Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Eastwick, Hertfordshire

St Botolph was locked which seems a shame - especially since it houses "the best C13 effigy in the county".

ST BOTOLPH. A short yew avenue leads to the church which was rebuilt in 1872 by Blomfield, except for the chancel arch and the W tower. Blomfield’s church consists of nave and chancel only and is of no interest. The chancel arch is an astonishingly ambitious piece of C13 design with three orders of tall Purbeck shafts and a complexly moulded arch, as if for a cathedral (cf. Standon). - PLATE. Paten, 1705;  Chalice, 1719; Paten, 1735. - MONUMENTS. Under the tower the best C13 effigy in the county, a marble Knight in chain mail with long surcoat. His legs are crossed. - Brass to Joan Lee d. 1564. - Epitaph to Mary Plummer d. 1700, good, of diptych type, with three Corinthian columns. - Epitaph to Walter Plummer d. 1746, so good that it may well be by Rysbrack (see the delightful cherubs’ heads and the exquisitely carved classical details of frieze and pediment).

St Botolph (1)
Eastwick. Behind its few cottages are meadows with high and solitary trees and a distant gleam of the River Stort as it turns south into Essex. The church, reached between walls of clipped yew, has changed much; but, though it was rebuilt last century, except the tower, the richly moulded stones of its first chancel arch were set up again as they were 700 years ago and the old gargoyles are back on the tower. In the tower hang two medieval bells, and a third which was new when it tolled for Queen Elizabeth I; and below them is the portrait of an Elizabethan lady, Joan Lec, looking down from her brass on a stone knight of the 13th century who lies cross legged in chain mail with his long sword. They are an interesting couple, both showing in detail the costume of their time.


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