Shimpling

Shimpling is a great name. It *sounds* like it ought to be standing proud on a spit of land somewhere on the coast; a diminutive David against the grey swollen Goliath of the ocean.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. In reality it belongs to St George, and is tucked neatly inland, accessed by an avenue of lime trees and a pretty troll bridge.
 
 
 I have to say it, the church has good glass.
The 15th c tracery of this window shows a very visual representation of that *three in one* Holy Trinity idea (three circles interlocking with a triangle). It is a neat way of explaining how you can have something that is singular and tripartite all at the same time. There may have been a Trinity guild in Shimpling which would have had a guild chapel. I google it on my phone and find the odd oblique on line assertion that this is the case, but nothing really solid.
At this point I have given up and am busily reading the church notes, "The chevron shield on the left is a Hanningfield one". Not far away there is a Hanningfield green and a Hanningfield Farm (apparently a corruption of *hanging field* - how charming is that?) 
"The shield on the right is attributed to the Morley family" and the blue shield; well even I recognise the three crowns of St Edmund.

There are also beautiful sculptures in the church; a standalone mausoleum outside the church...

It has everything you could possibly want...
 
 .... including a detached fainting house in the churchyard.
Oh yes - this sensible looking building set apart from the church - is where you go to pass out if your corset is too tight. I kid you not ... go and google fainting house or fainting room and wonder at the strange repressed world of the 19th century female. This one even has a fire *for comfort*!

I have a feeling that fainting was a socially acceptable but very passive aggressive ruse to be employed against the patriarchy. Things get a bit too much? Retreat into unconsciousness. Not that I'm saying that corsets weren't dreadfully restricting; but you do see illustrations of women managing all sorts of strenuous actives in them without blacking out. However at the first sign of stress -  *THUMP* on the floor you fall (while the male in your life is left rummaging for the smelling salts).






















The wasp waist may have left the building with the Victorians but the wasps are still welcome. Up in the tracery, minding their own business building their magnificent, sinewy spouted house. I watch them for a good 10 minutes pondering about the adjective *waspish* and how it is still applied to the female of my species.



The bulk of Shimpling's graffiti comes post corset and shows how, at times of high emotion people don't just faint, they carve out their hopes and wishes on the wall as well. Nice that there is a proliferation of love hearts.

The only piece of old graffiti I can find is a heavily abraided daisy wheel on the door jamb. Of course there may be more good stuff in the tower, but I'm here by myself and the door is locked.






 
There is some 18th c carving relating to a John Negus, of whom I can find nothing very much.
That and a tiny Marian mark, which surprises me as I thought there would be more.


Who were you Mr Negus and how did you end up carving your details here?
Were you married? Did you have to carry smelling salts?