Wednesday, 16 August 2017

St Michael, Longstanton, Cambridgeshire

St Michael, open, is a CCT church and is an utter delight. Undoubtedly the church of the day.

ST MICHAEL. A very remarkable little church mostly of c. 1230, though the chancel was rebuilt (correctly) in 1884. The most interesting and impressive feature is the W front with buttresses at the angles but also two big buttresses running up the middle with three set-offs to the original twin bell-cote. The roof reaches down so low on the sides of the arches that the windows are very small. The chancel is higher and has lancet windows in the sides and a group of three stepped single lancets at the E end. Inside, the chancel has hood-moulds for the windows and a beautiful Double Piscina of the type of Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge, i.e. with two intersected round arches; fleur de lis in the spandrels. Arcade of four low piers, alternatingly circular and octagonal, simple moulded capitals, double-chamfered arches. The chancel arch also is double-chamfered, on semi-polygonal responds. Blocked E lancets of the N and S aisles. - CHEST with two roundels in the front, decorated in chip-carving.

St Michael's well (2)

Thomas Burgoyne

Double piscina

LONG STANTON. Off the Roman road from Godmanchester to Cambridge, it is long enough to have two parishes, each with a church of its own.

By a charming group of thatched cottages and an old windmill that has lost its sails stands the simple church of St Michael, framed in chestnuts and roofed with thatch above the nave. A 15th century porch brings us to the great stone arcades two centuries older. One of the windows in the chancel has a little old glass in black and white, but the chancel itself was made new last century. The treasure of the church is a fine oak chest with two roundels on the front. It was a centenarian long before Thomas Burgoyne knew this church; he was its patron in the 15th century, and the chest has a brass plate to his memory.

The noble church of All Saints has been. much changed but its tower and spire are 15th century, the nave arcades are 14th, and a 15th century arch opens into an older chancel made new. A niche in the wall is perhaps the oldest thing in the church, 13th century. The very fine font is 600 years old, elaborately carved with pinnacles.

There is an old box-pew of the 18th century which was used by the Hattons, who bought the manor from Queen Elizabeth and were here during three centuries. They turned the transept into their chapel, and on an elaborate tomb lie the alabaster figures of Sir Thomas and his wife with six sons and daughters kneeling round them, all dressed as in the days of the Commonwealth. The father has long curling hair and is in rich armour; the mother, with a hound at her feet, has a bead bracelet, a kerchief round her head, and holds her handkerchief and a book. The manor passed to the Hattons after Elizabeth seized it from Bishop Cox, the first Protestant Bishop of Ely. It was not all the queen took from him, and the story goes that when the poor bishop was driven to complain the imperious Elizabeth retorted, “Proud priest I made you and I will unmake you.”

Flickr.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

All Saints, Longstanton, Cambridgeshire

All Saints, open, is a not particularly attractive Perp building, although I have to admit to a certain antithesis towards the general Cambridgeshire vernacular. Inside however is a treat with good glass, the Hatton mausoleum and a faded Doom. So not a stunner but containing enough interest to be worthy of notice.

ALL SAINTS. Perp W tower with spire. Of the dormer windows the upper tiers C19. Chancel largely rebuilt. The E window of five lights with flowing tracery, i.e. c. 1320-40,* the side windows also Dec. The best piece of architecture is the S transept, c. 1340 with all three windows (W, S, E) of four lights and with busy small-scale flowing tracery. The angle to the S aisle has a small two-light window high up set at an angle, probably to give light to the pulpit. S doorway and S aisle windows Dec., N aisle also. The arcade of four bays Early Perp with octagonal piers and wave-moulded arches. Chancel arch Perp, and curious wide blank arches surrounding the N windows of the chancel. Sedilia and Piscina with three thin ogee arches. In the S transept, entirely in keeping with the ornate style of the windows, a diagonally placed sculpture-niche in the SE corner. The aisle roofs form a continuation of the nave roof, slightly more splayed (Crossley). - FONT. An exceptionally interesting example of the octagonal Perp type. The bowl has on its eight sides eight different fanciful varieties of quite plain motifs of Perp tracery, one with an ogee arch, one with quarte-foils, one with trefoil niches under arches, two with a band of crenellation half-way up, and so on. - PEW. In the N aisle. With a frieze of Early Renaissance ornament typical of c. 1540-50. - MONUMENT. Sir Thomas Hatton d. 1658, by E. Marshall (Mrs Esdaile). The tomb-chest stands at r. angles to the E wall of the S transept. On it the well carved recumbent figures of Sir Thomas and Lady Hatton. Against the long sides of the tomb-chest, carved in the round, kneel the figures of their children. The back against the transept wall has a proper reredos, segmental pediment etc. and ornamental motifs, no longer Jacobean but classical, i.e. garlands, big corbels, corbels with cherubs’ heads etc.

* The window seems original, though it is not shown in Cole’s drawing.

N aisle E Louis Davies 1938 window (2)

Thomas Hatton 1658 (17)

Doom remnant (2)


LONG STANTON. Off the Roman road from Godmanchester to Cambridge, it is long enough to have two parishes, each with a church of its own.

By a charming group of thatched cottages and an old windmill that has lost its sails stands the simple church of St Michael, framed in chestnuts and roofed with thatch above the nave. A 15th century porch brings us to the great stone arcades two centuries older. One of the windows in the chancel has a little old glass in black and white, but the chancel itself was made new last century. The treasure of the church is a fine oak chest with two roundels on the front. It was a centenarian long before Thomas Burgoyne knew this church; he was its patron in the 15th century, and the chest has a brass plate to his memory.

The noble church of All Saints has been. much changed but its tower and spire are 15th century, the nave arcades are 14th, and a 15th century arch opens into an older chancel made new. A niche in the wall is perhaps the oldest thing in the church, 13th century. The very fine font is 600 years old, elaborately carved with pinnacles.

There is an old box-pew of the 18th century which was used by the Hattons, who bought the manor from Queen Elizabeth and were here during three centuries. They turned the transept into their chapel, and on an elaborate tomb lie the alabaster figures of Sir Thomas and his wife with six sons and daughters kneeling round them, all dressed as in the days of the Commonwealth. The father has long curling hair and is in rich armour; the mother, with a hound at her feet, has a bead bracelet, a kerchief round her head, and holds her handkerchief and a book. The manor passed to the Hattons after Elizabeth seized it from Bishop Cox, the first Protestant Bishop of Ely. It was not all the queen took from him, and the story goes that when the poor bishop was driven to complain the imperious Elizabeth retorted, “Proud priest I made you and I will unmake you.”

Flickr.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Rampton, Cambridgeshire

All Saints, open, is a delight. It feels like a secluded, slightly secret, wooded setting [which actually it's not], a thatched nave, a brick porch which, to quote Pevsner, "is now in such a picturesque tumble-down state" and an interior that hardly seems to have been touched by the passage of time - as I said a delight.

ALL SAINTS. Low W tower. Thatched nave and lower tiled chancel. Evidence of many building phases, beginning with the Norman jambs of the chancel arch with three shafts separated by chamfered steps. The capitals are many-scalloped. The arch (rebuilt in the C14) is remarkably wide for a Norman village church. A blocked Norman window in the N wall. The S arcade follows, of late C13 date, four bays with short octagonal piers and double-hollow-chamfered arches. The tower also must be as early as this. It is unbuttressed and has lancets. On the top battlements. But the tower arch is Perp. The next stage is the rebuilding of the chancel, c. 1330, probably paid for by the man whose monument was originally in the ogee-headed recess in the N wall. The renewed chancel E window is of five lights with reticulated tracery, the other windows have flowing motifs with ogees. The westernmost window on the S side goes lower down than the others. Windows of the same time in the N wall of the nave and the S aisle. The W bay of the S arcade seems to have been renewed in the C15. Finally the C18 added the brick S porch which is now in such a picturesque tumble-down state. - PULPIT. Elizabethan, with tester, not big. - COMMUNION RAIL. Early C18. - PAINTING. N wall of nave ashlar pattern with roses, St Christopher and vine scrolls, a frieze of stars etc.; C15. - MONUMENTS. Fragments of Late Anglo-Saxon tomb-lids with interlace. - In the C14 chancel recess, defaced effigy of a Knight, drawing his sword, mail hood, the legs not yet crossed, later C13.

S porch

Pulpit

C14 recess with C13 Knight (4)

RAMPTON. A fragment of its ancient village cross still stands on the green, and its charming church behind the orchards is old enough to have had its walls not built but rebuilt 600 years ago. Part of the tower is 15th century, and so is the doorway, which brings us to a narrow aisle, separated from the wide nave by a low arcade 700 years old. The chancel arch is 12th century, and looking down on it all is a fine black and white roof with queenposts, thought to have been brought from Barnwell Priory when the monasteries were dissolved.

The chancel has a tiny low window, a double piscina, and an aumbry with its ancient door. The east window, for a long time unworthily debased, has been restored to beauty in memory of those who fell in the war, and also in memory of two rectors, one of them Charles Evelyn-White, a historian of the county. Back again in the window is much of its fine tracery of 600 years ago, which came to light with a collection of carved stones now in the east wall. Another window of the same period is that at the east of the aisle, with some 14th century glass including a small headless figure in blue and red and gold.

