Friday, 22 October 2010

Little Canfield, Essex

All Saints was locked (understandably as this really is in the middle of nowhere) with no hint of a keyholder and the exterior has been heavily, and hideously, restored. I'd have liked to have gained entrance if only to see the Fytch brass which links Little Canfield to Lindsell. It's situation is rather bleak with a gravel, I think, extraction site to the west and flat, dull surroundings - it also didn't help that it was overcast and cold!

I liked the tower and spire and the, suspiciously modern looking, corbels though.

ALL SAINTS. The general impression and much of the detail are due to the Rev. C. L. Smith, an amateur architect. He designed the N  tower and restored and re-modelled much outside and inside. The chancel especially, though built in the C14, was never as ornate as it is now. It also contains several unexpected motifs without period precedent, notably the canopy over the priest’s door. The STAINED GLASS incidentally is contemporary with the restoration. The nave on the other hand still keeps one piece of evidence of its Norman origin, a S doorway with one order of columns (one-scallop capitals). Interesting are the straightheaded ogee-reticulated C14 windows on the N as well as the S  side. - CHEST. C13, Broad boards as feet. In the front of the feet semicircles are cut out and little colonnettes put in instead, as an attempt at decorative enrichment. - SCREEN. With four-light sections ending in interlaced cusped arches, C15. - PLATE. Rich secular Dish of 1634; also rich Cup of 1675. - BRASSES of 1578 and 1593. 

LITTLE CANFIELD. The Romans marched this way along Stane Street, and the Normans began the church set apart among the trees. Their work is in the walls of the nave and in its doorway. The tower and its stone spire are modern, but the chancel and some of the windows are 14th century, and there are fragments of 600 - year-old glass. There is a graceful screen richly carved in those days, a porch with handsome tracery of about 1500, modern corbels with striking angel heads, a 17th century chest and a much rarer one probably 700 years old, fashioned of oak boards framed  in broad corner posts. Kept in cases in the vestry are the brightly coloured statuettes used here at Christmas time to make up a little scene of the Nativity, Mary and Joseph bending over a crib, a shepherd blowing a pipe, a kneeling king in a green robe, an ox, and an ass. A charming sight they must make by candlelight. Here sleeps Anne Pudsey of 1593, her figure engraved in brass, her son with cloak and sword keeping her company. Another brass to William Fytche of 1578 is complete except for William; he has vanished, leaving a wife on either side and nine children below.

Flickr set.

No comments:

Post a Comment