Last Friday was the most beautiful warm and sunny Spring day so I packed up my paints to seek pastures new, and do some painting ‘en plein air’. I had not been down the Duntisbourne valley before (just west of Cirencester) but with daffodils lining the lanes it was the place to be ‘far from the madding crowd’.
With mixed results I sat and daubed, but in the afternoon came across this obscure spot, not even signposted from the road. It is a tiny Saxon church with a ‘saddle back’ roof on the tower – it is a bit crooked, it’s not just my painting! It was the most peaceful spot in which to sit and paint, in the shade of an old ivy-clad wall. The valley dropped away to a babbling brook far below, and when the shadows had lengthened too far for me to follow, I found myself reluctant to return once again to the world.
It is well-known that many churches built on sacred pagan sites were dedicated to St. Michael (who legend has it fought with the angels against the devil). I wonder if this were the case here?