Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Herringswell, Suffolk

St Ethelbert, locked, lots of keyholders listed, is, in a nice way, rather plain [the huge south transept chapel stands out, as does the bizarre Davies monument] but contains some fantastic glass by Christopher Whall and pupils. From the web:

Church rebuilt by Arthur Blomfield in 1869-70 when the existing church was destroyed by fire. This church has a remarkable collection of glass by Arts and Crafts artists including three stained glass windows by Whall. These include "The Good Shepherd" of 1902 and the "Resurrection". "The Good Shepherd" is the East window and depicts Christ as the Good Shepherd, with quotations from Psalm 23 in the surrounding scenes. The window was commissioned by Mr.Leonard Davies in memory of his brother Herbert Davies and the black faced sheep in the scenes were drawn by Whall's sister-in-law, Alice Chaplin, who was sculptress to Queen Victoria. It is recorded that the sheep depicted are exact portraits of sheep in the pedigree flock owned by Mr.Davies. The Whall window on the South side of the church is that depicting the "Resurrection". Note the symbolic "fish nimbus" which surrounds the figure of Christ. Whall also designed the window at the back of the choir, this in memory of the late Dr Image, the uncle of Selwyn Image, a fellow stained glass artist and friend of Whall. Also in St Ethelbert is the window titled "Come unto Me,all ye that are weary and heavy laden,and I will give you rest" this done by Jasper Brett,a pupil of Christopher Whall. The church also has two stained glass windows which contain no figures but are studies of Herringswell in Spring and Autumn. They are by the artist James Clark The church also has a window by Paul Woodroffe another pupil of Whall.

ST ETHELBERT. Rebuilt by Blomfield, 1869-70. The W tower arrangement is odd and rather botched, with two big heavy buttresses sticking out N and S, a buttress reaching up the middle of the W side (with two original single-light windows set in), and inside two octagonal piers to carry the E angles of the tower and a kind of inner flying buttresses to make them safer.* - STAINED GLASS. All C20. E window by Christopher Whall. Others by him, by James Clark (the landscape windows), and other artists. (MEDIEVAL CHURCH. Remains include the responds at the E end of the nave. They indicate a Norman date. LG).

* The Rev. J. T. Munday has informed me that an C18 antiquarian MSS notebook at Elvedon Hall describes this arrangement in the tower - so it is not Blomfield’s.

Christopher Whall Resurrection (6)

Herringswell

Peter Woodroffe Suffer the children (3)

 Mee, in my 1949 fourth edition, missed it.

Flickr.

Saxon Street, Cambridgeshire

Holy Trinity, or the Lord Manners Memorial Church, redundant, is a dire 1876 building by JD Sedding.

HOLY TRINITY (Lord Manners Memorial Church). 1876 by J. D. Sedding, that is before he found his own style. Very humble, red and yellow brick, without tower and with a low short chancel. Windows as grouped lancets. Inside the main arches emphasized by exposed red brick. Nice iron candle-holders attached to the pews.

Lord Manners Memorial Church (1)

Mee, sensibly, didn't bother.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Kennett, Cambridgeshire

St Nicholas, locked, keyholder listed but with a strange caveat "to phone first" - quite why you should phone first to ask to borrow a church key raises, for me, some odd thoughts...are they secret cross dressers, swingers, perhaps closet Satanists or, perhaps the five minute walk back from the church to their house gives them time to find the key which they placed in a secure place, certain they'd never forget, and then did [another thought: if you're going to keep your church locked but list a keyholder, why not post a keyholder note at the top of the drive instead of posting the notice in the north porch?] and anyway they were out; so no internals.

Putting access aside, St Nicholas is a delight; divorced from the village by a pine wood and surrounded by fields, it's a gem.

ST NICHOLAS. Entirely on its own amongst the trees. Away even from any roads. Flint and pebble rubble. N doorway Transitional (columns with shaftrings and waterleaf capitals, round arch). Chancel E.E. (lancets, and at the E end group of three parallel lancets, shafted inside, with shaftrings). N aisle also with lancets. W tower Perp. Arcade of four bays with C14 octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. - ROOD SCREEN. Slim single-light divisions with little tracery, ascribed to the C14.

