Beowulf’s boat

I read a review recently of a book that suggested the tale of Beowulf originated on the island of Gotland, off the coast of Sweden, in the Baltic. The author dated the story to 550ad.

The argument sounded plausible – but who knows? What drew my eye was a photograph used as an illustration of a ‘picture stone’ set into the wall of the church at Bro on the island.

https://www.360cities.net/image/bro-church-gotland-sweden

Isn’t it beautiful? Extraordinary that it’s been dated to the 5th century.

If the dating is right it’s not far off contemporaneous with the Saga – and you can easily imagine Beowulf himself, mightiest of Geats, rocking up to Heorot in it.

Beowulf’s boat

At March

We visited March in the Fens yesterday, hoping to see inside the church there. St Wendreda’s is famous for the angels that decorate its medieval timber roof:

The church is kept locked and a leaflet told us to go to a garage nearby and ask for the key – but we found the system discontinued. Two youths, a while before, had taken the keys and robbed the church – so, sadly this photo is only of what we might have seen.

We did see this on the wall of the modern parish hall next door:

Who knows what those slightly anxious cherubs are up to: it could be a choir practice, or the last trump, or something Pol Pot might have recognised…

At March