St John The Baptist Church, Pilton Village, Somerset. Grade 1 listed building.
After growing up in the City of Portsmouth in Hampshire, I then moved to London. I lived in that mad bad and most thrilling city for near on 24 years. I still work mostly in London, though I now live in the delightful Somerset village of Pilton.
About Pilton, Somerset
Initially known as a place where Jesus may have visited. Known today as the home of the Glastonbury Festival. Gods of Rock.
The village is mentioned in The Doomsday book commissioned by William I and later administered by the monks of Glastonbury Abbey which is a few miles up the road, and their vast Tithe Barn still survives. They, however, did not as Henry VIII got rid of the lot of them during the reformation in the 16th Century.
Many of the local houses are built from the local blue lias stone. Initially, blue lias was used by necessity as there simply wasn’t anything else permanent available whereas Blue lias pops up out of the ground with every ploughing. Some I suppose may have used wood, though they are long gone, washed away by 100 years of rainy Somerset winters, and summers!
Thankfully, Blue Lias is made of tougher stuff and we have structures in Pilton that have been there for over 500 years.
Just as in London, my sketchbook is never far, and I draw most days so Pilton often pops up as an easy subject matter, and here are the fruits of some of that labour.
Most of the drawings are simply casual notes of the place where I live, some are thoughts on future paintings, and some did indeed end up as paintings although most did not.
Pilton Methodist Church
For such a small village, there seems to be an abundance of places to worship. This modest church is well attended and has one of the finest views in the village.
It was a joy to draw and I painted it too.
In London, there can be a 20 year waiting list for an allotment although here we actually have spare ones. This drawing is of my allotment. I drew the Beetroots far larger than they grew. No snail holes either.
When I first arrived in Pilton, I walked a mile or two down Cockmill Lane and drew this view to the South. Not so much a rugged landscape as ragged.
A Stone Stile
There are a number of footpaths through the village and stiles are fitted to keep the sheep in the fields should some ‘outsider’ leave a gate open.
Two views across the Vale of Avalon
I did these two quick drawings whilst standing on top of some scaffolding erected to build a house. I wasn’t completely comfortable blowing about up there. I think this is reflected in these rough drawings.
A view to Glastonbury Tor from Muddy Lane
All the lanes on Worthy Farm are muddy, I don’t really see why this one got named ‘muddy’, as it doesn’t seem to be muddier than any of the others.
You can see the bones of the Pyramid Stage from The Glastonbury Festival in front.
I drew this on a rare warm Feburary morning. I later painted the same scene though in July.
A house on Bread Street
I noticed this house the week I moved in and was determined to draw and paint it. It also has fine views of the church. Inside, you will also discover the finest Lemon Drizzle cake in all Christendom.
A drawing tour of Pilton would not be complete without a few cows. When I first moved here, a whole herd chased me. I considered them to be quite benign until then. They are safer beneath cellophane in the supermarket.
The Ebenezer Chapel
Originally a Bible Christian Chapel, though now a private house. Big wigs hire it out during the festival. I like this building as the front looks like a screaming face.
Never tidy, always interesting. Ray digs the graves in Pilton.
I live in Ford Lane, and as the name suggests, it has a ford at the bottom. It is clear, crisp, and fast running. I have a paddle in the summer on my lunch breaks.
A lone house on the way to Wells
I love the shape and rather ominous look of this building. Its isolation only adds to the feeling. I drew it as a prelude to a painting that never happened. Maybe one day.