St Nicholas (4)

KENNETT. It takes its name from the brook on which it stands, in a lovely wooded corner near to Suffolk. The woods enfold its old church like a mantle, furnishing it with a setting which surprises and charms us by its unexpectedness. It is a church in which everything pleases, and we come into it through a Norman doorway above which rises a medieval tower, shaded by trees.

Very effective is the 600-year-old arcade with its great strength, and charming is the elegant tower arch seen from the chancel, making a perfect frame for the rich medley of colour in the west window. The east window is a group of three tall lancets, all of one height, their deep splays framed by arches on slender shafts with lovely bell capitals and with stone heads of bishops set between. The double piscina in the chancel is a gem, with grape clusters at the ends of the richly moulded arches and with fine pillars and flowered drains.

The oak chancel screen is 15th century and has richly carved bays with roses in the spandrels. We noticed that William Godfrey, lord of the manor, was rector here for the last 65 years of last century.

Chippenham, Cambridgeshire

St Margaret, open, is a perfectly pleasant building in a perfectly pleasant village with a perfectly pleasant interior with some good furnishings [including the rather odd wooden monumental "alabaster" effigy in the north aisle which is, in fact, a rather poor pastiche, Thomas Revett's actual alabaster monument and two not bad wallpaintings] but I was left oddly cold by her. It should, on paper be, if not fabulous then at least stirring, but for me it lacked soul - perhaps it was all the chairs and tables piled in to the west end of the north aisle, hopefully not in preparation for removing the pews!

ST MARGARET. Flint and pebble rubble. Large blocked Norman window in the chancel N wall and jambs of more in the E wall (group of three?). Remains of a further Norman window in the nave S wall close to the E end. This was replaced by a finely moulded C13 arch, The rest of the arcade is also of the C13 and impressive in its length and the closeness of the piers to each other. Seven bays, on the N side with piers alternately circular and octagonal, double-chamfered arches. On the S side the piers were replaced by a curiously bleak design. It may be C17. The tower-arch is Perp as is the whole W tower. Outside it is decorated by three niches round the W window. Battlemented top. The doorways are C13 on the S side (altered, but remains of the fine moulded arch), C14 on the N (double-chamfered; no capitals). The S porch doorway is of a bold design with two big heads to carry the arch - C14. The aisle windows and the clerestory all Perp and renewed. The Perp parts may be connected with an indulgence of 1447 to rebuild the church. - ROOD SCREEN. Single-light openings with ogee arches and Perp tracery above them. - PARCLOSE SCREEN. Remains in arch to the S chancel chapel; perhaps C17 Gothic. - BENCHES with poppy-heads. - PAINTING. Remains of C13 painting on the Norman window reveal in the nave and the C13 piers of the N arcade. - Late wall painting of St Christopher, N aisle. Magnificently bold movement, C15. - E of this Martyrdom of St Erasmus, badly preserved. - N aisle E wall traces of censing angels. - MONUMENT. Sir Thomas Revett d 1582. Two big kneeling figures. The praying-desk between them uncommonly broad so that small relief figures of children are carved on it ; broken pediment with achievement.

Unknown monument

Corbel (1)

St Christopher (2)

CHIPPENHAM. Charming with red roofs, spacious ways, and lovely trees, it lies near a patch of undrained fen where the true fen plants still grow. Near the church are quaint cottages with long gardens, and an equally quaint brick school of 1714.

It was here, at the home of Admiral Russell in the park, that our first King George was entertained by the admiral, who at La Hogue in 1692 won the first great success of the British Fleet since the destruction of the Spanish Armada; and it was in an older house here that Charles Stuart was kept for a while after the raid on Holmby House, the king being very pleasant and cheerful, we are told, taking his recreation daily at tennis and delighting much in the company of Colonel Joyce.

The church is as charming as the village, and wears the dignity of age unspoiled. At the sides of the 15th century porch are heads so huge that they almost touch our shoulders as we enter, and if we prefer to go in through the 500-year-old tower we open an ancient door in a doorway carved with roses. Seen from under the tower arch, the interior makes a most attractive picture, the avenue of battered 14th century arches ending with the fine arch of the chancel. The arcades are in seven bays, the pillars round and clustered and eight-sided, delightful in their oddness. The oldest masonry is in the chancel wall, where there is a big Norman arch, and a small Norman doorway with a carved medieval door. There are old benches with poppyheads, and a beautiful 14th century screen with its canopy gone, leaving the traceried bays like a delicate arcade. Over the entrance are angels, and among the little carvings are lions and grotesque faces.

