Find Hook Norton on a map
These photographs from Hook Norton, digitised from some rather elderly slides, leave something to be desired, but they will have to suffice until I can get back to the church. St. Peter is at the left, holding his key (only faintly visible now against the rapidly deteriorating reddish background) At the right and shown in the photograph at the right here is St. Paul, holding the downturned sword of his martyrdom.
No one would claim that the Hook Norton paintings are great art, but, like many another medieval wall painting in rural England, they have an undeniable rustic charm. The two saints (often found together - there are several examples among the paintings on this site) flank the chancel arch and each is accompanied by an angel.The angels are rather impressive with their carefully painted extended wings which I think once had had the peacock patterning found elsewhere, including in élite art. The angel below Peter is shown kneeling below his figure here and that below St. Paul in a corresponding position below Paul on the right. The peacock's eye wing pattern is detectable here as well. One odd feature is the book shown on the lower part of this angel's robe. Perhaps it is intended for Pauls Epistles, signalling his specific mission to the Gentiles and his consequent slightly anomalous position in relation to the original group of twelve followers of Christ. Given the feverish state of 15th century theology in England there is really no telling.
Links to other pages for saints, including Peter and Paul, on this site are in the table below.
I managed to miss the cauldron of Hell at Hook Norton, but this link will take you to a photograph.
But ultimately the great glory of Hook Norton church is the very remarkable Anglo-Saxon font pictured at the left. It is sometimes described as having pagan Signs of the Zodiac, but this can be misleading. Sagittarius, clearly labelled as such, is indeed there (on the opposite side and thus not visible here), but so are Adam and Eve, with the Tree of Life, and this photograph shows them in their postlapsarian state - Eve trying to cover her pudenda at the left, and Adam, now under the Curse of Labour, with a spade, and a rake held over his shoulder. The identifying inscriptions are fading fast, but a drawing produced by an expert in Anglo-Saxon sculpture confirms the identity of the figures.
Find it by following this link Fig. 236, p.25 and searching the PDF for Hook Norton. Trying to separate pagan and Christian imagery in eleventh-century England can be very problematic indeed.
The Saints : Links to all the examples currently on this site
|St. Andrew Martyred, Stoke Dry, Rutland||St. Anne teaching the Virgin to read-Corby Glen, Lincolnshire||St. Antony and the Pig, Barton, Cambridgeshire||St. Barbara : Hessett, Suffolk||St. Bartholomew : Selling, Kent||St.Catherine of Alexandria, life of : Castor, Cambs||St Catherine of Alexandria, Cold Overton, Leicestershire NEW||St.Catherine of Alexandria : Hardley Street, Norfolk|
|St.Catherine of Alexandria : Old Weston, Northants||St.Catherine of Alexandria : Pickering, N. Yorks||St.Catherine of Alexandria, life of : Sporle, Norfolk||St. Catherine of Alexandria, Martyrdom of: Burton Latimer, Northants NEW||St. Catherine of Alexandria or another female saint : Ashley, Hampshire NEW||St. Clement : South Leigh, Oxon.||Scenes from the life of St. Cuthbert : Pittington, Co. Durham NEW||St. Dunstan holding the Devil by the nose : Barton, Cambs|
