Fort Church, Willemstad, Curacao


Willemstead, Curacao “Fort” Church
Neth. W. Indies

Google Street View.

The present-day Fortchurch in historic Fort Amsterdam is the oldest church still in daily use on Curacao. Construction took place between 1767 and 1771 and the facade bears the date 1769. It is known that the construction cost 5,500 pesos (approximately 11,000 guilders), but nothing is known of the architect (although both Hendrik de Hamer and Frederik Staal were closely involved in the work). The vicarage stood next to the church on the spot that is currently the seat of the Government.

The Fortchurch is not large, (20.5 X 13.25 m), but is particularly high, with the tallest point of the tower reaching 16 meters above ground level. Given the small area of space available within the Fort, careful planning had to be done for the way it would be used. The high ceilings also doubled as an effective area in which to dry and store ship sails, which were hoisted up by pulley. The original tower of the Church was octagonal and was replaced by a round one in 1903, (which is clearly marked on the facade), designed by Mr. A.W. Statius Muller, the Head of the Building Department.
The Fortchurch

In 1804 a cannonball fired by British captain John Bligh, of HMS Theseus, hit the church. Bligh led a small squadron that captured the fort in February 1804. The ball is still embedded in the southwestern wall of the fort church
Wikipedia.

Vicars’ Close & Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


Vicars’ Close, Wells
No date or publishers clues (About 1920, give or take a decade.)

The body of Vicars Choral has been in existence since the 1100s, singing the daily round of divine services in the Cathedral in place of the canons. Initially they lodged among the townsfolk rather than on Cathedral grounds, allowing them to succumb to worldly temptation. To rectify this unsatisfactory situation, in 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded a College of Vicars, of whom there were more than forty, and provided a communal hall and buildings for accommodation grouped around a quadrangle, in much the same manner as an Oxford or Cambridge college. Bishop Ralph also endowed the Vicars with a landed estate which provided them with a small income. In the early fifteenth century a chapel was built for the Vicars, and the quadrangle was converted into a street, now known as Vicars’ Close. Largely undisturbed, Vicars’ Close is the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe and still houses the organists and the men of the choir, as well as other employees of the Cathedral.
Wells Cathedral

The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, were constructed during the mid 14th century and the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. Although changes and improvements have been made over the years, the properties are still essentially the same as they were centuries ago. Almost all of the 27 houses on Vicars’ Close are protected as grade 1 listed buildings. The street derived from a significant land grant by the canon of Wells Cathedral, Walter de Hulle. The chantry priests were supported by the rents from tenants who lived on the land.

During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known as the Vicars Choral. At the end of the street is the Vicars’ Hall which housed several communal and administrative offices relating to the Vicars Choral. In particular, was a room associated with the collection of rents used to support the clergy. This hall contains a gateway that links Vicars’ Close to St Andrew Street.

Atlas Obscura

The residences are built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group. There were originally 22 houses on the east side and 20 on the west. They line each side of a quadrangle which appears longer than it is because of false perspective achieved by building the houses at the upper northern end nearest the chapel 9 feet (2.7 m) closer together than those at the lower southern end closest to the Vicars’ Hall. Each house originally comprised a ground floor hall of approximately 20 by 13 feet (6.1 by 4.0 m) and an upper floor of the same size. Both had a fireplace in the front wall. Washing facilities and a latrine were outside the back door. The date of some of the buildings is unclear but it is known that some had been built by 1363 and the rest were completed by 1412.
Wikipedia.


Wells Cathedral  [View] from North West

Street View

St Botolph’s Priory, Colchester, England, UK


Colchester Abbey
Publisher: Christian Novels Publishing Co.

Google Street View

As can be seen from its ruins in the picture, there was once a considerable early Norman Church here. St Botolph’s Priory was founded in the late 11th century as the first British house of the Augustinian Canons. The church was built of rubble and also Roman bricks, brought from nearby Roman ruins in Colchester.
British Library: Inside View of St Botolph’s Priory at Colchester in Essex.

Founded about 1100, St Botolph’s was one of the first Augustinian priories in England. An impressive example of early Norman architecture, built in flint and reused Roman brick, the church displays massive circular pillars, round arches and an elaborate west front. It was badly damaged by cannon fire during the Civil War siege of 1648.
English Heritage

St. Botolph’s Priory was a medieval house of Augustinian canons in Colchester, Essex, founded c. 1093. The priory had the distinction of being the first and leading Augustinian convent in England until its dissolution in 1536. . . . The priory was dissolved in accordance with the Act of 1536. On 26 May in that year it was granted with all its possessions, including the manors of Blindknights, Canwikes and Dilbridge to Sir Thomas Audley. Audley had licence on 12 September 1540, to grant the site of the priory to John Golder and Anastasia his wife.

