Saturday, 9 March 2013

Bures, Suffolk

I have been trying on and off for three years to find St Stephen's chapel and finally (almost exactly three years after I first visited Bures) I found it - even with satnav and postcode it's hard to find and it was well worth the wait.

This is a truly interesting building made fascinating by its conversion into a de Vere mausoleum and the fine collection of glass.

ST STEPHEN’S CHAPEL, 1 m. NE. Dedicated in 1218. Lancet windows and three stepped lancets at the E end, shafted inside. Timber-framed W attachment. Thatched roof. In the chapel three MONUMENTS from Colne Priory, Earls Colne, Essex, the church where the de Veres, Earls of Oxford, were buried. Knight with crossed legs, c. 1300. The tomb-chest does not belong. With its deep kneeling niches it appears more likely for a shrine than a monument. The niches have crocketed ogee arches and are separated by narrow niches with crocketed gables for small, extremely well carved figures, unfortunately headless. Early C14. - A de Vere, c. 1370, alabaster. The stars of the de Veres carved on the jupon. Against the walls of the tomb-chest pairs of mourners under broad depressed nodding ogee arches. The tomb-chest was originally broader and accommodated two effigies. - Knight and Lady of c. 1420. Alabaster. The lady wears a horned head-dress. Pet dogs playing at her feet. Against the tomb-chest alternating, rather flat frontal figures of angels holding shields, and tracery strips in two tiers. - Also the lower half of a mid C12 coffin lid with the parallel, flatly carved legs of a figure and a flatly ornamented border. Probably Alberic, first de Vere, Great Chamberlain, d. 1141. - (STAINED GLASS. Various fragments, perhaps also from Earls Colne Priory.)

St Stephen's Chapel (1)

Glass (4)

Bures Dragon (3)

Mee's entry can be found here.

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