A finely preserved monument to an Elizabethan family shows Sir Thomas Revet kneeling in armour opposite his two wives, and four children kneeling below. Another of the 17th century is of wood painted to look like marble, and has the figure of a woman at a prayer desk. It covers an old wall-painting of St Michael weighing a soul, and the figure of Mary can be seen dimly at one side. Among other remains of painting are crude masonry patterns and a patchy St Christopher.

Near the porch lies Sir Thomas Erskine May, who was Clerk of the House of Commons and became Lord Farnborough just before he died in 1886. A learned lawyer and parliamentarian, he was also the author of a standard work on the Constitutional History of England. A sculptured bust of him by Bruce Joy is in the House of Commons.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

St Wendreda, March, Cambridgeshire


After the disappointment of Victorian March, St Wendreda was a breath of fresh air - externally stunning, although the largely cleared churchyard is a tragedy - but the triumph here is the hammerbeam roof with its multitude of angels. Ignore that as obvious [difficult] and there's lots more of interest here; the interior repays as much as the exterior.

ST WENDREDA. At the S end of the town, in Church Street. A church almost entirely of the Dec and Perp styles, except for the N arcade which may be as early as 1300 and the chancel which is by W. Smith, 1872. The date of the Dec parts is indicated by a Papal indulgence of 1343 for those giving money to the new building. The Perp parts are of c. 1500 etc. (Date 1528 in the porch.) - Of the earlier period chiefly the lower parts of the W tower, the chancel arch, and the S arcade. The latter differs only in details from the N arcade. Both sides have five bays with octagonal piers. But the N capitals are more broadly moulded and the arches are triple-chamfered. The S arches are double-chamfered. On the N side the W bay was cut into, when the tower was built, on the S side there is a narrower full bay instead. The W tower has a gorgeous three-light W window with flowing tracery and a tall arch towards the nave. Below the W window a narrow N-S passage runs through the tower which reduces the depth of the space inside considerably. The Perp additions are sumptuous throughout. The aisles were renewed, with quatrefoil bases and battlements, and the N aisle received quatrefoil decoration in the battlements as well. A S  porch was added with three-light openings, and a clerestory of flint with some flushwork decoration and brick window voussoirs. Inside, in connexion with this, a new roof  was made, the most splendid timber roof of Cambridgeshire. It is a double hammerbeam roof and has figures of angels with spread-out wings in three tiers, at the corbels supporting the hammerbeam shafts, and at the ends of both hammerbeams (cf. Earl Stonham and Woolpit, Suffolk, and Knapton, Norfolk). - COMMUNION RAIL. Remains at W end of S aisle; C18. - PLATE. Chalice of 1752; Paten of 1703. - MONUMENTS. Brass to Andrew Dredeman d 1501 and his wife; 16 in. figures; in the nave floor. -  Brass to Anthony Hansard d 1507 and his wife 5 kneeling figures with scrolls leading up to an Annunciation; coat of arms below; S aisle.

Anthony Hansard 1507 (2)

Grotesque (2)

Headstone (2)

MARCH. Among the disappearing fens, the high ground crowned by Ely Cathedral is part of an archipelago of islands, on one of which stands this capital of the Isle. Till late last century it was a hamlet of Doddington; now it is a busy little market town and a railway junction, with a long straggling street and buildings befitting its grown-up importance. Three of the four parishes into which it has been divided have each a modern church, St Mary’s, St John's, and St Peter’s; but Old March, away from the stir of the oflicial capital, treasures the beautiful medieval church. A few dwellings gather round it, anda thatched farmhouse near by has 1658 on its chimney stack. A long avenue of venerable elms runs along the road which brings us to it, and at the foot of one of the trees is the square base of an old cross, carved with roses and shields of arms and set on a flight of steps.

