Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Moulton, Suffolk

St Peter lords it over the village and is, surely, the product of the wool trade - it's enormous for the size of village it now serves. However the size of it now plays against it and the interior is genteelly shabby, I imagine that the annual maintenance costs far outstrip the congregation's ability to meet them and though this is plainly an affluent village secularism appears to have set in, which is a pity because the decline of this church would effect the impact of the village.

I don't denigrate the congregation here but when you ask a keyholder which door the key opens and the response is "I don't know, I've never been there" surely some questions are raised.

This was my third visit to St Nicholas but the first two were for weddings when you don't really get a chance to see the church and it's fixtures and it's a really interesting building both in and out; the main attraction being the woodwork of the roof angels and poppyheads in the chancel.

ST PETER. Norman nook-shafts at the W and E ends of the S side of the nave. (Simpler shafts on the N side too. LG) Late C13 W tower. The tower arch triple-chamfered and dying into the imposts. The rest of the church externally over-restored; Perp. Aisles and transeptal chapels, clerestory. The arcade inside has polygonal shafts with capitals (fleuron and battlement decoration) to the arches, but polygonal attachments without capitals to the nave. The chancel arch corresponds to the former type; so does the W arch of the N transept. The corresponding S arch is lower and heavier. Frieze with fleurons and demi-figures of angels at sill-level of the clerestory.* No furnishings of interest.

* (Remains of an anchorite’s cell or ankerhole N of the tower. LG).

St Peter (2)

Roof angel (19)

Poppyhead (4)

MOULTON. It is the only village in Suffolk still using one of the old packhorse bridges, a grand veteran of 500 summers or more with four pointed arches astride the tiny River Kennet, and parapets low enough to allow the packs to swing clear. The village green is by the river, the church on a beech-crowned hill. Most of it is 15th century, but the embattled tower is a century older. It has an old mass dial. The pretty porch with quaint heads and flowers on its corners leads into the lofty nave. The arcade has capitals of flowers, and above it soars the splendid clerestory, each group of its windows divided by a graceful shaft with an angel at its base. There are some modern oak benches and four old bench-ends bearing strange animals, a dragon, a unicorn, and two dogs.

Personally I interpreted these as 2 hares, a stag and a unicorn.


No comments:

Post a Comment