About North Curry
The village of North Curry is situated on a slight rise plumb in the middle of the dead flat expanse of the Somerset levels and Curry moor. Its advantageous position, above the annual flooding, makes it an ideal spot for habitation, so it’s no surprise that there has been a settlement here from at least Saxon times. It also has the small distinction of being sold off as part of a ransom deal for the freedom of Richard the Lion Heart in 1194.
North Curry Church
The village church is dedicated to the apostles and saints of Peter and Paul and goes back to the 14th century. It overlooks vast parts of the levels and moors which has earned it the nickname of ‘The Cathedral of the Moors’.
Drawing and painting the church
The church has elegant parts to it, though overall, it looks a bit of a tough customer. Its squat, flat tower certainly gives it a masculine feel, and the blue, cool stone reflects what can be a bit of an unforgiving landscape.
So when I came to draw it, I felt I needed to pull in the hardy land around. I sat the church in the rolling, almost lumpy churchyard, and in the background you can see frequently flooding Curry moor and the Somerset levels.
The client mentioned that years ago the vicar used to keep six white goats in the churchyard. These animals were employed as unwitting lawn mowers and for the general fertilisers of the grass.
I did wonder how the goats were kept off the flowers of those that were being buried. I expect there must have been some contingency for this dilemma. Six hungry goats would make a fine job of wrecking the solemnity of any internment. The goats are no longer there, though I couldn’t resist putting them in for old time’s sake. Goats are lovely creatures.
I really enjoyed painting North Curry church and feel fortunate that my job allows me to discover places that I would never normally come across. Since my commission I have discovered that the village has a brewery too. I must go back I think.