The canopied pulpit is a fine little example of Jacobean art, and the font is a Norman bowl standing on a small complete font of the 15th century. There are several old bench-ends, fragments of the medieval screen in the new one, traces of an old wall-painting said to be St Christopher, and much painting of a later time. A dark stone in the floor has a cross and a Lombardic inscription to Sir Nicholas de Huntingdon, of 700 years ago, and a sculpture of a knight drawing his sword is perhaps a monument to Sir Robert de Lisle, who held Rampton in Henry the Third’s day. His family built a fortified house on Giant’s Hill near the church, and its moat can still be seen.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Willingham, Cambridgeshire

St Mary & All Saints, open, is utterly amazing. A not unattractive exterior hides a cornucopia interior and I am certain that however often you visited it you would always find something new. Definitely one of my top five Cambridgeshire churches.

ST MARY AND ALL SAINTS. The distinctive feature of the church is its spire, arranged in quite an uncommon way. The tower itself, with angle buttresses, is clearly of the early C14. It is ashlar-faced. On the battlements are placed solid polygonal pinnacles. Behind them the spire turns from the square platform on which it stands into its octagonal shape by means of broaches. From the top of the broaches flying buttresses are thrown across to the pinnacles. The early C14 is indeed the most important phase in the history of the church. That history, however, goes back very much further, even if only fragmentarily. In the S porch pieces are kept of an ornate Norman portal with colonnettes grooved spirally and in zigzag, with zigzag arches, and volute as well as scallop capitals. The fragments come from the chancel S wall which was re-built in the 189os.* The N wall is of the C13, see a blocked lancet window inside, the Sedilia and Piscina with (renewed) shafts and cusped arches below a straight moulded top, and one lancet close to the W window of the S aisle. Its position shows how narrow the aisle then was. Then we come to the early C14. Its chief enterprise, other than the tower, was the spacious chancel. This was reconstructed in the 1890s, but correctly. The E window especially is based on fragments found, but replaces a Perp one. Its tracery is not yet flowing, though the side windows have ogee as well as reticulated forms. To the l. and r. of the E window are niches inside. A door leads from the chancel into the most curious and attractive piece of architecture at Willingham: the N chapel or sacristy. Its purpose is not explained. It is a separate little stone structure with only very small windows and a stone roof carried inside on three elegantly chamfered slender arches. Between these and the ridge broad and simple stone tracery: a quatrefoil and two daggers. Dec also most of the N and S aisle windows and the large S doorway with moulded jambs and arch and without capitals. The S side as the show-side is of a brown rubble, but its battlements are of ashlar, like the tower. The arcade between nave and aisle also is of the C14. The piers consist of four semi-octagonal shafts and have double-chamfered arches. The Perp style added the clerestory and the unusually complete roofs. That over the nave is of double hamrnerbeam type with (mostly renewed) angels at the springing and at the ends of both hammerbeams -  similar to March. There are no collar-beams so that the eye can explore right up to the ridge between the bristling crags of the timber decoration. The exploration is helped by the single-light E window above the chancel arch. Good, earlier, flat roof in the chancel, good flat roofs in both aisles, that in the S aisle on stone head-corbels.

FONT. Octagonal, Perp, with traceried stem and quatrefoils on the bowl. - SCREENS. Of the rood-screen only the dado remains with much of its colour surviving. The parclose screens closing the two end bays of both aisles are preserved impressively. That on the N side is one of the earliest screens in the county: two-light divisions with a circular shaft and shaftring and two simply traceried arches: a cusped ogee within a normal arch. Delightful pattern of dark green popinjays on red ground on the dado. The date of the screen is probably that of the aisle. The S screen is Perp with three-light divisions and plain panel tracery. - PULPIT. Plain, Perp, on a trumpet-stem, with traceried panels above. - CHANCEL STALLS. Small heads at the ends of the arms, as usual; no miisericords. - RECESSES. One behind the S parclose screen, ogee-headed; another in the chancel N wall, clearly Dec. - PAINTING. Exceptionally much preserved, notably the N side of the nave. Here a St Christopher of the C14 can be distinguished, and traces of much else. The medieval work was painted over in the C17, and that is somewhat confusing. - On the E wall above the chancel arch Doom; C15. The figure of Christ was obliterated, when the E window was put in. - On the S side of the nave a clearly visible Visitation, also the lower part of an Assumption; both C15. - In the jamb of the lancet window at the W end of the S aisle standing figure of a female Saint and another Saint, probably C13.

* One Norman column is made from a Saxon grave-cover.

BVM weighing of souls

G Maile Lady chapel E window (22)

Roof angels (4)

WILLINGHAM. The fighting tribes of Britain knew Willingham and its way across the fens, and, by an odd turn of history, their earthwork ring on the rising ground above the marshes is called Belsar’s Hill, named after the Norman commander who came this way towards Ely in search of Hereward the Wake.

The village with its windmills lies among the orchards, and is proud of one of the finest churches in the county, abounding in interest, well restored, and with two special treasures among its roofs. For 600 years this tower with its flying buttresses has been a landmark in the Ouse valley, crowning the embattled walls of a building that is chiefly of the 14th century. Fragments of Norman carving are in the spacious porch, which has windows and a big niche and carvings of its own, among them a blindfolded man and a head with a finger on one eye. The porch shelters a stoup, and a finely moulded doorway by which we come inside.

It is a place to linger in, for good things are everywhere as we walk about. Here in the chancel are very beautiful sedilia, and modern figures of the Madonna and St Etheldreda in rich canopied niches. Here is a font made about the time of Agincourt, a carved pulpit just as old, and the ancient altar stone still in use in a chapel. There are three screens with much medieval woodwork and some of their old colouring, that of the north chapel having a pattern of green parrots on a red ground. There are medieval stalls with heads of kings and bishops; aisle roofs with bosses of flowers; and a chancel roof fine with angels.

But the crowning glory of the church is the grand 15th century roof of the nave, a roof of the double hammerbeam type. All its beams are carved or moulded, the spandrels pierced with tracery and in it are 36 angels, some at prayer, some with musical instruments, and some holding symbols of the Passion. A dozen others are on the wall-plate each side, bringing the number of this heavenly congregation up to 60.

The other lovely roof is in a charming chapel now used as a vestry. It is 14th century, and is an example of a rare treatment of roof arching in stone. The arches spring from brackets and grotesque corbel heads, and in their spandrels are leaves and quatrefoils with tiny rose cusps. Also in the chapel are a pillar piscina, a Jacobean cupboard, and some fragments of oak carved 500 years ago.

Paintings by medieval artists are still to be seen on these walls though they are mostly blurred and patchy. Over the chancel arch is painted a big consecration cross, and with it is part of a 14th century Doom scene, one of the demons being in a corner of the nave beside a clear 15th century Visitation, in which the two figures are in blue and white on a red background. Over the arcades we can make out Justice with sword and scales, St Christopher crossing the stream, and St Simon at his side; and by an aisle window are two figures in red and gold, one headless.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Fen Drayton. Cambridgeshire

I cannot understand why St Mary is LNK, it sits in the heart of the village opposite a row of cottages secluded from general view and in an area where every other church is kept open - to me this is shameful.

Having said that it's a stolid church in a pretty location but Pevsner is light on the interior so probably not much missed.

ST MARY. Built of pebble rubble. A very odd tiny slit-like opening near the E end of the chancel N wall. Can it be Saxon? Otherwise all C14 and after. Early C14 W tower, not high, with Dec W window, circular windows above with openwork quatrefoils set in, also lancets, and a  two-light early C14 type for the bell-openings (two lights under one arch, cusped). Spire with broaches and two tiers of dormers. C14 N  arcade of four bays with tal‘ octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches starting with broaches for part of the arch moulding. Chancel arch of the same type. Most windows Perp, clerestory not shown in Cole’s drawing. The E window is C19, the N windows are of three lights with one transome. Nave roof on figured corbels. - ROOD SCREEN. Dado only. - STAINED GLASS. Bits in the chancel N and S windows.

St Mary (3)

FEN DRAYTON. Here every traveller comes to see a thatched house at the corner of the village with the Dutch inscription meaning “Nothing without Labour.” It is said to have been the home of a man whose life was one long tribute to this fine motto, Sir Cornelius Vermuyden. He was the Dutch engineer brought over by Charles the First to reclaim the fens, but the fenmen opposed his schemes and fought his Flemish labourers. For years they quarrelled and it came about that Oliver Cromwell, then MP for Cambridge, led the opposition. But when the Civil War was over the project was revived, the Dutchman was recalled, and 40,000 acres of waste land were reclaimed. The work has stood and was maintained and improved by John Rennie, who built the Waterloo Bridge that London has pulled down.

Far older than those days is the church, with a low tower of the 14th century, and older also is the inn, which is believed to have kept the church company through all its years. Attractive outside with its rosy walls and its roofs of thatch and tiles, it has inside one of the treasures of the county, a magnificent oak ceiling, a mass of richly moulded beams, four of immense size quartering the ceiling and meeting in a carved boss.

In the windows of the church is a jumble of old glass, a font 600 years old, heads of men and lions holding up the roof, and one of the rare 19th century brasses, on which George Shaw, a vicar, kneels with his wife. A modern window shows a woman in blue nursing a sick child. It is in memory of a girl nurse, Katherine Shaw.

Flickr.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Winchester Cathedral

I had the, unavoidable, misfortune of visiting the cathedral on whit Sunday and found most of the grounds and pretty much all of the interior inaccessible as they were preparing for a Pentacost concert. The staff were most apologetic and told me that they expected to re-open in one and a half to two hours time, this was at about 12.15pm and given that the building is only open between 12.30 and 3pm on Sundays I didn't think I'd have enough time to do the interior justice so took what I could and left for home.

