Monday, 18 October 2010

Leaden Roding, Essex

St Michael was locked and strangely hideously attractive, I don't know why the Norman chancel and nave work with the later wooden shingle spire but it does - perhaps it was the weather. The builders incorporated lots of re-cycled, probably Roman, tiles in the west wall. I'm not sure where I stand on this.

I gained access today (31.05.13) and, as I suspected, it's not a very interesting interior although I did like the pulpit and lancet windows.

ST MICHAEL. Nave, chancel, and belfry. The belfry is weather-boarded with a shingled broach spire. It rests on posts with thin, low braces and cross-strutting to the l. and r. Nave and chancel Norman, the windows much renewed. S doorway with odd capitals of four thin stone slabs on top of each other. The nave roof simple, of trussed rafters, with low tie-beams. - PULPIT. C15 with traceried panels and quatrefoils at their foot. - COMMUNION RAIL. C17, with sparsely placed heavy balusters. - PLATE. Cup and Paten of 1662. 

LEADEN RODING. The cottages are at the cross-roads; the church has stood since Norman times by a farmstead nearer the River Roding. It has a doorway the Normans made in the nave, and a chancel leading out of it with no intervening arch, built in the 13th century. The 14th century font has the staples into which the cover was padlocked so that witches should not steal the water for their magical rites; the font cover was adapted for the staples in the 17th century, reminding us that the Reformation did not reform away the old belief in witchcraft. Many a sermon against witches would be preached from this perfect little 16th century pulpit. It stands on a trumpet-shaped stem and its eight narrow panels have tracery at the top and quatrefoils below.

Flickr set.

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