Monday, 18 February 2013

Chevington, Suffolk

Did I say that St Edmund in Hargrave was my favourite church of the day? Well All Saints would push hard to replace it with an extraordinary chancel arch, stunning poppyheads and a beautifully laid out, light and airy chancel (actually the whole church is light and airy) and the exterior is pretty special too especially the Norman south door.

ALL SAINTS. Of flint and septaria. Transitional nave, see the S doorway, which has a round arch, one order of shafts with thick crocket capitals, and an outer arch order of dog-tooth, repeated in the outer order of the jambs. One small Norman N window also preserved, and the plain single-chamfered N doorway. E.E. chancel with windows. The E window is of 1697, still ‘ Gothic’ in so far as the five lights of the straight-headed windows are arched. The chancel arch is very original and successful. Tall rather narrow arch on moulded corbels and two completely plain side arches no doubt to put altars in. The nave has one C13 window with plate tracery on the S side, another with slightly later tracery on the N side, and Perp windows otherwise. The nave roof has carved tie-beams dated 1590 and 1638. The W tower is Perp. Money was left for its building in 1484. Base with flushwork panelling. The prominent pinnacles are a restoration done by the Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry, i.e. c. 1800. - FONT. Perp, octagonal. - BENCHES. Broad with blank tracery and poppy-heads, some of them figures with musical instruments. - CHEST. Dec with tracery and large leaves. On the l. upright affronted animals. - PLATE. Cup 1595.

South door (2)

Looking west (1)

Chest carving (1)

Poppyhead (19) Poppyhead (12)

CHEVINGTON. Its houses are scattered in wild heath country, but the scene round the village pond has a beauty of another kind. Here the monks of Bury had a country house, of which the moat, still full of water for most of the year, can be seen. The monks saw Chevington’s church much as we see it. It was built when the Norman style was changing into English, and has good work of that period in the north and south doorways. The chancel with its lovely windows is 13th century, and the tower, with ornamental pinnacles, 15th. Inside are Elizabethan roof beams resting on stone angels, a fine roodbeam, a 15th century font, a lovely screen with tracery outlined in gold, and some old poppyheads showing quaint musicians. Every pew has its three-branched iron candlestick. On the altar is a beautiful crucifix with an ivory figure, but the best possession of the church is a rich 14th century chest, with carving of birds, a winged monster, and apes shaking hands. A parson of the 13th century is remembered because his coffin lies here, and another parson of the 20th century is remembered for his service of 55 years. He was John White, and the lectern and the pulpit are in his memory.


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