To be honest, and I don't think it was entirely due to lack of access, I was decidedly underwhelmed by the cathedral at the time. It certainly doesn't stand up to comparison with Salisbury, Ely, Peterborough, Canterbury or Norwich but whilst processing my photos I decided my lack of enthusiasm was wrong and that, with full access there's lots of interest here.

No Pevsner I'm afraid.

West front

Winchester cathedral (9)

Winchester cathedral (6)

WINCHESTER. The finest country in the world has nothing finer. This is how an Englishman must feel on coming from King Alfred’s grave. Our noblest king could have no nobler tomb than this, our ancient capital and still our proudest southern town.

We may not see King Alfred's grave, but it is here. His dust is mingling with the soil we tread. He stands majestic in its streets, and the city is his tomb. We cannot look unmoved at this cloaked figure in bronze, fashioned by Hamo Thornycroft and set up here to celebrate his thousandth year of fame. Set on a huge block of granite, Alfred stands in his cloak, raising his sword, looking into Winchester, to that great shrine where lie our Saxon kings; to that great hall with what they call King Arthur’s Table; to William of Wykeham’s famous school; up this street of narrow ways thronged by pilgrims for a thousand years. Towards all this he looks, to all this wonder of our past and all this beauty of today, and we feel that he is looking at Old England carrying on. The thread of life has not broken here since Alfred walked these streets, and we may wonder if there is any name on England’s map that means so much to us as Winchester.

We may come into this historic city, capital of England before London, from the historic New Forest, from the heart of nature to the heart of history, from the place where the Conqueror’s son fell dead to where they brought him on a cart, a hated thing, to lay him in this noble shrine; and we feel that it is all one, the rugged strength of the Forest and these massive stones of Winchester. They are the stuff of which England is made.

Here is every kind of thing belonging to our past: the old houses and hospitals, the castle and the gateway, the ancient cross, the quaint passages and crooked ways, the cloister and the green, the great walls and the winding streets, the serenity that comes from trees and meadows and river, our oldest great school and our greatest medieval church, cloistered ways of long ago and the matchless cloister to those hundreds of Winchester scholars who went out to France and did not come back - does it not seem that this Winchester is the epitome of England from Alfred until now?

This great street of our ancient capital begins low down near where the statue of Alfred stands, and widens on its way until the ancient houses narrow it and it begins to rise. Now it narrows and climbs to the great West Gate by which the Castle stands. The gate has stood where it is for 600 years, and has the openings through which molten lead could be poured on unwelcome guests, the slits through which arrows could be shot at an enemy, and the grooves in which the portcullis was let down. The grotesque heads with big holes for mouths are said to be the openings through which the drawbridge chains were worked. At the top of the street stands this old gate; at the bottom stands Alfred on an.acre as holy as any in this land.

On one side of him is a green lawn leading to blocks of small houses still known as St John’s Hospital, one of the oldest charities in the country (founded in 1289). It has a lovely old tower with a charming niche over the archway, and the houses are set round a lawn. On the other side of the statue is a garden where a thousand years ago Alfred’s queen founded an abbey. Some years ago remains were found which it was believed might be Alfred’s and they were placed under a flat stone to the east of the parish church of St Bartholomew’s, Hyde.

Looking out on Alfred’s statue is the 19th century Guildhall. It has a portrait of Charles the Second by Peter Lely in the banqueting room, and set in niches or at the windows are sculptures of historic figures and historic scenes. In the niches are lifesize figures of Egbert and Alfred, both armed, of the first mayor holding the charter of the city; and of Henry the Second who granted it. Over the windows are groups of King Arthur with his knights, the coronation of Egbert, Alfred in council, Canute laying his crown on the altar, the Conqueror compiling his Domesday Book, and the marriage of Mary Tudor to Philip of Spain. Six heads at the windows are those of William Rufus, Edward the Confessor, Richard Lionheart, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria, and the man with the curious name of Dunwallo Mulmutius, who fortified the city in 500 BC.

Halfway up the street, at the place where it begins to narrow by the ancient House of God Begot (named after its Saxon owner), stands the slender cross which was one of the architectural jewels with which Cardinal Beaufort adorned Winchester in the 15th century. It stands 43 feet high and is tucked away in a corner like a bit of medieval England, caring nothing for the roaring traffic of the 20th century passing by. On it are William of Wykeham with his staff and books, King Alfred and St John, the figure of an old mayor, and eight saints in niches round the top. Time has battered it, and once it came within an ace of being carried off to a private park. That was in 1770 when a rich man thought the cross would suit his garden and was only prevented from carrying it off by a great rally of the city apprentices. The 19th century restored it and renewed its figures, all except John the Evangelist, the only old figure looking down. Just inside the passage by the cross is a queer little building which stands on the site of the Conqueror’s palace. It is the tiny church of St Lawrence which every Bishop of Winchester must visit before he is enthroned. On his way to the cathedral the bishop turns into this small church and remains alone for a few minutes as if communing with the spirit of the Conqueror. In the days of the Norman Duke new bishops came to his palace as an act of loyalty before going to the cathedral, and so strong was the hold he had on men’s minds that the custom was continued after his death. It is continued to this day, and every Bishop of Winchester for more than two centuries has visited this spot where the Conqueror lived when Winchester was his capital, and where, as we see, his rule still holds sway.

It may be thought that Winchester has not the impressive exterior of some of our cathedrals, but it is delightful to approach it through the little passage from the High Street, across the square where Alice Lisle was done to death, down the little avenue leading to the great west front. If the low central tower does not impress us (it is 140 feet high and 50 feet wide, and rises only 35 feet above the ridge of the transept roofs), the west end is striking with its colossal window, its great gable, and the slender turrets rising to great heights; and the east end has a charming exterior with captivating windows. And it is something to remember that the tower has dominated this scene for 800 years. Everywhere in these precincts we feel that we are in a world far removed from our own, the Dean’s Stable has over it the 14th century timber roof of the old Pilgrim's Hall, the deanery itself is the very house in which Philip of Spain stayed on the eve of his marriage to Mary Tudor, and the very doors through which we walk out by the porter’s lodge have been opening and shutting for 700 years.

One of the very first churches in England must have stood in this place, for descriptions have come down to us of a church built by the Roman Lucius in 164. It was destroyed during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian, who threatened to annihilate Christianity, which has now built a temple in the ruins of his palace. The church was built again by the Saxons, and the son of a Saxon king lies here. A Latin poem by Wulstan describes the new cathedral consecrated in the presence of King Ethelred, and we know that after the Saxons had gone a kinsman of the Conqueror, Walkelyn, pulled down the Saxon church to its foundations. The story goes that he asked the king for as much oak as he could cut in four days and nights from Hampage Wood and that he set to work an army of men who removed the forest. The wonderful transepts are his work, but his tower fell in 1107, soon after William Rufus had been buried here, being built again in the original style. In 1189 Bishop de Lucy added the choir behind and the processional aisles, removing the Norman apse; and it was the 14th century building bishop, William of Edington, who refashioned the Norman nave and built the fine west front. It is still the longest cathedral in the land, but he shortened it by 40 feet, after which William of Wykeham, the greatest Winchester man who ever lived, transformed the cathedral and gave it the magnificence that we see, raising it half as high again, cutting back the Norman work, and facing it with new stone.

It is the longest medieval church still left in England, and was long the biggest cathedral in northern Europe, 185 yards from east to west, and covering about an acre and a half of space within its walls.It is the work of five centuries of human labour. We are surprised perhaps to see the vast nave looking so young in this old place, but though it was refashioned in the l5th century its proportions are Norman, and so is the core of the pillars, monsters 12 yards round. These huge piers are the work of the men who built the marvellous transepts 850 years ago; they were little hurt by the fall of the tower in 1107, and we look on them as their builders looked on them. They are an amazing spectacle, the arches rising to a wondrous height, massive and rugged yet so neatly built that they look almost like a solid block, so clean that we may think their builders had just gone home. We can sit and look on them from the old oak settle on which the Norman monks would sit, for it is here in the south transept. We have seen Norman doors still swinging on their hinges, Norman roofs sheltering Norman naves, even a Norman screen, but to sit on this oak settle is a rather intimate touch with far-off days; we half expect to hear an old monk say, “Tomorrow will be Friday,” until, we remember we are in the 20th century, and that was long ago.

In the south transept is a superb piece of Norman carving on the wall, a double arch which at one time formed a noble entrance to what is now known as the Blois Treasury. It has been built up and a plain doorway remains; but these two arches of elegant lace-like carving in stone are where the Normans put them and are unsurpassed as an example of the delicacy of the Norman craftsman at his best. In the north transept are wall-paintings of a head of Our Lord, the Descent from the Cross, the Entombment, the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Entry into Jerusalem, and the Raising of Lazarus. There is in this transept, kept under glass, a model of the Mauretania given by the Cunard Company; it has been thought that it would be interesting to future generations to have this small copy of one of the first great ships of the 20th century in a cathedral which has made one of its bays into a Mariner’s Chapel.

It is a moving thing to sit here looking on these mighty walls and thinking of the ancient builders, and yet it is the 20th century that has done for Winchester the most miraculous thing of all. This great place was sinking in a bog. In the first years of our century the famous engineer, Sir Francis Fox, was summoned to Winchester to meet a very anxious dean and chapter. He was told that the cathedral had sunk in some parts more than two feet, that walls and buttresses were leaning, arches distorted, great cracks showing everywhere, stones falling from the roof. Very old men could remember when the great west door was piled up with rubbish, and the whole cathedral neglected like some old barn, but Winchester was now the precious jewel in England’s crown again and it was breaking to pieces. It was one of two catastrophes that threatened two of our noblest buildings of that time. St George’s Chapel at Windsor was threatened with the loss of its wonderful roof, which had rested for centuries on inadequate foundations; Winchester was threatened with the loss of its cathedral which had rested for 800 years on timbers rotting in a bog. The 20th century has saved them both.

