Thursday doors

Doors 49

‘St John’s on the Wall’

This amazing church is one of my favourite places in Bristol. Overlooked by many, it is a hidden jewel in the crown of the city, and I am certain most people simply walk past it without a second thought.

The correct name of the church is Church of St John the Baptist, but it derived its nickname from the fact that it was built onto the city wall in the 14th century. The church is long and rather narrow because it was built into the wall and its width dictated somewhat by it. The church is no longer active and is owned and looked after by the Churches conservation trust.

The last remaining gateway in the city of Bristol, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
The last remaining gateway in the city of Bristol, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

The archway in the middle under the tower and steeple is the last remaining gateway of the old city wall. The two side passageways were added I think in the 19th century and although they look authentic, were not part of the original church. Each of the side tunnels plays host to some murals that could probably do with a bit of a refresh if I am honest. The stairway on the right of the picture is the entrance to the church.

Church of St John the Baptist, nave seen from the organ gallery, Bristol
Church of St John the Baptist, nave seen from the organ gallery

 

Once inside, you take a right turn and are immediately faced with a spectacular nave. On my most recent visit I was told that prior to the Reformation these spotless white walls would have been draped in all manner of artwork and furnishings and the place would have been heaving with atmosphere.

Oops – doors, I almost forgot…

Door on the inside of the city wall, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door on the inside of the city wall, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door on the inside of the city wall, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door on the inside of the city wall, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

From the entrance you can continue up into the tower (if you are lucky and the nice steward/warden lets you), rising up a second staircase, slipping to one side of the organ and climbing a further set of stairs, before entering into the bell tower.

Door behind the organ, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door behind the organ, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

One of the amazing features of this church is that some of the little rooms feel like they are exactly as they were forty or fifty years ago…time has stood still – there is something magical about this rather tatty, well-worn place.

Bell tower, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Bell tower, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

The steward told me that I was welcome to ring some bells if I wanted to, but I bottled it…what if something went wrong?

Staff only door, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Staff only door, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

 

There was a lovely slim ‘staff only’ door in the bell tower and I was desperate to take a little look, but again I decided I’d just leave it like it was.

Top end of the nave, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Top end of the nave, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

At the ‘business end’ of the church there were two further doorways into a little ante-room where I guess the priest would prepare for his services, remember there are no side rooms in this church, everything lines up with the course of the city wall.

Floor tiles, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Floor tiles, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

Looking down, the tiles are to die for.

View of the nave and organ, Church of SDt John the Baptist, Bristol
View of the nave and organ, Church of SDt John the Baptist, Bristol

Looking back in the other direction you can see the organ gallery and get a different perspective of the nave. Oh yes and there are some more doors…

Door gate to the pulpit, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door gate to the pulpit, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Door, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Doorway, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Doorway, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

Finally I’ll round off this post with a little sign in the church which although very pretty might not be entirely accurate on its dates.

Sign in the Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol
Sign in the Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol

And that’s it for another week – don’t expect anything like this many doors every time!

by Scooj

More fabulous doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

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Thursday doors

Doors 48

This week I have pulled out some pictures I took back in July with Thursday Doors in mind. They are of a very popular pub in the centre of Bristol, the Llandoger Trow in King Street, diagonally opposite the very recently refurbished Theatre Royal.

The Llandoger Trow gets its name from a small village in South Wales, Llandogo, and a trow, which is a flat-bottomed sailing boat that could lower its mast for navigating under bridges. It was named by a former owner of the pub, Captain Hawkins, who lived in Llandogo.

Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol
Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol

The building dates from 1664 but it was damaged during the war, like so many buildings in Bristol, and originally had five gable fronted sections – it had been a row of houses. In the middle, the pub has an 18th century shop front, but the doors although they look old are in fact 20th century, the door frames much older.

Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol
Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol

I love the way that around old buildings grow great stories, some of which might be based on some kind of truth, but many are part of our urban mythology. One story says that the pub was the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s Admiral Benbow in Treasure Island, another story is that Daniel Defoe met Alexander Selkirk, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe here.

Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol
Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol

No self-respecting old building is complete without a ghost and the Llandoger Trow boasts some fifteen of them! Can’t say I’ve ever seen one, although I have seen some rather deathly looking characters emerge at closing time.

Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol
Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol

And round the side is a rather ordinary door and this ‘upside down’ window.

Window, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol
Door, Llandoger Trow, King Street, Bristol

And that’s it for this week.

by Scooj

More fabulous doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

Thursday doors

Doors 47 – Fowey

My sister and family have recently bought a farmhouse in Cornwall not too far south of Bodmin. This is excellent news for me, as there is a ready-made bolt-hole for short breaks with the family and dog. In fact I posted some Fowey doors a short while back on such a visit with my daughter in August. Even better than that is that it can serve as a new base for my annual fishing trips with my fishing partner of thirty years.

