Friday, 4 February 2011
Where I grew up, most buildings that were over 100 years old had a little plaque on them saying so. If the building was 200 years old, it was probably a museum.
When I first came to the UK, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of physical history that surrounded me. Walking down the same streets in London as Samuel Pepys, going into the castle where Anne Boleyn grew up - it was fascinating.
After having lived here for a few years, though, my attitude changed slightly. So much history all around meant I started to tune it out a bit - when everything is historical then historical things are a little less special. When I lived in Canada, I loved looking at Victorian architechture. In the UK, there is SOOOO much Victorian architechture! Besides, Victorian- that's, what, like only 150 years old? Psssh! Brand new by English standards.
Still, though, from time to time, something bowls me over and reminds me of the sheer wealth of history in this little island and makes me appreciate it a bit more.
On Tuesday, to celebrate Drew's birthday, we went for a drive through Oxfordshire. We visited a few churches, as we often do, and one of them - St. Andrew's, Great Rollright, featured the door carvings in the picture.
The zig zag pattern is Norman.... people have been worshipping in this building for probably over 800 years - 800 YEARS! - and people still do.
It's a bit humbling to come across someting like that Norman Doorway- yet to the congregation of that church, it's just the door to their church. Seeing it gave me goosebumps - and reminded me of that feeling of excitement I first had when I came to this old country almost 12 years ago.
Oh, and next time you visit a church - Norman, Victorian, or anywhere inbetween, pop a few quid into the collection box at the back - it's not about supporting "the church" - it's to help make sure those buildings will still be there in 800 years time.