Sunday, 22 July 2012

Foxearth, Essex

Inspired by my one off visit to Kelvedon on Tuesday last I planned a proper visitation for Friday going to Foxearth, Liston, Borley, Newton, Polstead, Assington, Middleton and Great Henny finishing off the area south and west of Sudbury.

I've been to SS Peter & Paul on a previous occasion but failed to post either a blog or a Flickr entry - perhaps I'd run out of camera disc space.

Both visits found it locked with no keyholder listed and both times I came away thinking the tower looked like a Victorian water tower and that this was a cold and bleak site. A quick Google search shows that the tower was added in 1862 (hence the water tower look) and that most of the interior is a Victorian re-hash.

Pevsner is scathing: ST PETER AND ST PAUL. The main effect is Victorian (1885 by J. Clarke): externally the rather over ornate W tower of 1862 with unusual bell-openings (fine tall cusped lancets in a row on each side), internally the decoration everywhere by wall paintings and under the tower even by mosaics. But the chancel is of c. 1340 with a three-light E window with flowing tracery, and the N arcade may be of the same date: slim octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. The N windows are Perp, the s windows renewed or new. - SCREEN. Only the dado with over-restored painted figures of saints is original. -  STAINED GLASS. Mostly of c. 1860 and good of its date.

SS Peter & Paul (1)

Arthur less so: FOXEARTH. A little village in the countryside Gainsborough knew so well, it is notable for a moated 15th century hall that is now a farmhouse, a 15th century cottage that is now a post office, and a medieval church much restored last century when the porch and tower were built, but still keeping some fine old woodwork. The chancel roof is 14th century, the roofs of the nave and aisle are 15th century,and the screen (with figures of Christ,the Madonna, and ten saints painted on its panels) is a treasure 400 years old.

Despite it being locked both times I visited some of the interior has been shot (not by me) and can be found on Flickr here.

3 comments:

  1. Hello Churchaholic.
    Im so sorry you found the St Peter & Pauls Foxearth locked.
    Im Church Warden there and must of been on holiday on your visit.
    It is now open Dawn to Dusk
    Please call me 07910280273 I would be delighted to show you round.
    Of course you need no invitation to visit and we are delighted to welcome all.
    Kindest regards
    Malcolm Graham

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    1. Sadly I've finished your quadrant and having tried twice to gain access have written SS Peter & Paul off as locked no keyholder listed. Having said that I'm delighted to hear that you're now open Dawn to Dusk and if I pass your way I shall certainly visit!

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    2. Having visited this splendid church yesterday, I would urge Churchaholic to break with his regime an try for third time lucky! Sadly Pevsner, who was clearly out of sorts during his visit, will not have the opportunity to revise his trademark, rather haughty opinion. Notwithstanding, anyone lay or expert cannot fail to be impressed by this edifice and indeed the by village itself....

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