The old church was built about the middle of the 14th century as a chapelry of Doddington, and given the rare dedication of St Wendreda, an obscure Saxon saint of whom little is known, but whose relics are said to have been taken in a golden shrine, at the request of King Ethelred, from here to Ely. Fine battlements adorn the walls of this church, except for the new gabled chancel. The parapets of the 15th century aisles have quatrefoil tracery, and a band of quatrefoils runs round the plinth of the aisles and the old south porch, which has big windows, stone seats, a gable cross, and a stoup. There are grotesque gargoyles, and by some of the windows are human and animal heads, one of a woman in horned headdress. The sanctus bell still rings in the bellcot on the eastern gable of the nave, which has a striking 15th century clerestory of nine windows on each side, richly patterned in flint and stone. Crowning it all is a fine tower of about 1400, from which soars a graceful spire with canopied lights. The tower stands on two open arches with a vaulted passage between them, preserving a right-of-way existing here before the tower was built.

The medieval windows which light the fine interior are set in walls carved with arches at the top of which are human figures and angels. Lofty arcades divide the nave and aisles, the north aisle 600 years old and the south side 500. Exceedingly lofty, dwarfing the arcades, are the arches of the tower and chancel, the tower arch having a good Jacobean ringer’s gallery halfway up.

The great glory of the church is the magnificent double hammerbeam roof, whose equal it would be hard to find. It is all richly carved by 15th century craftsmen, with an amazing array of angels hovering over the nave from the arches and the hammerbeams, as well as from the corbels, which support saints standing in niches between the clerestory windows. There are nearly 200 angels in this heavenly host, all with outstretched wings, some with musical instruments, some with shields, and others with emblems of the Passion.

It is thought that William Dredenian, who died in 1503, gave this lovely roof, and two small brass portraits in the floor of the nave, now very worn, are believed to be of him and his wife. Under the tower is another brass with 16th century kneeling figures of Antony Hansart in armour and tabard, his feet gone, his wife in kennel headdress and girdled gown, their small daughter without a head. Below them is their shield, and above them is a striking and unusual Annunciation showing the Madonna kneeling at a desk, the Archangel Gabriel kneeling before her, and a vase of lilies between them.

There is an ancient font, and a modern pulpit with a vine border and figures of the Good Shepherd and the Four Evangelists. A richly coloured window of the south aisle has St Michael, St Etheldreda with her abbey at her feet, and St Wendreda holding her church. The most striking of the windows has a setting of seas and mountains, and a child with a bunch of flowers looking into the sky, where Our Lord is receiving two men at the gate of Heaven. A stone by the chancel door marks the grave of John Wyldboar, who lived through the hundred years from the middle of the reign of Charles Stuart.

Flickr.

Victorian March, Cambridgeshire

A quick entry for the dross of St Mary Magdalene, LNK, St John the Baptist, LNK, and St Peter, surprisingly open. All Victorian and all dull, run of the mill buildings of their time but credit to St Peter for being open and the cemetery is fine but insipid.

ST JOHN. N of the Cemetery. 1872 by T. H. Wyatt. Rock-faced with transverse roofs to the bays of the aisle and a diagonally set bell-cote with timber spirelet.

ST MARY MAGDALENE, on the way to Westry. 1891 by Spiers (GR) Rock-faced, with apse and polygonal bell-cote.

ST PETER, High Street. 1880 by T. H. Wyatt. Rock-faced with NW spire of Cambridgeshire type. Straight E end, plate tracery, arcades on short circular piers with crocket-type capitals.

CEMETERY. The chapels and the spire between them, with a passage through are by  W. Stephenson, 1867-8.

St Mary Magdalene (2)
St Mary Magdalene

St John the Baptist (3)
St John the Baptist

St Peter (2)
St Peter

Chapels (1)
Cemetery chapels

MARCH. Among the disappearing fens, the high ground crowned by Ely Cathedral is part of an archipelago of islands, on one of which stands this capital of the Isle. Till late last century it was a hamlet of Doddington; now it is a busy little market town and a railway junction, with a long straggling street and buildings befitting its grown-up importance. Three of the four parishes into which it has been divided have each a modern church, St Mary’s, St John's, and St Peter’s; but Old March, away from the stir of the oflicial capital, treasures the beautiful medieval church. A few dwellings gather round it, and a thatched farmhouse near by has 1658 on its chimney stack. A long avenue of venerable elms runs along the road which brings us to it, and at the foot of one of the trees is the square base of an old cross, carved with roses and shields of arms and set on a flight of steps.

