Wednesday, 13 October 2010

St Michael's old and new

The painting of St Michael’s, Little Coates belonged to Joseph Chapman and is from about 1890, and the photograph is (obviously) an attempt to picture it from the same spot today. Standing on exactly the same spot proved impossible (it would mean climbing into a neighbour’s garden and photographing his fence) but this is close, and I’ve been glad to get the two churches roughly the same size to aid comparison. I’ve just stuck the pair up in the church near where the painting hangs.

The churchyard has clearly been extended since the painting was made, and the substantial 1913-15 additions to the church paid for from Chapman's legacy make quite a difference too. The huge angel on Chapman's memorial for his wife can be seen on left of the new picture, and a comparison with the painting shows that it was erected quite close to what was then the gate (which is what one sees in the postcard image of it posted on 13th March). The path from the south door to this old gate would have been roughly straight, which explains why it sets off in that direction today before diverting sharp right to where the modern gate is.

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