As the priory had been an Augustinian house, and therefore the church had both parochial and conventual functions, the nave was retained as a parish church. The choir, which had been solely for the use of the canons, was not spared however, and was demolished along with the cloisters, chapter house and associated buildings. The church remained this way until the Siege of Colchester in 1648 during the Second English Civil War.[6] A Royalist army had seized the town, which was then surrounded and bombarded by the New Model Army led by Thomas Fairfax, with St Botolph’s being caught in the crossfire of the assault on South Gate, reducing it to its present ruinous state.
Wikipedia.

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2 (1907) “Houses of Austin canons: Priory of St Botolph, Colchester”

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar”—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.
Wikipedia.

Official Website


London, Westminster Abbey (West front).

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Church, Glastonbury, England


c.1910

Text reads:
THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN BRITAIN.
(GLASTONBURY)
“St. Phillip, willing still further to spread abroad the Gospel, chose out twelve from his disciples to preach the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and over each he extended his right hand most devotedly, and sent them into Britain to declare the Word of Life ; over whom, as it is reported, he set Joseph of Arimathaea, a most dear friend, who also had buried the Lord. . . . These holy men thus dwelling in this desert place, were, in a little time, admonished in a vision by the Archangel Gabriel, to build a Church in honour of the Blessed Virgin, in a place to which they were supernaturally directed ; obedient to the divine precept they immediately built a chapel of the form of that which had been shown them ; the walls were of osiers wattled together all round. This was finished in the one-and-thirtieth year (A.D. 64) after our Lord’s Passion, and though rude and misshapen in form, was in many ways adorned with heavenly virtues ; and being the first Church in this region, the Son of God was pleased to grace it with particular dignity, dedicating it Himself in honour of His Mother.”
[Extract from Malmesbury’s account of the first Christian Church in Britain].

Keighley Shared Church/St Andrew, Keighley, England


Keighley Parish Church
1900s
Publisher: W. Ritchie & Sons (“Reliable series”)

Google Street View (approximate)

A charter of 1168 is the first written evidence of St Andrew Church, Kichalaie (Old English for Keighley) though records go back to the 9th century when monks living in the Minister at Otley served in Keighley. The first church buildings date from the 12th Century and have been replaced several times culminating in the present St Andrew, completed in 1848. The well-established churchyard includes a gravestone dated back to 1690. As Keighley’s industry grew so the town centre church expanded. The relatively modest sized St Andrew’s church was demolished in 1805 and the present larger church was built.
Diocese of Leeds: the Parish of Keighley, p.5

The population of Keighley grew as a market town from the Black Death until the Industrial Revolution in line with the rest of the population of England. The increase in population meant that the medieval church was not large enough. It was blown up in 1805, and a new building erected in 1807. Unfortunately the roof was badly built, so that in 1843 the building had to be demolished and the present building erected in 1848.
Explore Churches

Baptistery, Cathedral & Campianile, Pisa, Italy


PISA – Duomo, Battistero e Campanile dell alto

Baptistery, Cathedral & Campianile (bell tower)

The Pisa Baptistery of St. John (Italian: Battistero di San Giovanni) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building in Pisa, Italy. Construction started in 1152 to replace an older baptistery, and when it was completed in 1363, it became the second building, in chronological order, in the Piazza dei Miracoli, near the Duomo di Pisa and the cathedral’s free-standing campanile.
Wikipedia: Pisa Baptisery
Wikipedia: Pisa Cathedral

The square of the Cathedral of Pisa represents the best example of the Pisa Romanesque style through its magnificence and perfection, a harmonious fusion of classical, early Christian, Lombard and eastern motifs. The buildings maintain a stylish unity. The Cathedral, the Tower, the Baptistery and the Camposanto represent together the allegory of human life.
Piazza del Duomo


PISA – Il Campanile
The Bell Tower

Wikipedia: Leaning Tower of Pisa

St Kevin’s Church, Glendalough, Ireland


ST KEVIN’S KITCHEN AND ROUND TOWER, GLENDALOUGH
1932s

Street View

St. Kevin’s Church better known as St. Kevin’s Kitchen is a nave-and-chancel church of the 12th century. It is called St Kevin’s kitchen because people believed that the bell tower was a chimney to a kitchen but really no food was ever cooked there. This stone-roofed building originally had a nave only, with entrance at the west end and a small round-headed window in the east gable. The belfry with its conical cap and four small windows rises from the west end of the stone roof in the form of a miniature round tower.
Visit Wicklow

This stone-roofed building originally had a nave only, with entrance at the west end and a small round-headed window in the east gable. The upper part of the window can be seen above what became the chancel arch when the chancel (now missing) and the sacristy were added later. The steep roof, formed of overlapping stones, is supported internally by a semi-circular vault. Access to the croft or roof chamber was through a rectangular opening towards the western end of the vault. The church also had a timber first floor. The belfry with its conical cap and four small windows rises from the west end of the stone roof in the form of a miniature round tower. It is commonly known as St. Kevin’s Kitchen as the bell tower resembles a kitchen chimney. However, food was not cooked here.
Wikipedia.