At the start of September, he and I went away for a few days and our primary task was to check out the coastline from St Austell to Plymouth. Now I am very familiar with Cornwall and spent pretty much every school holiday in Flushing, opposite Falmouth, staying with my grandparents, but this South East coastline of Cornwall has largely remained off my radar.

On our last day we decided to pop into Fowey for some breakfast before fishing on the other side of the estuary in Polruan. As it happened, we abandoned that idea and instead fished the most beautiful bay imaginable called Lantic Bay, a few miles East of Polruan.

Enough context setting – in short, I found myself back in Fowey, so here are some more doors from this recent fishing trip.

Basement door and thick walls, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Basement door and thick walls, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Basement door and thick walls, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Basement door and thick walls, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Boat builder's yard door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Boat builder’s yard door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Cottage door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Cottage door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Quay House door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Quay House door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Dangerous secret door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Dangerous secret door, Fowey, Cornwall, September 2018
Lantic Bay, a hidden jewel, Cornwall September 2018
Lantic Bay, a hidden jewel, Cornwall September 2018

And that’s it for this week.

by Scooj

More doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

 

Thursday doors

Doors 46 – Citta di Castello – part 3

The final instalment of doors from Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, where I (not so recently any more) spent a week with my family on our summer holiday. ‘Citta’ was the nearest city to where we were staying and is a place that we have visited many times over the years. This area of Italy is a particular favourite of ours, but this is the first time I have visited with a ‘door chip’ inserted. There is a little more to some of these doors than first meets the eye.

This door was the entrance to some apartments and played host to tons of small tags and graffiti. Most of the other doors on this main shopping street were not afforded the same attention.

Graffiti door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
Graffiti door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018

There are many views and scenes in Italy that unsurprisingly remind you of some of the great Italian artists – the door below and the archway leading up to it and all the colours and shadows screamed Giorgio de Chirico to me.

'De Chirico' door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
‘De Chirico’ door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018

I did a little research on the next door, because there was something about it that was rather special. It is in fact a door of the dead, and thanks this post on the fabulous website Experience Tuscany and Umbria, I can tell you a little more about it. The door dates back to medieval times and would usually be set to one side of the main dwelling entrance. It was only ever used for taking a deceased body out of the home in a coffin, after which the doorway was bricked up on the inside to prevent death from returning. I believe that many of these doors can be found in old Italian houses.

Door of the dead, Corso Cavour, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
Door of the dead, Corso Cavour, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018

The final door is another rather peculiar one which was in the wall of the crypt of the Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio by the exit. It was an iron gate, not very special in its own right but it was what lay behind it that was a bit creepy.

Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018

I have been to catacombs and many crypts and have seen many skeletons and relics and expect this kind of thing in Italy, but this display was simply weird. The cellar room had a scene reminiscent of Pinocchio, presumably something for children to look at, but in my view the stuff of nightmares. Interesting nonetheless.

Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018
Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, August 2018

And that’s it from Citta di Castello…more Italian doors soon.

by Scooj

More doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

 

Thursday doors

Doors 44 – Citta di Castello – part 2

This is the second instalment of doors from Citta di Castello in Umbria and a nice reminder for me of our recent summer break  – I must try to hang on to that holiday feeling for as long as possible to see me through the winter. Some nice ones here, I hope you enjoy them.

OK, so it's a window pretending to be a door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
OK, so it’s a window pretending to be a door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Graffiti and tags door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Graffiti and tags door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Door with plenty of character, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Door with plenty of character, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Main door of the Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Main door of the Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy

by Scooj

More doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

Thursday doors

Doors 44 – Citta di Castello – part 1

I hadn’t realised that I had taken so many pictures of doors in Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy during a recent holiday there, so I have had to break down this post into manageable chunks. This is chunk 1. Enjoy.

Entrance to the Commune di Citta di Castello
Entrance to the Commune di Citta di Castello
Steps and door inside the Commune di Citta di Castello
Steps and door inside the Commune di Citta di Castello
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Hosta in a pot and Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Hosta in a pot and Double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Green double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Green double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Another green double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Another green double door, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Doors and door at the end of the street, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Doors and door at the end of the street, Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy
Wall, Door. That's about it. Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy.
Wall, Door. That’s about it. Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy.

by Scooj

More doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

 

Thursday doors

Doors 43

This week I offer you another little gallery of doors from a recent trip to Umbria Italy. This set of doors are from a small hilltop town called Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, nestled between Arezzo to the west and Citta di Castello to the east.

We used to visit this area quite frequently in the 1980s and 1990s and I recall the town forever playing host to a couple of large cranes. These were lovingly (and slowly) restoring the whole town and some of its buildings. The cranes have gone now, thank goodness.

Some doors are the originals, but you might notice that the feature image, for example, is a faithful reproduction. I love the way this little town has retained its heritage without giving in to the trappings of modern urbanisation (apart from the rather unnecessarily ugly interpretation board below).

Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Palazzo Marchesi Bourbon del Monte, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018
Door, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Umbria, August 2018

by Scooj

More doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0