Monday, 22 November 2010

Feering, Essex

A framed welcome note in the porch of All Saints states that "this church opens wide her doors" which is technically inaccurate as two very large padlocks keep the doors firmly closed. I looked for a less obvious means of ingress but without success. Obviously there were no keyholders listed which is a pity because this is, architecturally speaking, a really interesting church. I would guess that the porch and south aisle are Tudor built and give the older part of the church a really different look that I loved. Wanting more information I googled All Saints but nothing useful or particularly informative was returned (but I did confirm my Tudor work).

I've revisited several times now and keyholder numbers are now listed but they've both been out when I've called.

ALL SAINTS. In a pleasant village setting. All Perp. C14 N aisle, and chancel, C15 W tower, early C16 nave and S porch. The latter are of brick and the most interesting feature of the church. Three- to five- light windows, a little brick and flint decoration, battlements on trefoiled corbel friezes. Stepped battlements on the porch. Star-like tierceron vault in the porch (cf. Great Coggeshall). Chancel and N aisle windows simply Dec. N arcade on square piers with four demi-shafts (cf. Witham), arch with two quadrant mouldings. - STAINED GLASS. Original C14 tabernacles in situ in a N window. - MONUMENT. Recess in the N wall, shafted and with ogee head.

All Saints

South porch

South door


FEERING. One of its houses, Feering Bury, has seen some famous figures under its roof. Here Queen Elizabeth came to stay; here came Bishop Bonner who sent the Protestant martyrs to their doom; and here came Bishop Ridley, the martyr to whom Latimer spoke that brave farewell which rings down the ages still. Still in the windows are Tudor arms, and there are two chimneys of the 17th century. In the village is an inn old enough to have been seen by all these people; and Houchin’s Farm, with two storeys over-hanging on brackets of grotesque figures, and a moat filled with water.

The fine brickwork of the Tudor builders gives the church a glow of warmth between the solid grey of the 14th century chancel and the 15th century tower. Parts of the nave are 700 years old, but the south wall has been refashioned in brick. There is a splendid porch with pinnacles, battlements, much ornament, and a vaulted roof, all medieval, as is the door with its fine ironwork. A 13th century coffin lid with a fine cross is the oldest treasure inside the church. There are scraps of old glass, some 600 years old and one with Queen Elizabeth’s initials; one medieval chest and another of about 1600; and a canopied recess which is either the tomb of a benefactor or an Easter Sepulchre unusually placed in an aisle. The finest woodwork is on the pulpit, which has vigorous carvings probably by Flemish artists of 300 years ago. We see the Scourging of Our Lord, His drooping figure under the weight of the Cross, and the mocking of the Roman soldiers. 

Flickr set.

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