Odda’s Chapel

21 Jan

Not really a day out: more of a gentle excursion to explore more of our local history.  We are rich not only in Roman antiquities and medieval wool trade towns, but also Saxon relics — including Odda’s Chapel, built in 1056.  Reading up before our jaunt was so much fun: English Heritage, Wikipedia, Early British Kingdoms, Sacred Destinations (fantastic photos here), and even a local holiday cottage all have wonderful pages about the chapel.

But before I go on I should say: calm down.  My last day out was a bit of a wild ride.  Odda’s Chapel is instead an oasis of calm and peacefulness.  After a long week of — well, let’s just say a long week — even looking at the photos is like a meditation on calm.  Breathe in — breathe out — and join me for a short walk.

The Chapel is tucked down a small one lane road and past a few innocuous houses.  During out visit we saw not another living soul but these cows.

I’ve been warned about these.  We paid!

It’s a good thing the gate is so clear about where it is located:

Because the view of the chapel from the road is so discreet as to be almost invisible:

And look — there’s another house attached to the chapel. (Read one of the histories for more information — the chapel was lost to history for hundreds of years and turned into a several forms of human dwelling.)

Round the corner.

And enter.

View from just inside the door.

Check out that roof.

The walls are almost a blank canvas — how does your imagination paint them?  With firesmoke, incense, whitewashing, murals, echoing the sounds of laughter or prayers — ?

View from the corner across from the entry.

Closer to that Saxon arch.

Through the arch, a copy of the original dedication stone — the original now at Oxford.

A view through the open timbered ceiling to the Tudor walls above.

Small offerings left to whatever remains of the locus dei.

View back through the arch.

The Chapel is kept impeccably tidy and neat — a testament to the English Heritage system.

The story of centuries in those changing patterns of bricks and mortars

Even some delicate graffiti.  (Of course, this made me think of Quake, probably not the artist’s intention.)

The grilled door invites you back out into the daylight.

And stroll back down for a last goodbye to the cows.

What a satisfying visit.  No crowds, no souvenir shops, no loud signs or even a gatekeeper to watch — just immediate communion with the spirit of the place and whatever remains of the Saxon kings and people who lived and worshipped here.


8 Responses to “Odda’s Chapel”

  1. Zazzy January 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    If only there were rhinos on the lawn…. You’re making me want to get out and do more touring around this area. The history isn’t as old but there are still things to see!

    • Monique January 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Yes! Well, maybe not yes to the rhinos, but yes to discovering the history around us!

  2. Neda January 25, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    We went here in December when my parents came to visit, and took the public footpath. Once you cross the gate, you’ll see a huge tree up ahead with a giant hole in the middle that kids can fit into … yeah, that was pretty much the entirety of our walk!

    • Monique January 25, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Oh how cool! There were other cars in the parking area — maybe that’s where everyone else had got to!


  1. Bug busting « Crumpets in Camelot - January 23, 2012

    […] sure I will anyway, so, I apologize now.  If you are prone to offense, why not go read about that peaceful chapel again and just skip today.  Also if you get itchy when you think about lice, maybe come back […]

  2. Day out in Skye: Bridge, Blood, and Broch « Crumpets in Camelot - April 20, 2012

    […] offerings are still left at Trumpan church.  This reminded me of the small bowl at Odda’s Chapel.  How strange we humans […]

  3. Day out: Hailes Church « Crumpets in Camelot - September 15, 2012

    […] to Sudeley Castle and only a few steps away from Hailes Abbey.  These small churches — like Odda’s Chapel or Elkstone Church — have an emotive appeal that transcends their size and relative lack of […]

  4. Day out: Rollright Stones and Pi=yum « Crumpets in Camelot - January 6, 2013

    […] since fallen.  A hollow in the top face now collects offerings from visitors.  (Reminding me of Odda’s Chapel and a church in Skye.  Always have your pence handy if you’d like to honor the local gods in […]

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