Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Ridgewell, Essex

St Lawrence left me strangely flat, perhaps because of the glories of Sudbury or perhaps because it's not very interesting.

ST LAURENCE. All C15 except for an unexplained, probably re-used piece of C13 blank arcading in the N wall of the vestry. W tower with angle buttresses, some flint decoration at the foot, battlements and a higher stair-turret. Embattled S porch. Windows with Perp tracery. N arcade with piers with semi-polygonal shafts, small to the arches, and large, without capitals, to the nave; two-centred arches. Clerestory with embattled cill. N chancel chapel with octagonal pier and semi-octagonal responds carrying embattled capitals. Delicately detailed nave roof with collar-beams on arched braces, every second resting on shafts which stand on corbels. All beams and rafters moulded. - SCREEN. Four divisions of the dado remain, with elaborate tracery including mouchette-wheels. - PULPIT. C17, plain. - LECTERN. Octagonal with a heavy foot decorated with fleurons. Book-rest new. - PLATE. Cup of 1564. 

St Lawrence (4)

Be Still

RIDGEWELL. Many little Roman relics of far-off days have been dug up in this village. Its houses today gather about a spacious green. One of the older ones, Ridgewell Hill Farm, was built a year after the Armada and has kept three sides of its moat. It has carved bargeboards, chimney-stacks with eight-sided shafts, and original panelling in the dining-room. Moat Farm and Essex Hall belong to the next century. The church is mostly 500 years old, and has two valued possessions, a screen richly carved by 15th century men and an oak bier made about the same time. Also 15th century are the roofs of nave and chance] (the nave roof fine with leafy bosses, wall-plates, and little figures in niches in the brackets); the base of the lectern with its square flowers; two plain stalls in the chancel; and the font, which has old tiles in the platform by it. The doorway inside the porch is a hundred years older, and so is the north arcade. There is a peephole in the chancel arch, a little 15th century glass made up with a modern scene of the Crucifixion, and a graceful 17th century pulpit with panelled sides and a fluted frieze.


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