Harris Esq. , RSAR., F.R.S.R.R ~


  1. Those Victorians would have touched up the Mona Lisa if they got their hands on it... Anyone put a date on this stuff, old boy? Methinks 1200's sometime, am I in the right village?


  2. Dear Bumper,

    I am afeared that the unfortunate loss of your monocle may have led you to miss the reference to - and I quote - the "mid-twelfth century" paintings in my piece.

    Regarding the dabbling hands of the Victorian: to quote Simon Jenkins, they were "restored with varying degrees of vehemence". Although not pictured here, there are other areas in the church which have received gentler treatment. Whatever the case, it is a jewel-box of a church dear boy. Go visit when the opportunity arises.

    Antiquarian Salutations,

  3. I like the angels....

    +Many Coats+

  4. Splendid! Splendid! My dears, it is a veritable Sistine Chapel of a place - reminds me of my wanderings in Italy.....
    Bisous, Fanny

  5. Dear Mr. Many Coats,

    The angels are exquisite!

  6. Dear Fanny,

    Indeed. Although most of us do not get to wander as widely as your good self, we are still most fortunate to find many wonders as we wend our way.