St Andrew’s Church

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Things to do


Date of travel

February, 2014

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St Andrew’s Church is a small thatched church with a detached round tower. This was originally thought to be C12th and built as a defensive stronghold for the near by manor house as well as being a bell tower. Now thought to be C14th and contemporary with the church. The flint tower has a brick top and brickwork round the window arches and doors.

The church is a simple whitewashed building with nave, chancel and small south porch. Reached through a lych gate, it is set in a well tended graveyard with primroses and rooks cawing.

Entry is through a lovely old door and down two steps. It is a friendly church with sunlight streaming through the windows in the nave. These are C19th with plain glass with white flowers set on a pale green background.

Walls are whitewashed and the plastered barrel ceiling is supported by King pin beams. In the floor are old grave slabs. The C19th pews have carved poppy heads.

Set in a recessed arch on the north wall is the remains of a wall painting. This is an unusual design with a white cross and four angels with outspread wings holding cups to the centre of the cross. Above their heads are scrolls with Latin inscriptions. At the base are the remains of angels looking up in adoration. The base has been lost under later plaster. This was possibly the site of a medieval shrine with a wooden crucifix.

On the walls are hatchments of the Rabbatt family of Bramfield Hall with rabbit heads in the coat of arms. One hatchment has a skull at the bottom, indicating the end of the line.

Across the chancel arch is a beautiful C15th rood screen which survived the attention of the Iconoclasts during the Civil War. The panels at the base are painted with the four evangelists, St John and Mary Magdalene.

Above the panels is a carved ledge with small metal flowers and bunches of grapes. The delicate tracery has been painted. Above, fan vaulting splays out towards the nave with a gold and red cross at the centre of each vault.

The back of the rood is unpainted. The top of the rood was in poor condition and was restored in the C19th.

The C19th carved wooden altar beneath the east window has a pale stone reredos with the Lamb of God set on a background of flower motifs. Round the rest of the walls of the sanctuary is carved stone arcading. This has niches for statues; Helen and Paul on the left and Peter and Andrew on the right.

On the north wall of the chancel is a grand memorial to Arthur Coke (d. 1629) and his wife Elizabeth. Arthur is kneeling in prayer, in a black arch lined with painted shields. Below him lies his wife Elizabeth, holding an small baby. She died in childbirth in 1627.

This is a lovely church with plenty to admire. It is open all day and there is a small parking space on the road opposite the lych gate.

To locate St Andrew’s Church enter the post code IP19 9NT into Google maps. The grid reference is TM399738

There are more pictures “here.”:

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