Friday, 1 July 2016

Heaven in Scarborough ... and then we went to Filey

I tried the door. St Martin-on-the-Hill was locked. But there was a sign alongside - guided tours at 10.30am every Tuesday. I looked at my phone. It was nearly 10am. I looked at my partner. Was it Tuesday? Yes, it was. 

While he took Ted dog off to sample the delights of Scarborough, I counted off the minutes until I could get in. The guide and his wife made me a cup of coffee when they arrived. I was about to enter heaven on earth.  

Almost immediately, I was struck by the similarity with All Saints Church in Selsley, near Stroud, so it was no surprise to learn that this church and that are sister churches, designed by the same architect, G F Bodley, and both fitted out by Morris and Co.  
Our guide took me and three other people who had arrived on a guided tour of the beautiful windows. I'm posting pictures of some my favourites but there are more. 

St Martin divides his cloak in two and gives half to a beggar ...

... then dreams that the beggar is Christ in Majesty, conqueror of sin and  death, holding up the cloak while angels wipe their noses on it kiss it.

The rose window in the west wall, with a central Annunciation designed by Burne Jones, and circling angels by him and William Morris 

The story of SS Dorothea and Theophilus (now demoted to non-official sainthood owing to Lack Of Evidence Of Their Existence), with the most beautiful angel/fruit bearer between them. Dorothea is modelled by Jane Morris.  Burne Jones was paid £12 for its design.

The Three Marys window, originally made for St Martin's Church in Brighton but rejected because it features Lizzie Siddal, a probable suicide 

Mary Magdalene, modelled by Annie Miller and designed by Morris

Mary the Virgin, modelled by Georgiana Burne Jones and designed by her husband

Mary of Bethany, modelled by Lizzie Siddal and designed by Morris

As well as these and other beautiful windows, there is a pulpit with panels on the front painted to designs by Ford Madox Brown and Morris. The top row shows the Four Evangelists; the bottom panels, depicting SS Augustine of Hippo, Gregory, Jerome and Ambrose of Milan, were considered close to popery by some of the townsfolk of Scarborough and had to be curtained when the pulpit was first installed, for fear of causing offence. 

To the side there are two panels featuring scenes from the Annunciation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 
The organ 

The rood screen and cross, both late additions after the death of the principle benefactor of the Church, Mary Craven, the crossing of which  symbolises death

The chancel, or heaven

The east window, telling the story of the Crucifixion through the Parable of the Vineyard

The beautiful beautiful ceiling of the Lady Chapel

Tearing myself away, I met up with the Northerner, who was rather underwhelmed by the secular delights of Scarborough, and we headed off to Filey, his childhood holiday destination. I'd been enthusing about how much I'd liked it during my stay a couple of years ago, when I went to my nephew's wedding, but I hadn't had my dog with me then and now much of the beach was out of bounds to us - or under water. 

And it was really hard to find anywhere decent to eat. And a gull managed to shit on both of us with one well-aimed evacuation. 

'Never mind,' said the woman in Boots when we went in for baby wipes. 'At least it wasn't one of those horrible gulls from Bridlington.' 

Yes, even non local gulls are to be denigrated in post-Brexit Britain. 

'We must remember to buy a lottery ticket' said the Northerner as he dabbed off a second direct hit - but needless to say, we forgot. 

Still at least one of our party was having a great time ...