Rescuing St Aidan’s was not without its challenges. It is Grade II* listed and a treasured example of a building that sits within two influences, the Gothic Revival and the Arts and Crafts movement, with many admirers at English Heritage, the Victorian Society, and SPAB, all of whom were consulted.
St Aidan’s is important because of the survival of the complete building with all its fixtures and fittings designed by Temple Moore, in their original state. Following the Arts and Crafts influence the furnishings exhibit a high degree of craftsmanship and individual design.
It is decorated in rich, deep colours throughout the church to complement the original scheme, making a cosy and atmospheric retreat.
The original paintwork on the furnishings has not been touched in 130 years.
The wall colour has been restored to the original rich and vibrant scheme designed by Temple Moore. (They carefully scraped away the over painting to find the original colour scheme and matched with modern paints). They discovered that the colours were very typical of the time. Just as Gothic Revival architects looked to forms and patterns from mediaeval times for their buildings – pointed arches, steeply sloping roofs, and decorative tracery – they looked to the rich colours of mediaeval paintings and textiles to decorate their buildings.
The stencilling done by Bodley at St Mark’s English church in Florence uses gothic script motifs that are very similar to the motifs on the ceiling at St Aidan’s.
A wonderful bit of history and you can feel like you are really in the countryside with a working farm next door complete with waddling ducks, cheeky chickens and grazing sheep.