St Andrew’s Church

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Eastleach is a delightful small settlement on the banks of the River Leach. It developed from two separate manors and is made up of two parts, each with its own church. Across the river is the redundant church of St Michael and St Martin, (separate review) reached by a short walk along the river bank and across the clapper bridge.

Both churches date from the early 12thC and are very similar, except that St Andrew’s has double Norman windows at the top of the tower and a saddleback roof in the 13/14thC.

It has a superb Norman doorway with a carved tympanum above it. Slender round arches with either spiral or chevron carving support a round arch. This is has more chevrons and round billets carved round it and extends down to the ground. The semi circular tympanum has Christ in Majesty in the centre with angels on either side.

Again it has whitewashed walls and wooden beam roof. The elm was cut in the parish. Pointed arches lead into the chancel and north chapel, which contains the organ. There are monuments on the back wall and a benefactors board.

By the door is a carved 15thC octagonal font. Pews are very simple. The Jacobean pulpit has elaborately carved panels. The shaft of the lectern originally came from Tewkesbury Abbey and for many years was used by a parishioner as a parrot stand. He gave it to the church when the bird died.

The chancel has a small altar set under three lancet windows. There is an old chest dated 1678 and a priest’s chair dated 1632.

The church is still used regularly and lovingly looked after by the parishioners. We felt it lacked the impact of St Michael and St Martin. It is open during the day and there is parking outside. Both are worth visiting and it is a lovely walk between them over the clapper bridge.

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