At Winchester Sir Francis Fox had a pit sunk by the south wall and he found that eight feet below the turf the masonry stopped. Where the masonry stopped were great trunks of beech trees, and the old story leapt to mind of Bishop Walkelyn begging leave of the Conqueror to take all the timber he could from Hampage Wood within four days. He collected a crowd of men and kept their axes swinging night and day, so that not a tree was standing after the fourth day. Here they laid them in a peat bog forming a raft on which to build this great cathedral. The little wood the Bishop’s men cut down had borne its burden well for 800 years, but now it was sinking into the marsh. These great walls would not stand the vibration of hammers, the marshy foundations would not stand the wholesale pumping dry: it seemed that nothing but catastrophe awaited one of the noblest buildings standing in these islands. Then it was that one man’s brain and one man’s hands were equal to the need of the hour; Sir Francis Fox decided to underpin this great cathedral and William Walker undertook to do it for him. You will find their names on the west wall and there they should remain for all time, especially William Walker's. He saved this wonder for posterity. The Conqueror’s cousin set the cathedral on a bog, William Walker set it on a rock.

He was a diver, and for over five years he worked under Winchester Cathedral. First the fabric was strengthened with scaffolding and by grouting, a mechanical operation reversing the action of a vacuum cleaner, exerting any pressure up to a hundred pounds an inch. By grouting the dust of ages was removed from these walls and owls, martins, rats, mice, and bees lurking in the cracks were blown out. Then water was forced in to cleanse the walls, coming back at first like ink; and finally a stream of cement was poured into the cracks. Now began the work of underpinning, and Walker went down into the bog grovelling in the dark just under the graves of kings. The water was so black with peat that artificial light was useless; he toiled in the darkness guided by touch alone. He removed the peat handful by handful and laid bags of concrete in its place on the gravel bottom. Four layers of concrete bags he laid to cut off the gravel from the water, which was then pumped from the particular pit in which he was working. Then concrete blocks were built above the bags and pinned securely to the underside of the Norman masonry. From pit to pit in the cathedral bed this heroic diver made his way like a water-rat, till at last, with his unaided hands, he had remade the bed of Winchester Cathedral, and set it on solid ground.

Since the year 639 a Christian Church has stood on this spot, though for a while Saxon invaders turned it into a temple of Wotan. On St Swithun’s day in 1093 the Norman Cathedral was consecrated. On St Swithun’s day in 1912 a vast concourse of people headed by King George the Fifth came to give thanks that this shrine of English history was saved. We do not wonder that there was great exultation; we could almost believe that the mighty dead rejoiced, Canute and Walkelyn, William of Wykeham, Izaak Walton, Jane Austen, and Alfred himself not far away. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached from the text “Prosper Thou the work of our hands upon us, O prosper Thou our handiwork,” and as he listened,William Walker sitting there with the king and queen, prelates and peers, must have felt that he would not have changed his diving helmet for a crown.

It is the spaciousness of Winchester that must impress us all. If we are spellbound by the height and vastness of the nave with its two chantries to William of Wykeham and William of Edington, our astonishment grows as we come to the transepts with Norman arches piled upon each other.

Here is the oldest iron grille in England, unique for being Norman work, and believed to have been put here to keep back the crowd of pilgrims from St Swithun’s Shrine (now vanished). These beautiful gates are made up of four pieces of ironwork, scrolls branching out of the central stem so as to form an impressive mass of quatrefoils. There are about 264 rings, with leaves in them, and the general effect is that of ostrich feathers. And we go through these 13th century Pilgrim Gates into the choir; out of the choir into the aisles with two great chantries, out of the aisles into the presbytery with two fine chapels, out of the presbytery to the east end with three more chapels, the lady chapel in their midst. As we walk about in this great place the wonder grows with every step we take.

By the great west door are two bronze figures of kings by Hubert Le Sueur; they are Charles the First and James the First, and the sculptor was paid £380 for them; it is said that they were buried in the Isle of Wight during the Civil War. Above the three tiers of arches resting on the stupendous Norman piers the stone vaulting hides the original timbers cut down in four days by Bishop Walkelyn. They must have been growing in Alfred’s England and were shaped and fixed in the roof by Norman builders, part of the same stock of timber with which the foundations were laid in a bog.

In this great nave are two medieval features not to be missed, the minstrel gallery with flowered cusps and bosses, resting in arches springing from the piers, and the lovely chantry of William of Wykeham, one of the best survivals of 14th century England. It is lofty, elegant, and of great beauty. Round this noble tomb runs a little arcade with a famous motto William gave to Winchester, “Manners makyth man” The chantry is divided by three arches with canopies carved to the shape of the arches, and the stonework everywhere is like fine lace. Graceful shafts support the canopies, with pinnacles rising to the level of the triforium. The vaulted ceiling is richly tinted with bosses of blue and gold. William of Wykeham lies in his bishop’s robes, with his hands folded on his breast, his crozier on his shoulder, a serene figure with two angels at his head and three little men praying at his feet. It was decreed that three monks were to say mass here three times a day for a penny. The chantry has been restored in our time, and has ten fine statues by Sir George Frampton; they are the Madonna and Child with angels, the Good Shepherd, the Warden of New College with a student of that college, William of Wykeham with a Winchester boy, and four apostles (James, John, Peter, Paul).

Beyond this chantry lies the simpler chantry of William of Edington, who lies in the tomb in which he was laid in 1366; it is very plain. On the other side of the nave, between the two chantries, is the remarkable font, one of seven in England which came from Tournai in Belgium. Its great square bowl of blue-black marble stands on five pillars, and its four sides are filled with primitive medallions of symbolical doves and foliage, spandrels of flowers, doves drinking out of vases, and two groups of scenes in the life of Santa Claus, the beloved St Nicholas. It is a captivating little gallery of sculpture. Here is the man who promised Nicholas a gold cup on the birth of a son and heir, and we see the saint with this boy who has fallen over-board with the cup, Nicholas having been sent for to bring him back to life. Three men are shown watching him. One of the central panels shows the cruel butcher who cut off the heads of three boys, and another shows the benefactor who, when a nobleman became too poor to give his three daughters a dowry, presented each daughter with a bag of gold. Nicholas is shown again in front of a church with the nobleman kneeling at his feet, and the three daughters with plaited hair congratulating each other on their good fortune, while a servant stands by with a hawk on his wrist. At this great font Izaak Walton saw his grandson christened; it was at a special silver font that they baptised here that Prince Arthur whose death opened the way to the throne for Henry the Eighth, and so transformed the face of Europe and changed the course of history.

The east end of this long cathedral rises 19 steps above the nave, and it is worthy to be exalted. It has unfortunately an oak screen, a noble piece of work by Sir Gilbert Scott, to break the incomparable line of this interior which runs for 175 yards from east to west, but beyond the screen it is all magnificent. It is lined at the west end with some of the finest medieval stalls in England, and at the east end with medieval stone screens on the top of which rest six painted chests holding all that remains of Saxon bishops and kings. The altar screen is one of the most exquisite pieces of stonework in the land. The 62 carved stalls, facing each other in the choir, are from the first years of the 14th century. Behind each stall is a wide arch with two trefoiled arches below a circle, the spandrels enriched with many birds, animals, and a mass of foliage; there are thousands of tiny heads. The canopies are decorated with folded leaves, and everywhere the carver’s work is a pure delight. The misereres are older than the canopies, among the oldest in the land, and on them are all the quaint little figures we expect to find under these seats, and some surprises. There is a bishop in a fool’s cap, the fox with the goose, a monk grinning at an owl, peasants kneeling and laughing, a man attacked by a wolf, an old woman with a cat and a distaff, and a delightful group of a sow piping away while her little pigs are munching, apparently enchanted by the music. The stalls end on one side by the magnificent pulpit given by Prior Silkstede, whose name it bears. It is 16th century; the nave pulpit is Jacobean. It is thought that they laid William Rufus near the choir pulpit on that day when Walter Tyrrell’s arrow killed him in the New Forest, but his ashes are now mingled with the remains in the painted chests.

These are six of the most significant chests in all England. They have been cleaned and painted in our own time, restored as they were in medieval days, but in them is all that is left of twelve Saxon saints and kings. Here are the bones and ashes of the kings who founded the first cathedral, of one who gave a manor to it, of its first Saxon bishop, of the Conqueror’s son William Rufus, of King Canute.

We do not now know the chests which contain particular kings, for the chests were opened in the Civil War and the remains have been mixed up. But these are the twelve who lie in these six chests:

Kinegils, King of the West Saxons and first founder of the cathedral. Ethelwulf, King of Wessex and father of King Alfred. King Egbert and Kenulph, builders of the first cathedral. William Rufus, Bishop Stigand, Bishop Wina, and Bishop Alywn.

Eldred, the king buried here by his friend Dunstan, with this inscription: “The pious Eldred rests in this tomb, who admirably well governed this country of the Britons."
Edmund, eldest son of Alfred, crowned in his father’s lifetime; his chest was inscribed: “Him whom this chest contains, and who swayed the royal sceptre while his father was still living, do Thou, O Christ, receive.”

