Monday, 21 March 2011

Burrough Green, Cambridgeshire

From the outside St Augustine of Canterbury filled me with dread.

First it looks extraordinary with three odd gables above the south door, second the general wear and tear of the fabric and third it was surely going to be locked. The third worry was groundless and upon entry I was utterly blown away by the interior.

The chief glory of the church are the de Burgh and Ingoldsthorpe tombs and the 15th century double piscina and sedilla but there's much more of interest in this sadly waterlogged church. Whilst the general condition of the interior is in tenuous shape this is an obviously loved church and is well worth a visit - although I warn you that you will be here for longer than you anticipate from the outside.

ST AUGUSTINE. A church more interesting than architecturally valuable, a puzzle rather than a work of art. The material is flint. W tower probably C14 with later bell-openings and parapet. The aisles altered outside in the C17. They received cross-gables for each of the first three bays and a kind of minimum decoration of the large windows. The chancel was originally flanked by chapels. Of these remains can be seen on the E wall of both aisles and along the N and S walls of the chancel. The most illuminating of these is S low broad ogee arch on the N side, as a look at the inside shows this to correspond with a monument which once connected chapel and chancel. E of this remains of a Piscina; so the chapel went as far E as the chancel. On the S side - just as illuminating - a re-set and a blocked Early Dec two-light window. This was the chancel fenestration, before chapels were added. For it goes with the three-light cusped intersected E window. This by the way is also re-set, and remains of a brick E arch indicate the existence of an C18 extension or apse. Then a chapel was also added on the N side of the chancel - see the blocked arch cutting into the blocked window. The dates which we have for chapels indeed correspond to this evidence. One chapel had a central tomb to two men who died in 1330 and 1334, the other was founded in 1445. - Now the interior. Perp arcade of three bays with tall octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. Tower arch the same design. The chancel-arch on the surviving two responds has been demolished; two C18 vases on the responds instead. The sedilia and double piscina bear out the date of the chancel window, i.e. c. 1300. - FONT. Completely plain, octagonal, dated 1672, with nice simple cover. - MONUMENTS. The ogee-headed recess (ogee-cusped and sub-cusped) in the chancel N wall has already been mentioned. It is flanked by pinnacles. To its l. and r. two slightly later recesses. They have four-centred arches below ogee gables and enriched quatrefoils in the spandrels. Below these three canopies lie four effigies, not one necessarily belonging to its canopy. They are all poorly preserved. They represent members of the de Burgh and the Ingoldesthorpe families. Under the ogee canopy effigy of the earlier C14, a Knight on a bed of pebbles - an unusual conceit (cf. Ingham, Norfolk). Next to him a Lady of the late C14. - Under the four-centred arches two Knights of c. 1400. In addition in the N aisle efiigies of husband and wife, better in quality than the others and later, probably John Ingoldesthorpe d. 1420 and his wife Elizabeth de Burgh d. 1421.

St Augustine of Canterbury (2)

de Burgh tombs

John & Elizabeth Ingoldsthorpe nee de Burgh 1420 & 1421 (1)


Flickr set.

Rather to my surprise Mee and his team missed Burrough Green.

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