Thursday, 8 September 2011

Watton at Stone, Hertfordshire

The magnificent SS Andrew & Mary was sadly locked with no keyholder listed. I say sadly because I have seen pictures of the interior on Flickr and really wanted to see it for myself...hmm.

ST ANDREW AND ST MARY. An all-embattled flint church of the C15 with two porches, a rood stair-turret on the S side, and a tower stair-turret rising higher than the tower battlements. The N porch is two-storeyed with a broad stair-turret on the E side. The view from the NE towards all these various castellated parts is especially enjoyable. Most of the windows are renewed but represent the Perp 'panel' tracery of the originals accurately. The E window is original. The interior has a four-bay arcade with particularly characteristic Late Perp piers. They are of a complicated section (the same as at Ware) with a double curve and several hollows and have capitals only to the innermost shafts under the arches. The main mouldings carry on into the voussoirs without any break. A Perp N chapel was added in 1851 and provided with a Neo-Jacobean tunnel-vault. - MONUMENTS. Brass to a Knight in armour under ogee canopy with thin buttresses and pinnacles. The figure is said to represent Sir Philip Peletot d.1361. It is 4 ft 9 in. long and restored (N chapel). - Brass to a civilian, C15 (N chapel). - Brass to a Knight in armour, early C16 (N chapel). - Brass to a civilian, headless, C15 (N aisle). - Brass to a lady, Early Elizabethan, lower part missing (nave, E end). - Brass to a priest, mid C15, very good large figure (4 ft 9 in.; chancel). - Large incised alabaster slab to John Boteler of Woodhall and his two wives. One of them died in 1471. The inscription runs at the head end, the wrong way up. John Boteler’s date of death remained blank (N chapel). - Standing wall monument to Philip Boteler d. 1712 and wife. Frontally kneeling figures in a shallow Gothic recess, he in contemporary costume, she as a Roman matron. They suffer from lack of leg space. - Sir Thomas Rumbold d. 1791, by Bacon, with a delicate relief of a mourning female in a tondo. Two urns in the shallowest relief to the l. and r. - W. R. Rumbold d. 1786, with a big urn wreathed with an oak garland. Probably also by Bacon but unsigned. 

SS Andrew & Mary (5)

SS Andrew & Mary (1)

Watton. In its friendly street are homes 300 years old, and to the north of the church is Watton Place, a good example of a Tudor home. Watkins Hall has been rebuilt but still has the old beam which recorded its change of name in 1636 like this:

Watton Hall alias Watkins Hall.

The little River Beane swells into a wide lake in Woodhall Park. The impressive church is a generous example of 15th century architecture even to the roofs of its aisles, and has a whole collection of medieval folk in brass. First comes a knight in armour of the 14th century, Sir Philip Peletot, sheltering in the only modern addition to the church, the barrel-roofed north chapel. With him is another knight in Tudor armour, probably one of the Butlers, who have several other brass portraits here, and a grand alabaster slab of 1471 inlaid with portraits of Sir John Butler with his two wives and eight children. They lived at Woodhall manor house. Also in brass are a medieval priest and the wife of Edmund Bardolf (who died in 1455). There is a fine ironbound chest 300 years old, good carving on the doorway of the north porch, and out in the great churchyard is a handsome altar tomb 200 years older than the church itself.  Away in Well Wood are traces of a moat, and a mile from the village is a 16th century farmhouse, Broom Hall.

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