Canute and his Queen Emma, the fair maid of Normandy, on whose original chest were these words: “Here rests in this chest Queen Emma, She was first married to King Ethelred, and afterwards to King Canute: to the former she bare Edward, to the latter Hardicanute. She saw all these four kings wielding the sceptre, and thus was the wife and mother of English kings.”

It was the Conqueror’s grandson Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen, who first gathered together these remains and placed them in coffers, but it was Bishop Fox in the 16th century who had made  the chests we now see. Two chests contained inner coffers older than the chests themselves, the chests being actually covers dropped over the ancient coffers. These coffers are plain oak boxes with gabled lids and are probably 15th century. They are painted in red, green, yellow, and black, and between the bands are roses and crowns with scrolls bearing the names. Two of these coffers have been removed from their chests and replaced with lead coffers in which the bones rest; it has been done so that we may see these examples of medieval work and they are now in the north transept. They have actually held the dust of Saxon kings, having received them from the original coffers in which the Conqueror’s grandson placed them. The outer chests as we see them are of painted oak, decorated in thin gilt lead, the lids having decorated shields and helmets, and of primitive construction. It is known that they were made in the 16th century, though two are known to have been replaced in 1661. Altogether there are in the chests the remains of 12 people from the year 643 to 1100. The ashes of William Rufus would be taken from his grave to be placed in the coffer; the stone in the choir pointed out as the Rufus Stone is not his grave. It was opened in the Civil War when the chests were disturbed, and in it were found a ring and a silver chalice, from which it is inferred that Henry de Blois was buried there.

Between the stone screens on which these chests rest rises the great glory of this choir, the original altar screen with the figures replaced on the eve of our own time. In front of us as we stand looking at the chests is one of the wonders of medieval England, the great screen which is hardly to be matched elsewhere. It is 15th century, and it fills the whole space of 1700 square feet between the pillars. It is of white stone arranged in three tiers of canopied niches filled with big and little statues of angels, saints, and kings. There are 64 statues in all, 19th century work set in 15th century niches. In the centre is an exquisite figure of Our Lord on the Cross, and below is a lovely carving of the Holy Family. Each tier has big figures and small ones. The big figures being saints, apostles, and martyrs, and the smaller group more intimately human folk, among them Izaak Walton, Bishop Ken, Archbishop Alphege, King Egbert, William of Wykeham, Cardinal Beaufort, Cardinal Wolsey, Canute, Alfred, Queen Matilda, Earl Godwin, and Edward the Confessor. The marvellous screen is one of the rarest possessions of Winchester with its great array of figures, its spires and crowns and buttresses, its friezes of flowers and leaves and quatrefoils, and its two doorways with four charming groups of 15th century carving on their spandrels showing scenes in the life of the Madonna with medieval painting fading away. The altar rails in front of the screen are by Grinling Gibbons, and the altar books, bound in red velvet, were given by Charles the Second.

As we stand in the presbytery amid all this wonder it is interesting to raise our eyes to the roof and consider a remarkable thing. The roof of the cathedral is the longest in the world. In the nave the ancient timbers have been covered by the later vaulting and new timbers have been added to them for strength; but they are all unseen. The casual observer will imagine that the whole length of the roof is stone, but in fact the roof of the presbytery is of wood. It is what the artist may consider to be in the nature of a sham, but it has been held by experts that this imitation roof is not less magnificent than the vaulted roofs it imitates. It has been made to look like stone, and it has a unique collection of bosses which have been bolted over the older bosses. Those running east from the altar representing the Last Days in Jerusalem: Gethsemane, Pilate and his wife, Peter’s Denial, the Betrayal, Judas with the money bag, and the Crown of Thorns. There is more wooden roofing in the vaulting of the tower lantern; it is dated 1635, and has various heraldic devices of Charles Stuart, Archbishop Laud, and others, with a central emblem of the Trinity in which is an inscription containing a hidden date in Roman numerals, certain letters being picked out in red which, regarded as figures, make up the date 1635. On four of the corbels from which the choir roof springs are heads of our first Stuart kings, each repeated.

We come from the choir into aisles with two chantries that appeal to us for their beauty and their historic interest. The beautiful chantry is that of Bishop Fox, which has no tomb, but is rich with 55 vaulted niches of which no two are alike. They are mostly empty but one or two have modern sculptures in them, one a modern figure of St Birinus, and two memorials of men who fell in the war. Under an arched recess is one of the grim skeletons put on tombs in those days to teach humility. There is a stone skeleton in the companion chantry of Bishop Gardiner; it is the only thing in the chantry except for a chair upholstered in blue velvet. It is the chair in which Mary Tudor was married to Philip of Spain one summer’s day in 1554, a year before Bishop Gardiner died. He would see her sitting in it ablaze with jewels, her black velvet dress a mass of precious stones, her mantle of gold falling from her shoulders, her ladies about her looking more like celestial beings, a writer said, than mortal creatures. Here sat this woman who married the man who was to send out the Armada for our destruction, this woman at whose word were burned alive 350 of the noblest men and women in the land. By her chair is her portrait, a copy of one made for Philip by Anthony More. She is wearing her famous pearl.

The aisles lead us into the presbytery where, immediately behind the choir screen, are three tombs in a row, those of Prior de Basynge and Bishop Sumner with Prior Silkstede between them. His coffin has been opened and in it was found a body wrapped in black serge, with the boots still on the feet. Beyond these are two more chantries, Bishop Waynflete's and Cardinal Beaufort’s. The 15th century chantry of William Waynflete is elaborate with cornices and battlemented screens, and in it lies the bishop in his robes with mitre, gloves, and ring, his hands clasping a heart. Of Cardinal Beaufort’s chantry an old writer said that a horseload of pinnacles had fallen from its canopy, and certainly it is a marvellous mass of carving. Its roof has rich fan tracery, and the cardinal lies in his scarlet cloak with his cardinal’s tasselled hat, his calm face suggesting very little of the remorse he must have felt since he stood in Rouen marketplace and saw Joan in the fire. Joan now looks across the floor at him from her place between two piers, a golden figure set up in our time. Beyond the presbytery is the lady chapel with its painted walls, set in between the chapels in which lie the earl of Portland and Bishop Langton. The Earl of Portland was Charles Stuart’s Lord High Treasurer, and he lies on his tomb in bronze sculptured by Hubert le Sueur with marble busts of his people round him. Bishop Langton was waiting to be enthroned at Canterbury when he died of plague in 1501.

It is the painted walls that we come to see in the lady chapel, for 450 years they were fading away. The chapel was transformed late in the 15th century when it received its beautiful vaulting, its exquisite wood carvings, and 22 painted scenes on the north and south walls. They are an interesting group of scenes in the life of the Madonna showing her portrait carried by the bishop to ward ofl'plague, a thief delivered from the gallows, the Madonna begging an artist to make Satan ugly, and the very quaint story of a painter falling from the scaffold, saved in the nick of time by the Madonna on his canvas thrusting out her arm to grasp him. Not only has Professor Tristram brought to light these faded pictures for us, but he has reconstructed the paintings and hung them in panels.

As no cathedral can have everything, Winchester has only a little ancient glass. There are eight canopied figures in the clerestory windows, all from the 15th and 16th centuries; and both the east and the west windows have ancient fragments. In the east window the top central light has glass of William of Wykeham’s time, and the great west window has two 14th century medallions made up of fragments set in the mosaic of the old glass which fills the window.

But two 20th century windows Winchester is proud of, one the stately coronation window of George the Sixth presented by the Glaziers Company; the other a tribute to George the Fifth presented by Americans. Both are the work of Mr Hugh Easton and are companion windows. George the Sixth and Queen Elizabeth are kneeling and holding their crowns, and above figures of Henry the Fourth and Joan of Navarre who were married in the cathedral; George the Fifth kneels in his robes as a Knight of the Garter, and the inspiration of the window has come from the vision of the Rider on the White Horse in the Apocalypse. The symbolism represents the growth of England through Saxon, Norman, and Tudor days, and there are splendid figures of Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror.

It is for its architectural beauty rather than for its monuments that Winchester is renowned, but there have been a thousand burials here since the Reformation, and the cathedral has some impressive tombs. In this noble nave lie Jane Austen and Izaak Walton with no glorious monuments because they need none, though there is a window in memory of Izaak Walton, showing him with his friend Cotton on the bank of the River Itchen, St Catherine’s Hill in the background; and there is a brass on the wall in memory of Jane Austen. On a stone on Walton’s grave are these lines by Bishop Ken:

Alas! He’s gone before
Gone to return no more;
Our panting hearts aspire
After their aged Sire,
Whose well-spent life did last
Full ninety years, and past.
But now he hath begun
That which will ne’er be done:
Crowned with eternal bliss,
We wish our souls with his.

In the north nave aisle lies the famous Mrs Montagu, of whom we read that she had beauty, wit, judgment, reputation, and riches, and, using them for the benefit of mankind, might be justly deemed an ornament to her sex and country.

A fine bronze panel on the south wall of the nave shows General Forrest on a horse; Sir George Prevost is remembered in a sculpture of a weeping woman; Richard Willis is reclining with a book; there is a lovely marble figure of Edward Browne lying at prayer and a relief of John Wickham, a surgeon; and a charming sculptured group in memory of Joseph Warton, Master of Winchester, shows an old man teaching four boys with eager faces. A mourning angel on the wall of the nave is very beautiful, and very appealing is the simple tribute to John Vaughan who

Loved the poor and the rich and won their hearts, loved this house of God and wrote its story, loved the birds of the air and the flowers of the fields, and taught others to do likewise.

