Walking along the far end of Grove Road up towards the crossroads, one could see some graffiti (sadly now painted over again) done by a local artist. It might not have been be to everyone’s taste but it livened up a dark and dank walk along the River Hiz under the rail bridge with colour and style. There have been other more complex pieces previously, but hopefully some new ones will be done again soon.
At the junction of Whitehill Road and St John’s Road at the top of Hollow Lane, is a house that has an absolutely wonderful roof finial in the shape of a dragon. Today being St. George’s Day (April 23rd), I thought the dragon finial would tie in nicely with the story of St. George and The Dragon. (http://tinyurl.com/2v6vfa)
As well as being the patron saint of England, St George is also the patron saint of Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Ethiopia, Palestine and Russia. Pretty good going for a man who was born in Lydda – Modern day Lod in Israel (but was Palestine before Israel invaded) and lived in Nicomedia – The once capital of Bithynia (part of Modern day Anatolia in Turkey)
It has been suggested that perhaps England could have an English martyr for its patron saint, such as St Oswald – King of Bernicia (north part of Northumbria) or even a British saint such as St Alban who was martyred at Verulamium (St.Albans) rather than a foreign imported saint. Who knows, but until then, we have St. George.
The iconic view of Hitchin is of this one above; The great eastern window of the chancel of the Church of St. Mary’s built in c1450. When the High Altar was moved against the wall of the chancel in the 19th century, 4 feet of the great eastern window was lost. Imagine just how much more impressive this perpendicular style stainded glass window would have been with that extra length added!
For a change, I thought I would include a more ‘aerial’ view of Hitchin by showing it from a much higher level. This was taken from St. Mary’s Church bell tower roof looking across the roof tops of properties in churchyard towards Market Place. This is a view most people won’t see as they won’t go up the bell tower of the church or just never look up at the buildings that surround them.
You can see the old Corn Exchange (now Que Pasa) and to its right, the building that houses Waterstones’ bookshop and the snooker hall above it. Immediately to the right of those is the building that contains Merricks (the sweetshop) and the dentist L. Granhed above that.