Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Buckland, Hertfordhire

St Andrew is the first church under the auspices of the CCT that I've come across which is kept locked with no key holder listed. In my experience CCT churches are always open so perhaps something untoward has happened at Buckland.

Its imposing tower is probably the best exterior feature but it's a shame that it's locked as Mee makes it sound rather interesting.

Update: When I returned to Buckland I found a note saying that the church is usually kept unlocked, and which gave keyholders for the times it was not, had been added to the north door.

The interior holds lots of interest including brasses, monuments and some fragmentary medieval glass - a fascinating interior.


ST ANDREW. Nave, chancel, and S transept C14. An inscription in some stained glass is recorded giving the date 1348 for the construction of the church. W tower c. 1400, S aisle and S porch later C15. The W tower has diagonal buttresses. The nave and chancel have windows typical of the mid C14, the S aisle and S porch (depressed arch, two-light windows) belong to the late C15 or even early C16. The S aisle arcade has odd and very pretty piers consisting of shafts with capitals only for the inner order of the arches themselves. Towards the nave and aisle there are no capitals. Demi-figure of an angel on the W impost. Head-stops on the labels of the nave windows. - STAINED GLASS. C15 canopies in N windows. - MONUMENTS. Brasses to Alice Boteler d. 1451; to William Langley, Rector of Buckland, d. 1478; and to John Gyll d. 1499 with children (chancel). - Susan Clarke d. 1634, epitaph with bust and small Mannerist ļ¬gures on the 1. and r. - John Clare d. 1772, big epitaph with bust above an asymmetrical Rococo cartouche with inscription. By John Richards of Bishopsgate.


St Andrew (3)

Buckland. Cutting through the broad harvest fields comes the Romans’ Ermine Street, and where it climbs this village hill is the church Nicholas de Bokeland built in 1348, recording his deed on the glass of a chancel window; it is one of the few Hertfordshire churches of which the exact date is known. Though Nicholas’s glass has gone a few fragments of 14th-century glass remain in other windows. The font is old enough to have served for the baptism of this church-builder’s children, though its bowl of Barnack stone has been recut. The tower, the aisle, and the porch were added in the 15th century, and several people who saw them new are here in brass - Alice Boteler, the wife of a Sheriff of London; John Gyll with his six sons (his four daughters have been stolen from him); William Langley, the rector who died in 1478, pictured in his robes with the chalice he held out to the villagers 500 years ago. Under the altar is an inscription to a rector’s wife who died the year before Charles I, and close by is Chantrey’s beautiful medallion portrait of William Michell, son of another rector. An 18th-century rector, Dr Thomas Morrell, made for himself another kind of memorial, compiling the words for some of Handel’s oratorios.

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