Bishop Peter Mews, who fought in the Civil War and followed Charles the Second into exile, is shown on the wall of the nave with his crozier and mitre. Another fine relief is in memory of Dean Garnier, of whom we are told that he attended a levée held by Napoleon and heard Napoleon flatter Charles James Fox by telling him that he was the greatest man of the greatest country in the world. Among the monuments in the great space at the east end is one by Chantrey, showing Bishop Brownlow North kneeling at prayer; he was the bishop in whose time a vast sum was spent on restoring the cathedral, and he also restored Farnham Castle early last century. Standing under an arch surrounded by weapons of war is the Royalist Sir John Clobery who figured in the Civil War. The oldest figure on a tomb is the black marble effigy of an unknown Norman priest in King John’s day. The only ancient military figure (between the Beaufort and Waynflete chantries) is a knight lying in complete ringed armour of the 13th century his legs crossed, his feet on a lion, his head held up by angels, his right hand grasping his sword. Between two pillars of the nave lies Bishop Morley, founder of the cathedral library, friend of Charles Stuart and Izaak Walton; he has an epitaph he wrote himself at 80. Next to him is Bishop Hoadly, whose eloquence annoyed the ineloquent poet Alexander Pope; he has a medallion portrait. A brass tablet on one of the pillars (on the left of the steps leading to the choir) brings to mind one of the sad hours of Charles Stuart, for it concerns the death of Colonel Richard Boles, who fought with him at Edgehill and died in a pulpit in Hampshire. “Bring me a mourning scarf,” said Charles when he heard the news, “I have lost one of the best commanders in the kingdom.”

One monument only in this great place seems not to be wanted; it is that of Bishop Wilberforce in the south transept, one of the worst works of Sir Gilbert Scott. It is a pity that this stately transept, one of the wonders of England in itself, should be spoiled by the pompous absurdity of this canopied structure, and that the good name of Bishop Wilberforce should be linked with a monument so entirely out of place; we feel that he must be thankful to be sleeping not here but in the little green where his wife lies with the wife of Cardinal Manning by the east wall of a village church in Sussex.

It is said that in the space behind the altar known as the Feretory, and now used as a vestry, the Conqueror’s son Richard lies in a marble coffin, and hereabouts also Alfred's eldest son was buried.  Our last Danish king, Hardicanute, lies near him, and among all these ancient figures lies St Swithun who, as he lay dying, asked to be buried in the churchyard here so that his grave might receive the raindrops from the roof .and be trodden by the feet of devout passers-by.

Nearly 1000 years ago he was brought indoors, and as the rain fell heavily at his reburial there has been foisted on to this good man the superstition that if it rains on St Swithun’s day it will rain for 40 days more. It never has been so within recorded time. Under the altar in the 13th century there was laid the heart of Bishop Ethelmar, who is shown with his mitre and crozier in a massive sculpture set in a wall behind the choir. He was Aymer de Valence, Bishop of Winchester at the age of 23, but was not consecrated for some years.

He went to Rome on Ascension day in 1260, and on his way home was taken ill in Paris, where he died and was buried, his heart being sent here. His monument has several times been moved, and a strange discovery was made in 1912, when a workman digging at one of the buttresses outside found a long-lost piece of the monument with two finely carved shields on it. In replacing this there was found a small cavity with a tiny lead casket in it. The casket was 700 years old, but contained no heart, and on a search being made it was found that 250 years ago a workman accidentally broke this monument, and under it the heart was then found in a golden cup. The heart has now been reburied in the north aisle.

The pavement has diamond-shaped stones here and there, marking children’s graves, and one epitaph says: “Dear to her friends,dearer to her parents, most dear to God.”

Winchester has two great libraries, belonging to the Cathedral and the College. The Cathedral library, which was built while London lay in ashes after the Great Fire, is reached by an old wooden stairway from the south transept. It has gathered to itself rare treasures covering a thousand years. It has a charter signed by King Ethelwulf and his young son King Alfred, an 11th century copy of Bede, a l2th century copy of the life of Edward the Confessor and (rarest of all its treasures) a Bible of the 12th century written in three volumes on vellum. This superbly illuminated manuscript of the Bible is the finest work known of the Winchester school of craftsmen. It is thought that it would be read aloud in the refectory of St Swithun’s monastery, and we know that it was considered to be a masterpiece in its own day, for it was borrowed for a monastery in Somerset so that the monks might copy it. It is the work of three artists. Another masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon art is the Benedictional produced for Bishop Ethelwold in the 10th century; it has 28 miniatures of which almost every one is the earliest treatment of the subject in English art. Among the treasures of the library is the original Cathedral Charter of Henry the Fifth, some early books with their chains, the staff of Bishop Fox and his ring, the ring of Bishop Gardiner, and the significant ring, set with a sapphire, which was found in the tomb supposed to be that of William Rufus; the significance of the ring is that it confirms the belief that the tomb is that of Henry of Blois.

In the College library is the craftsmanship of ages past, and on the flint walls of the old building in which the books are housed now hangs a wonder of our time which the ancient scholars could hardly have conceived. It is a marvellous Empire Clock, the works designed by Mr Henry Baker and Mr Robert Stewart, and the style of the clock by Sir Herbert Baker. Above the great circle with its dial of 24 hours is Phoebus Apollo with the horses of the sun; he rides in splendour above the hour of noon. Below the dial Selene is sleeping in her crescent moon at midnight. The clock has two dials, the inner one being a l2-hour clock, the outer one marking 24 hours, showing the time at Greenwich and throughout the Empire.

For the clockmaker this timepiece is a remarkable mechanical achievement, and for all of us it must seem a wonderful achievement of 20th century ingenuity. The various time zones are marked by symbols. The lion represents Greenwich time, South Africa has a winged springbok and the protea flower, India has the Great Star of India, and Burma a peacock’s feather, Singapore an anchor. New Zealand and Australia are shown by the stars of the Southern Cross. For the Pacific Ocean is a three-masted ship and for Canada a maple leaf. The United Kingdom has the leek, the shamrock, the thistle, and the rose, Newfoundland has a fish, and for the Atlantic Ocean there is a two-masted ship. The movement of the clock is driven by an electric motor running at a constant speed of 120 revolutions a minute. The works have 13 ball bearings with about 100 tiny balls. The framework of the big dial is made of stainless steel, and there is a stainless steel second hand, marking every second of time as it passes, as well as the gilded hands which mark the minutes and the hours.

All over the world the traveller meets the scholar from the school, where Manners makyth man. Winchester has become one of the most renowned of all our public schools. It was accepted as a model for Eton to which it gave the first headmaster, William of Waynflete. Its great block of buildings have something in them of most of the centuries from the 14th till now, with two groups of cloisters separated by 500 years, and both famous, both stirring the mind in different ways. In one we think of the medieval monks walking round a gracious square with a beautiful chantry of 1420 in the midst of it; in the other we have all those 500 Wykehamists who gave their lives for England in the Great War. The chantry chapel in the old cloisters set in the centre of a square 132 feet long on each side, is in memory of a steward of the college in the 15th century. The college stands a little way out of the boundary of the Cathedral Close, and over its massive gateway is the date 1394 with an ancient statue of the Madonna and Child. We pass into the quadrangle, and over the middle gate is another Madonna with the Archangel Gabriel, and a statue of William of Wykeham. In the inner quadrangle (115 feet each way) is the great oak panelled hall and the kitchen with bagpipes carved over their windows. Over another window is a statue of Frugality with his ironbound chest, over the master’s window is the schoolmaster and a scholar, and on the wall of a passage leading to the kitchen is the famous medieval painting of The Trusty Servant repainted in the time of George the Third to give this very pleasant ass a Brunswick uniform. Here is the refectory 63 feet long and with a fine vaulted roof made new in 1817. The chapel is delightful and still has the fan tracery vaulting of Wykeham’s day, carved in wood; we come into the chapel through a vestibule decorated in memory of 13 boys who fell in the Crimean War. There are medieval windows with imposing buttresses, and the chapel has some of the most varied carvings we have seen, one of them a man haunted by goblins. The east window is a Jesse Tree, copied last century from the original, and at the bottom of it are the clerk of the works, the carpenter, and the glazier. The figure of King Ahaz was missing from this tree for 121 years and has been found among some old glass fragments in our time and replaced in its original position. The sacristy has a tabernacle of gold with a gold chalice given by Henry the Sixth, and the room above has still the original window shutters cased in iron, and the ancient chest containing the college deeds. There are three new figures in the centre of the reredos all by Mr E. G. Gillick; they are in memory of the war and represent a soldier, a mother, and Christ Triumphant. The actual school is a detached building said to have been designed by Christopher Wren, and on its west wall is a piece of advice which every Wykehamist loves, translated to mean “Learn, Leave, or be Licked.”

Once a year Winchester College boys visit St Catherine's Hill a mile away in keeping with an ancient custom. On the hill are the foundations of St Catherine’s Chapel, and close by the ruins is an ancient earthwork maze, the story being that it was dug by the Dulce Domum schoolboy who had been kept back at school during the holidays. It is just a legend, but it is an old tradition in Winchester which tells us of the writing of this famous poem sung by schoolboys for centuries. For some misdeed the Master of Winchester had ordered a scholar to be chained to a pillar while all the other Wykehamists went home for Whitsuntide, and it is said the boy in his grief wrote the words of Dulce Domum, to which the organist wrote a tune. The song was in Latin, but it was the first English Home Sweet Home. This is how the boy at the pillar begins:

Sing a sweet melodious measure;
Waft enchanting lays around:
Home! a theme replete with pleasure;
Home, a grateful theme resound.

