Sunday, 11 September 2011

Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire

Crossing the border into Cambridgeshire the heavens opened and the resulting downpour, and dreadful pub in which I sheltered, may have biased my resulting view - but I don't think so.

This should, and could, have been an interesting church as at some time the tower and steeple fell and were replaced with an extension (or should that be erection)to the south porch which is unusual but is sadly boxy and ugly and the interior has been sadly decimated.

I was brought up on the principle of if you haven't got anything nice to say, say nothing - so...

SS PETER AND PAUL. Flint-built. The steeple which gave the village its name fell in 1633. The present tower above the S porch with its tile-hung upper storey and its shingled spire is similar to what appears in Cole’s drawing of 1748, but was erected in 1866. The chancel was rebuilt at the same time. Good C14 interior. Some C14 windows, good Early Perp N aisle, with tall and big windows of three lights. Panel tracery in the two-centred heads. The interior has four-bay arcades with quatrefoil piers, moulded capitals and double-chamfered arches. The N arcade c. 1280, the S arcade c. 1380. Broad blocked openings for probably quatrefoil clerestory windows above the spandrels (not the apexes) of the arches. Chancel aisle also Dec.

SS Peter & Paul (3)

STEEPLE MORDEN. It lies among orchards and meadows by the Hertfordshire border, with little dormer windows peeping from deep thatched roofs and flowers bordering the cottage walls.  It has lost the steeple which gave it half of its name, for it fell in a storm 200 years ago, and the tower was replaced by a low one of red tiles with a shingle spire above the 14th century porch. The nave arcade has clustered pillars and capitals of about 1300, the font is about the same age, and there are a few fragments of ancient glass. In one of the aisles is a Jacobean altar, and there is a plain old chest.

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