Sunday, 31 October 2010

Shepreth, Cambridgeshire

A monumental church, particularly the tower, but locked without a keyholder mentioned. The chancel is new build, and then overly restored as was the nave , but the tower looks true, however there's a truly awful lean-to tacked on to the north aisle. An oddity are the waist high "corbels" on the south wall.

In principal, as it's locked, I'm going to give it a zero but because of the tower alone I'm going for a 8 or 9 - assuming it's true.

ALL SAINTS. Nave and chancel; S aisle; short, ashlar-faced W tower with pyramid roof. Norman chancel arch, narrow with one angle shaft each side towards the nave, and, corresponding to it, in the arch one roll-moulding. Norman also the N doorway with one order of shafts; but the arch, with one slight chamfer and pointed, must be a little later. To the r. of the chancel arch a trefoiled C13 arch, originally perhaps blank as a recessed reredos behind a side altar, but now filled by a two-light Dec window into the chancel. On the other side of the chancel arch a similar, not altered arch which is still blank. The nave N wall cuts into it. The chancel Piscina (on the N side) goes with the mouldings of these arches. The rest of the chancel was rebuilt early in the C17, again in 1777, and re-gothicized in 1870. The N wall of the nave has also C13 windows, but they seem to be new, as the wall is of yellow brick. The S arcade is of five bays, the Perp W tower cuts into the first bay, The piers have four shafts and four hollows, the arches twice fine hollow-chamfers. - FONT. C13, on five circular supports. The bowl octagonal but connected in the diagonals with the five supports by volutes meeting at the corners. - PAINTING ‘The Widow’s Mite’. In bad condition. - MONUMENT. C13 grave cover with foliated cross, found in 1953.

All Saints

All Saints (2)

SHEPRETH. Charming it is, with lovely groves of trees and murmuring brooks and thatched cottages dotted about the lanes. Here was a Roman house, of which traces have been found today there is a comfortable Georgian house where the ways meet, a cross with ten names on the little green shaded with limes, and at a secluded end of the village a moat still filled with water.

By the moat is the neat little church, which takes us back to Norman days. The Normans built its chancel arch, and its font is  by the English masons who learned their work from Normans. In one of the recesses by the chancel arch is open window tracery through which we peep to the altar.

We come in through a 12th century doorway, but the clustered columns of the nave, and the chancel itself, are 14th century.  The old chest is crumbling with age between its iron bands.

A low pyramid cap covers what is left of the massive old tower of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries; the stones that were once at the top have been used in the churchyard wall.

Flick set.

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