 In the chorus he appears to find solace by indulging in memories of his happy earlier years:

Home, sweet home! an ample treasure;
Home! with every blessing crowned;
Home! perpetual source of pleasure;
Home! a noble strain resound.

Wistfully he recalls the smiling meadows where he loved to stroll. He envies the swallow who seeks her dwelling:

And no longer loves to roam;
Her example thus impelling,
Let us seek our native home.

His thoughts turn to his mother, and he thinks of the welcome that would have awaited him:

O what raptures, O what blisses,
When we gain the heavenly gate!
Mother’s arms and mother’s kisses
There our blest arrival wait.

Alas and alack, so great was his grief, so keen his remorse at the disgrace befalling him, that when the scholars returned to Winchester they found him dead at his pillar.

Every year in olden days Whitsuntide would be ushered in by a procession of masters, scholars, and choristers round the pillar to which the poor boy was chained, the pillar at which he wrote the first Home Sweet Home. They would chant his verses as they walked, keeping alive the mournful tale of Dulce Domum.

The most stirring corner of the college grounds is the cloister in memory of those 500 Wykchamists who gave up their lives to preserve their country’s freedom. It is one of the noblest memorials of the Great War, the work of Sir Herbert Baker with a gallant band of sculptors, carvers, and building men. Sir Herbert has put on record the energy and pride of the men (practically all from Winchester) in their work, “their hammers and hods and chisels were never idle; we have been back in the good old days.” We can well believe it, for this is more than brick and stone and brass; it is the human spirit made manifest.

This memorial is between the street and the Meads, and we come into it through the Boer War Gate which brings us into a small forecourt where a stone tablet is set in the old wall with John Bunyan’s immortal words on it:

Then said he, My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it; my marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles; who will now be my rewarder. So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

In this open court are four lion heads found in the old wall. In the cloister the four paved ways meet between the grass squares at a stone column crowned with a cross, and with two sentinel crusaders facing east and west guarding the symbol of sacrifice. Round the outer walls runs a prose poem in Bible language set in a background of flints. This is what it says:

Thanks be to God for the service of these five hundred Wykehamists, who were found faithful unto death amid the manifold chances of the Great War. In the day of battle they forgot not God, who created them to do His will, nor their country, the stronghold of freedom, nor their school, the mother of godliness and discipline. Strong in this threefold faith they went forth from home and kindred to the battlefields of the world, and treading the path of duty and sacrifice laid down their lives for mankind. Thou, therefore, for whom they died, seek not thine own, but serve as they served, and in peace or in war bear thyself ever as Christ's soldier, battle in all things, valiant in action, steadfast in adversity.

In the spaces between the arches of the four walls are arms and badges of the navy and the national forces, and symbols of various aspects of life and government. On the inside walls are great tablets with the names of 500 Wykehamists who fell. The four corners are covered with domes dedicated to India and the Dominions, and in the pavement below them are round stones quarried in these dominions, and inlaid with brass symbols. Badges of the 120 regiments in which the 500 served are blazoned on the corbels and beams of the roof, and the remaining four badges, belonging to regiments most nearly associated with Winchester, are carried by angels on the oak struts of the roof.

Looking across the cloister from the north and south walls are two sculptured reliefs, one of an angel holding the symbol of Victory, the other of Peace with Plenty. In the floor at the gateway into the Meads are four small stones from the ruins of Ypres. In another pavement is an anchor of granite brought from the base of Table Mountain. Other pavements have crosses in stone from Australia and New Zealand, the Great Bear surrounded by maple leaves carved in marble from British Columbia, and the Star of India carved in marble such as is in the buildings of New Delhi. There are carved on the walls pack camels for Arabia, the Zimbabwe Bird, (Cecil Rhodes’s favourite symbol), a Pacific canoe, a fully rigged East Indiaman, St George and the dragon, a rhinoceros and a snake, the peacock in his pride, fruited palm trees, the sacred rivers of the East, and other reliefs of scenes and symbols significant of those parts of the world in which some Wykehamist fell for Winchester and England.

Winchester has two castles, the castle on the hill, on its historic site by the West Gate, and the castle of the bishops down below. Both have Norman work in the walls, but one is a ruin and the other has been transformed in modern days.

The Norman Wolvesey Castle stands in ruin by the bishop's modern house; the ruin is picturesque and has a nearly perfect keep. The modern house was built from the design of Christopher Wren. Though his front has gone, part of his work remains, with the Tudor chapel, to which a new east window of great beauty has been added, the work of Christopher Webb. It has Our Lord in Majesty in its central light, with the Nativity below and angels above, and in the other lights are Alphege and Alfred, St Swithun, William of Wykeham, Henry de Blois, Lancelot Andrewes, Cardinal Beaufort holding a model of his tower at St Cross, and Christopher Wren holding a model of his palace. The colouring of the window is charming. Some of the materials of which this bishop’s palace was built were brought from the Conqueror’s palace burned down in 1102. Philip of Spain and Mary Tudor stayed here at the time of their marriage in the cathedral, but the site is more interesting because of the tradition (not warranted by excavation) that here Alfred’s scribes compiled most of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He ordered the book to be kept on a chain, and the original copy chained here on this very spot is now at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

The castle on the hill is chiefly interesting for the stirring events that have happened where it stands, but its great hall is impressive with columns of Purbeck marble, stone window seats, staples which held the old shutters, remains of the dais for the king, and remains of Norman work visible in the walls. On the wall at one end hangs what is called King Arthur’s Round Table, made hundreds of years too late for him; it is certainly 400 years old and may be 600. It is 18 yards round and made of stout oak planks with spaces for King Arthur and 24 knights, and there are bullet marks which probably come from the days when the castle fell to Cromwell, who himself conducted a six-day siege. In front of the table is Sir Alfred Gilbert’s bronze statue of Queen Victoria, done for her Jubilee. It is said that Queen Matilda escaped in a coffin from the castle during her bitter war with King Stephen. Certainly the castle was the home of the Conqueror and of William Rufus, and it was from here that Rufus set out for the hunt from which he did not return. He set out from the castle in the state of a king and returned to the cathedral with the indignity of a man unbeloved.

Here Henry the First was married and here Henry the Third was born. Here Henry the Fifth received ambassadors, and Henry the Sixth planned Eton College. Here all the Edwards held their Court. Here came Richard Lionheart with his nobles and here Prince Arthur was born. But more stirring than the memory of those things is the thought that here Sir Walter Raleigh was sentenced to death at the bidding of a King of England to please the King of Spain. He lived under the sentence for 15 years before he was finally tried again and hounded to his doom. One other tragic memory of injustice lives with it, for it was here that the foul Judge Jeflreys sentenced Alice Lisle to death; she was beheaded in the little square which opens on to the path leading to the west door of the cathedral. Just outside the castle walls is an obelisk set up in the streets to mark the place where peasants used to bring food for poor people stricken with plague; they would leave it on a stone for the victims to take away.

Of Winchester’s group of churches a few have still something from Norman days. The Church of St John the Baptist has nave arcades from the days when the Norman style was passing into English; it has two aisles and a very narrow nave. The main walls are 13th century, the tower 15th. The roodloft stairs remain from the days before the Reformation and the rood screen remains with them. From the 14th century come two side screens in the chancel and stone seats for priests. The font is 15th century, the pulpit 16th, the bells 15th and 17th, and the candelabra 18th. There is a fragment of medieval glass, and still present in the church are the works of the 17th century clock. St Peter’s has a tower built on a Norman base, and arches from the end of Norman days, with a little 15th century glass, a 15th century bell, and a 12th century font. St Swithun’s Church has a 15th century font; St Bartholomew’s with a Norman doorway has a 12th century font, an ancient pillar piscina, a 17th century altar and rails, a mass clock, and stone fragments from Hyde Abbey. The Church of St Maurice is 19th century, but has a 15th century tower and a Norman doorway, a screen in the chapel 600 years old, 15th century altar rails, and a mass dial The 19th century Holy Trinity, in a charming churchyard, has wall-paintings of the Stations of the Cross. The Roman Catholic Church in St Peter's Street has a fine early Norman gateway which was the west doorway of a vanished church. St Michael’s Church in Kingsgate Street has a mass dial on its wall which told the time of mass in Saxon days, and a 17th century font; the church has been rebuilt but the medieval tower remains. St Thomas’s has been made new, and has a silver almsdish of the 17th century.

For those who think a cathedral city could have no more, a walk to St Cross brings an impressive surprise. We may come to it through the streets or over the meadows, and we shall be greeted as pilgrims have been greeted here for 800 years, with the offer of the Wayfarer’s Dole, a piece of bread and a drink. Through all these centuries it has been refused to none who ask.

A gabled archway brings us to a small courtyard across which rises the noble tower of Cardinal Beaufort’s gateway into one of the oldest houses of charity in England, founded by Henry of Blois for the daily feeding of 100 poor men as well as housing and clothing and feeding 13 more too old and sick to help themselves. He appointed a master to look after them, and gave them warm black gowns to wear and a silver cross as their badge. When 300 years had gone by Cardinal Beaufort, who took the king’s crown as security for a loan, gave a new lease of life to this house of poverty and richly endowed it with beauty and new buildings. He built houses for 2 priests, 3 sisters, and 35 brethren, and still the good work goes on about his gateway, on which he kneels in stone under one of three lovely niches, matched by a fine modern figure of the Madonna.