|St.Edmund : Boxford, Suffolk||St. Edmund : Lakenheath, Suffolk||St. Edmund, Martyrdom of : Bishopsbourne, Kent||St.Edmund, Martyrdom of : Fritton, Norfolk||St. Edmund (or St. Walstan) : Gisleham, Norfolk||St. Edmund, Martyrdom of : Pickering, N.Yorks||St. Edmund, Martyrdom of : Stoke Dry, Rutland||St. Edmund, Martyrdom of : Troston, Suffolk|
|St. Edmund, Martyrdom of : Weare Giffard, Devon||St.Eloi, Broughton, Bucks||St. Eloi and the possessed horse, Slapton, Northants||St. Eloi, as bishop & blacksmith, Wensley, N.Yorks||St.Erasmus, Martyrdom of : Chippenham, Cambs||St. Etheldreda : Willingham, Cambs||St. Francis Preaching to the Birds : Little Kimble, Bucks||St.Francis Preaching to the Birds : Wissington, Suffolk|
|St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata, Slapton, Northants||St. George & Dragon : Banningham, Norfolk||St. George & Dragon : Broughton, Bucks||St. George & Dragon : Earl Stonham, Suffolk||St. George & Dragon : Fritton, Norfolk||St. George & Dragon : Hornton, Oxon||St. George dedicating himself to the Virgin : Astbury, Cheshire||St. George, with the princess : Little Kimble, Bucks|
|St. George & the Dragon : Kirtlington, Oxon NEW||St.Helena, Broughton, Bucks||St.James the Great : Hales, Norfolk||Life of St. James, Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire||St. James the Great, meeting pilgrims : Wisborough Green, Sussex||St. John the Baptist, Martyrdom of : Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks||St. John the Baptist, Martyrdom of : Heydon, Norfolk||St. John the Baptist, Martyrdom of : Idsworth, Hampshire
||St. John the Baptist, Martyrdom of : Old Weston, Northants
||St. John the Baptist, Martyrdom of : Pickering, N. Yorks
||Life of St. John the Baptist : Cerne Abbas, Dorset
||St. John the Evangelist, Selling, Kent
||St. John the Evangelist, Weston Longville, Norfolk
||St. Margaret of Antioch : Old Weston, Northants
||St. Margaret and the dragon : South Newington, Oxfordshire
||St. Margaret of Antioch Martyred, Stoke Dry, Rutland
||St. Margaret of Antioch, Life of : Charlwood, Surrey
||Life of St. Margaret, Wendens Ambo, Essex
||Martyrdom of St. Margaret, Duxford, Cambridgeshire
||Martyrdom of St. Margaret, Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire NEW
||St. Martin dividing his cloak, Chalgrave, Beds
||St. Martin dividing his cloak, Wareham, Dorset
||St Michael, with kneeling donor, South Newington, Oxfordshire NEW
||St.Nicholas of Myra, life of : Little Horwood, Bucks||St. Nicholas of Myra, two miracles of : Wissington, Suffolk
||St. Nicholas of Myra & the Boys in the Barrel, Padworth, Berkshire
||St.Paul : Black Bourton, Oxon
||St. Paul, Hook Norton, Oxon NEW
|| St. Paul : Beckley, Oxon
||St. Paul : Selling, Kent
||St. Peter, Hook Norton, Oxon NEW
|| St. Peter : Beckley, Oxon
||St.Peter : Black Bourton, Oxon
||St. Peter, Martyrdom of : Chacombe, Northants
||St. Peter : Selling, Kent
||SS. Peter & Paul, Old Idsworth, Hampshire NEW
||St. Roch : Pinvin, Worcs
||St. Sexburga? : Willingham, Cambs
|| S. Stephen, Martyrdom of, North Stoke, Oxon
||St. Stephen, Stoning of: Black Bourton, Oxon
||St. Stephen, Stoning of: Catfield, Norfolk
||St.Swithun (?) enthroned : Old Weston, Northants
||Scenes from the life of St. Swithun : Corhampton, Hampshire
||St. Thomas Becket, blessing, Hauxton, Cambs.
||St. Thomas Becket, Murder of, Marston Magna, Somerset
||St. Thomas Becket, Murder of, North Stoke, Oxfordshire
||St.Thomas Becket, Murder of : South Burlingham, Norfolk
||St. Thomas Becket, Murder of : South Newington, Oxfordshire
||St. Walstan of Bawburgh? or St. Edmund : Gisleham, Norfolk
||St. Zita : Horley, Oxon
||St. Zita : Shorthampton, Oxon
||Unidentified female saint : Heydon |