William Morris and Selsley Church

Today was hot & beautiful with a clear blue sky. It was my husband’s birthday & he wanted to make a visit to All Saints Church, Selsley. It has associations with both William Morris & the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Selsley is under 30mins drive from our home & we have visited twice before. On both occasions we found the church to be beautiful, but chillingly cold. Today, however, was different.

Selsley Church 030

First, there was lunch at The Bear of Rodborough, so called because of the ancient stuffed bear standing in reception (& if I’d been waiting that long to check in, I think I’d try somewhere else!) Lunch was wonderful & we sat out in the courtyard enjoying a tiny patch of shade & the square of clear blue sky above us. We then drove across Rodborough Common & over to the opposite side of the valley to Selsley. The church is slightly outside the village & on both previous visits we had difficulty in locating it – today we had the benefit of sat nav on my new phone!

Selsley Church

The road climbs steeply through the village & then we took a right turn in the direction of King’s Stanley. All Saints is a short way along on the right. It is a most distinctive looking church & the churchyard has open views to the surrounding hills.

Work began on the church in 1861 & it was consecrated the following year by the Bishop of Gloucester. The architect, George Frederick Bodley, was a friend of members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood & he enlisted their help in its decoration.

Morris & Co

Although I love the gothic architecture, for me, the magical quality of All Saints is centred around its exquisitely beautiful windows. Outstanding amongst these is the Rose Window, which was one of the first commissions for the newly formed Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.

The Rose Window

The Rose Window

The Rose Window design is based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis. The central circle shows Christ seated above the waters. The other roundels can be viewed by clicking on the icons in the gallery below:

You can read more about Selsley Church by clicking here.

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