The old church was built about the middle of the 14th century as a chapelry of Doddington, and given the rare dedication of St Wendreda, an obscure Saxon saint of whom little is known, but whose relics are said to have been taken in a golden shrine, at the request of King Ethelred, from here to Ely. Fine battlements adorn the walls of this church, except for the new gabled chancel. The parapets of the 15th century aisles have quatrefoil tracery, and a band of quatrefoils runs round the plinth of the aisles and the old south porch, which has big windows, stone seats, a gable cross, and a stoup. There are grotesque gargoyles, and by some of the windows are human and animal heads, one of a woman in horned headdress. The sanctus bell still rings in the bellcot on the eastern gable of the nave, which has a striking 15th century clerestory of nine windows on each side, richly patterned in flint and stone. Crowning it all is a fine tower of about 1400, from which soars a graceful spire with canopied lights. The tower stands on two open arches with a vaulted passage between them, preserving a right-of-way existing here before the tower was built.

The medieval windows which light the fine interior are set in walls carved with arches at the top of which are human figures and angels. Lofty arcades divide the nave and aisles, the north aisle 600 years old and the south side 500. Exceedingly lofty, dwarfing the arcades, are the arches of the tower and chancel, the tower arch having a good Jacobean ringer’s gallery halfway up.

The great glory of the church is the magnificent double hammerbeam roof, whose equal it would be hard to find. It is all richly carved by 15th century craftsmen, with an amazing array of angels hovering over the nave from the arches and the hammerbeams, as well as from the corbels, which support saints standing in niches between the clerestory windows. There are nearly 200 angels in this heavenly host, all with outstretched wings, some with musical instruments, some with shields, and others with emblems of the Passion.

It is thought that William Dredenian, who died in 1503, gave this lovely roof, and two small brass portraits in the floor of the nave, now very worn, are believed to be of him and his wife. Under the tower is another brass with 16th century kneeling figures of Antony Hansart in armour and tabard, his feet gone, his wife in kennel headdress and girdled gown, their small daughter without a head. Below them is their shield, and above them is a striking and unusual Annunciation showing the Madonna kneeling at a desk, the Archangel Gabriel kneeling before her, and a vase of lilies between them.

There is an ancient font, and a modern pulpit with a vine border and figures of the Good Shepherd and the Four Evangelists. A richly coloured window of the south aisle has St Michael, St Etheldreda with her abbey at her feet, and St Wendreda holding her church. The most striking of the windows has a setting of seas and mountains, and a child with a bunch of flowers looking into the sky, where Our Lord is receiving two men at the gate of Heaven. A stone by the chancel door marks the grave of John Wyldboar, who lived through the hundred years from the middle of the reign of Charles Stuart.

Flickr.

Coldham, Cambridgeshire

St Etheldreda, redundant, has been abandoned having been converted to residential occupancy and then marketed in 2007 with the following details: St Etheldreda's Church at Coldham, near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, dates from the 19th century and is Grade II-listed. It comes with font, pulpit, stained-glass windows and stone pews in the porch, but also contains four bedrooms. Abbotts (01328 738111) is asking £399,950. It didn't sell - I assume subsidence was an issue.

ST ETHELDREDA. 1875. Rock-faced, with W bell-cote. The style chosen is E.E.

British Listed Buildings is more informative:

Church, built 1876 in early English style. Coursed rubblestone with tiled roof. West wall with repaired bell-cote above west window of two trefoil lights with foiled head in two-centred arch. nave of three bays, one with a two light window with a foiled head in a two-centred arch and one with three trefoil lights with a foiled head in a two-centred arch. South porch, gabled, with two-centred outer arch, moulded and with attached shafts. Chancel, tiled. Two windows of one trefoil light in two-centred head and an east window of three trefoil lights with a foiled head. North vestry with a stone stack. Interior. Chancel arch of two moulded orders. Outer roll moulded on attached shafts with foliate capitals and moulded bases, inner chamfered on three grouped, attached colonettes with half octagonal capitals and carried on corbels. In south wall of chancel, piscina and double sedilia. Cinquefoil cusping to two-centred arches to each. Retable of stone. Two-centred arches to five bays divided by shafts of marble.

VCH (Cambs) Vol.IV, p.185.

St Etheldreda (2)

Another church Mee missed.