Friday, August 21, 2009

Clock Tower Blues

I had planned a picture of the clock tower nearly obscured by the leaves. But my shot looked like a lot of leaves and the tower was hidden completely. I resurrected this photo from a very clear day in the spring when the weather was a little sunnier than the present summer! In the Middle Ages, towers were universally used as watchtowers, places of vigilance and observation. This one does look like that too, with its castellated structure and narrow window slits. Yet they were conceived as ladders that linked heaven and earth. In this case, the tower looks up rather than down. The alchemists Athanor (an enclosed furnace chamber) draws on the shape of the tower to demonstrate the upward movement of transmutations like lead to gold or flesh to the spirit. A tower invariably has an underground well with much rubble - so joining not only heaven and earth but also the underworld. Surely St Bartholomew's can be no different? On inspection there does seem to be a cellar, so we shall see.