Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dullingham, Cambridgeshire

As expected St Mary, Dullingham, didn't live up to it's name; although not as earth shaking as the Bulbecks, it contains, and has a wealth of, interesting features - perhaps it helped that I visited on the last day of the Indian summer. Heavily weighted towards monuments for the Jeaffreson family who were, over several generations, MPs and JPs for Cambridgeshire culminating in a rather magnificent monument to Lt Gen Christopher Jeaffreson (d. 1824) - a quick Google search returns little info other than a seemingly spurious claim that they were antecedents of Thomas Jefferson. As usual the church was heavily restored by the Victorians and has an enormous, and rather hideous, green marble pulpit which overwhelms the north side of the Nave. I can't imagine what the designer was thinking of but I rather liked it despite, or perhaps because of, how awful it is.

I hadn't noticed, until I loaded the pictures, how clever the three crowns (presumably modern) sculptor was - look at it as a thumbnail to see what I mean or squint at it until you see the hidden picture, once seen you can't miss it.

ST MARY. The earliest part is the chancel with its blocked N window and doorway and its Piscina. The rest is all Perp. Embattled W tower with a tiny C18 lantern, nave and aisles, clerestory and chancel windows. The show-piece of the church is its N aisle and N porch. They are connected by a base decorated with flushwork. The porch has a specially tall entrance, an inner doorway with demi-figures, two-light openings with head-corbels and gargoyles. Four-bay Perp arcades with piers of simple section: four shafts and four hollows. Chancel arch and tower arch are Perp. On the S side attached to the S aisle a two-bay chapel of the same date. On its E wall remains of the former Reredos. - FONT. Octagonal, and seemingly Perp, but in fact Jacobean; traceried stem, shields in cusped panels on bowl. - PULPIT. 1903, plain, big, heavy, green marble object, of exquisite colour shades. - MONUMENTS. Christopher Jeaffreson d. 1725, with cartouche surrounded by acanthus, scrolls, cherubs’ heads etc. It is instructive to compare this monument with that for Christopher Jeaffreson d. 1748, of exactly the same type, but now in Rococo forms, with plenty of rocaille. - Mrs Elizabeth Jeaffreson d. 1778, lovely example of the chastest Louis XVI style in England, pink and white marble, no figures at all; signed Westmacott, that is, by the father of Sir Richard Westmacott, R.A. (see below). - Christopher Jeaffreson d. 1789. Standing wall monument with a big draped white urn in front of a grey obelisk. Also by the elder Westmacott. - Lt Gen. Christopher Jeaffreson d. 1824, by Westmacott. On a tomb-chest, asleep, clad in a toga. -  Henrietta Viscountess Gormanston, his widow d. 1826. Also by Westmacott. With mourning female by a pedestal inscribed : To maternal affections.

Mee is cursory:

Dullingham. Once a Roman farmer lived here, and after he had gone the Saxons cleared more of the forest, where now are fine meadows and trees, none much finer than the sycamore at the churchyard gate. The massive tower and the fine porch are both 15th century. The roof timbers of the porch shelter an ancient door, and as we enter we are watched by three women in wimples and two gargoyle men. Much is old among the great beams and kingposts above the clustered medieval pillars. There is a Jacobean font with worn painted shields, an Elizabethan table, a 13th century piscine, and a sculpture by Westmacott of General Jeaffreson.

The full set can be seen here.

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