|This is the nave, which gives you an idea of the ancientness of it. |
It is the oldest part still standing and is 12th century ie the middle of the middle ages.
The oak ceiling was added in 16th century, and looks pretty fresh.
A photo of the floor tiles that particularly caught my eye can be found by clicking on this link.
(My version of the same photo is below but much poorer quality).
The simple natural colours and stylishly controlled leaf patterns appeal. As does the way they have been all put together higgledy-piggeldy here. Perhaps they are familiar because of the use of similar images and styles by Laura Ashley in my 1970s childhood. Or just because such things are all over England and Wales in one degree of decay or other. It was refreshing to be looking at images so familiar and resonant for me personally. I began to wonder whether references to an ancient version of my own culture would be considered cheating for this part of the course.
Medieval floor tiles from Winchester Cathedral, showing the lovely colours
if not the sophisticated designs of the St David's tiles.
A week later we visited the marvellous History Now! festival for historical reenactors organised by English Heritage. Most of the participants were dressed in historically accurate costume, and much of that was from the middle ages. I did some sketches and found out a lot about fashion trends from the mid- middle ages. Interestingly, early middle ages were decorated more like Viking clothes, but by 12th century wealthy women were wearing girdles, and had long trumpet sleeves, often with a contrasting colour inside.
Seeing these things, and feeling the calm but busy atmosphere of the Cathedral and Bishop's Palace led me to do some sketchbook studies of Middle ages designs, and an investigation of embroidery from that same period of around the 12th century (see Opus Anglicorum entry).