Beyond the gateway lies a delightful green quadrangle, with a charming architectural group round it. In front of us is one of the finest Norman churches in these islands; on our right is the great hall and the kitchen, across the lawn are the ancient cottages of the brethren, with tall chimneys, mullioned windows, and pointed doorways; and facing them is the long 16th century timbered ambulatory, carrying above it the infirmary, whose east window opens into the church so that in olden days an ailing brother might sit there and be comforted. The oriel window resting on two brick arches and a central column belongs to the room of the nuns. A doorway in the wall here opens on to a lawn in which Dendy Sadler found the inspiration for his famous pictures of Thursday and Friday.

The church is Norman and English, a massive block with a low central tower like Winchester’s, which we may climb to look out across the trees, rivers, and meadows to St Catherine's Hill or to wander along the heights of the clerestory which is a great adventure here. Outside the chancel are two lovely stone brackets on a pillar and by them an exquisite little piscina on a tiny column; and at a corner of the south transept wall is an extraordinary triple arch with beautiful carving, it may have been a doorway. At the east end is a beautiful little square turret. The walls have thirty kinds of mason’s marks put here by the medieval builders.

He would be dull indeed who could move about this ancient haunt of charity and not be stirred with the thought of all the generations of old folk who have come this way before us, have lived here in the evening of their days, sat in these chairs at these tables. A raised dais faces us as we come into the old quarters of the Brethren of St Cross and still on the long table are the pewter dishes, the tall leathern jugs, the bell which rang to summon the brothers to meals, the pair of wooden candlesticks they used, and the two wooden salt-cellars, all from Cardinal Beaufort’s time. There are wonderful chairs with seats cut out of the round of a solid oak trunk, and a great oval table with a marble top at which sat Cardinal Beaufort, William of Wykeham, and even Henry of Blois, for it is believed that the table came from Winchester Castle, where it was used for feasting in the Conqueror’s day. Far more thrilling it is than the King Arthur’s Table hanging there which King Arthur never saw. On this table of St Cross Bishop Blois would pay his hundred masons a penny a day to build his palace.

The roof of this great hall was built in the 14th century from timbers believed to have been the first Spanish chestnuts brought into England. Behind the dais is splendid panelling, the minstrel gallery with the line of leather fire buckets hanging from it, a lovely heraldic window in which we noticed the cardinal’s red hat, and a wooden frame with a calendar put here 200 years ago. The kitchen, small and stone-flagged, brings us into the very heart of a homely and human past, for at this great fireplace, where the meals of the brethren, their guests, and their masters were prepared for centuries, is a stupendous tray for meats and a remarkable Windlass still working, with the old brick oven, the spits and jacks for roasting, and the baking dishes, all now pensioned off after their long service for the poor.

Nothing was too good for this fine place, and we found in its windows fragments of some of the rarest glass in England, coming from the 12th century. In the passage to the kitchen is a small window with the arms of Robert Sherborne, a master in 1495, with his motto, “I have loved wisdom.”  but it is over the doorway that we find the 12th century glass, a speck of gold and blue above some 14th century medallions. Robert Sherbome’s glass is interesting because in it is a curiously written date from the days before the figures 4 and 5 were generally used, and 4 was shown as half of 8, and 5 as half of the Roman X.

The noble church of St Cross, built for these poor brethren, is a majestic place. It was set up when our English builders were forming their own ideas, when the pure round arch was becoming pointed, the windows were becoming more important, and the walls less massive. The great piers on which the arches rest in the nave are farther round than they are high, and rest on bases with four sculptures at the corners, each group of four making a series, such as the Cycle of Man. Everywhere the work is magnificent; we see the Norman merging into the English style with all its changes, to the eve of the greatest change of all in the 15th century. Every style of Norman ornament is found in this most lovely place and the rich carving of the arches, doorways, windows and the rib of the vaulting is an unusual and captivating picture. The church is 125 feet long and 115 wide at the transepts. The windows are Norman and Transitional in the nave and choir aisles, and later in the clerestory. In the nave of three bays the work is Norman and English too; in the string course we can see where the Norman craftsmen ended and the English craftsmen took it up, a bunch of grapes marking the change. We see also the mark of the change at the Reformation, for the old roodloft was cut away with a saw and the ends of the timbers are left. The rich and intricate moulding round the windows and the vaultings is Norman; so is the massive font of Purbeck marble which came from the old Church of St Faith.

The windows in the north transept are very interesting, and one of them is set askew to allow the sunlight to fall on a Madonna niched in a pillar; the glass through which the light falls is 14th century. The best glass at St Cross is in the oldest part of the church, the four windows of the triforium in the chancel. There is an ancient portrait of St Gregory in a window of the clerestory showing him with his bishop’s staff. The glass is 15th century, and has fine figures of St Catherine, St Swithun, St John, and a lovely Madonna. There is some fine modern glass from the Powell workshops, showing the Wise Men, Christ in Majesty, and the Crucifixion.

The lady chapel is rich in beauty, with carved ribs on the vaulted ceiling and running round a lovely window. The roof is remarkable and has zigzag moulding by the Normans. The chapel has two handsome Tudor screens, Elizabethan altar rails, and a piscina with a little central column and two canopies. On the altar are fragments of a painting of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, and above the altar is a triptych by Jan de Mabuse painted about 1500 and bought for £20. It shows the Nativity, with a monk oflering the Child a pear, and has two panels of St Barbara with a book and St Catherine with a wheel. Standing by the altar is Cardinal Beaufort’s chair, and there are two 14th century stalls on which have been carved dolphins putting out very long tongues.

In the peace memorial chapel at St Cross is what is probably the first memorial set up in England to the men who never came back; it was erected a month before the Armistice, and is a lovely bronze of St George by Sir George Frampton. The oak reredos of the chapel is by Sir Thomas Jackson, the window is by Powell and has a very fine figure of Fortitude. There is much stone canopy work, and in the roof is a remarkable oak and acorn boss of the 12th century. In the chancel, dividing it from the choir aisle, is a medieval stone screen entirely filling a great arch, and on the chancel and chapel walls are three or four pieces from a screen of 1529 carved with quaint fancies and little figures. There is an extraordinary bird unknown to zoology on the lectern, having an eagle’s body with a parrot’s head, webbed feet and terrible talons. It is very old, and the story is that it was to have been destroyed long ago, but was cut up by a man so cleverly that he was able to put it together again. The choir-stalls have finely carved canopies, and the stalls themselves are scarred all over with the initials and patterns cut by the choristers.

Among other notable possessions of the church is a solid gold chalice with a diamond cross, a massive altar stone which has been rescued from a ditch, a lovely fragment of the old reredos, a brass of John Campeden who did the wonderful series of corbels in the tower, two other brasses showing Richard Harward, a 15th century warden, and Thomas Lawne, a rector of Mottisfont who died in 1518, patches of frescoes fading away, chevron carving round a window with 64 little birds in the spacings, a serpent forming an arch above a door, and two wooden crosses from France.

Such is the church with its great tradition and its true nobility, set up for the Hospital of St Cross. There is something pathetic in the sight of these old brethren ending the evening of their days in this old place, in the atmosphere sanctified by the serenity of so many generations in this ancient capital of England.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Tadlow, Cambridgshire

Once I'd found St Giles, open, which was harder done than said, I loved its location surrounded by woods and, despite being on the busy main road it was tranquil, almost idyllic. But the building is on its last legs with cracks in the tower, the south west nave pews cordoned off with DANGER FALLING PLASTER signs and a general sense of imminent collapse; I think the main reason I found it open is that the south door will no longer shut. Sadly I don't think there's enough interest here to make it a candidate for a CCT rescue despite it being Grade II* listed.

The Historic England Heritage at Risk assessment is as follows:

Parish church. C13 nave and chancel and C14 west tower. Restored c1860 under supervision of W Butterfield. Fieldstone, clunch rubble with limestone and clunch dressing. Plain tiled roof. West tower of three stages. Crack to second stage of tower on east face. Some displacement and cracking to buttress on north wall adjacent to infilled north door. Further crack to north side of east gable. Cracking to stonework and extensive ivy growth reported, deterioration continues.

I really liked Butterfield's interior, which is strange as I'd normally run a mile from a Victorian re-gloss and even stranger, really liked the contemporary, to the restoration, Alexander Gibbs windows which normally I'd write off as crass. I suppose the sense of imminently losing it all played a part, and perhaps the loss of Wendy, but I'll remember this church long after she falls [the ruin will be spectacular].

ST GILES. Pleasantly placed, in a leafy position. Nave, chancel, and W tower. The chancel and nave are both datable C13 by their lancert windows. The W tower must be Perp, see e.g. the W doorway, W window and arch towards the nave. The S doorway is the only piece of more ambitious designing; two orders of colonnettes, fine arch moulding with one keeled and one unkeeled roll. The S porch is C19.

SW nave Alexander Gibbs glass (5)

St Giles (1)

Light

TADLOW. It is only a step into Bedfordshire from this scattered little place, with a moated farm called Tadlow Bridge and a small cobbled stone church with two cedars overtopping its 500-year-old tower. A block of stone with a socket hole set in the walls of a farm is all that is left of its ancient cross. In the 13th century church is another stone with traces of the lost portrait of Margaret Broggrife, whom they laid to rest here in 1493. Only a few lines of her skirt are left, but a drawing in the church shows us the outline of Margaret’s figure and the picture of her six children before they were trodden away by many feet.

I feel rather smug that I spotted this without being sure that it was an inscribed ledger stone, it was one of those is it or isn't it moments:

Margaret Brogriffe 1493 (2)