Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hythe, Essex

St Leonard is in the care of the CCT so I was pretty sure it would be open but found it locked with two keyholders who were both out. Technically speaking finding it locked was my fault as a sign clearly stated that it is open on Saturday 11-3 and Tuesday 12-3 and that "at other times the key may be available", so I was at the right place but at the wrong time. To be fair it is opened by a voluntary custodian and I assume the opening times are dictated by his other commitments; also I don't think it's a particularly interior from what I've seen on the web.

ST LEONARD. Close to the street. Impressive but much restored. The battlements and pinnacles of the C14 W tower (angle buttresses) e.g. are new. The S porch is rebuilt, the (embattled) S aisle has new windows. The N side is more rewarding. N aisle of c. 1330, N chancel chapel of c. 1500. The N arcades show these dates clearly too. The piers of the Dec style are quatrefoil, as usual, the C15 piers are of four shafts and four hollows in the diagonals. The arch mouldings differ too. The C15 type appears in the S arcade, the W bay of the N arcade and both chancel chapels. Modest hammerbeam roof in the nave. - FONT. Octagonal, Perp, with shields in quatrefoils and big leaves. - PLATE. Fine Mazer with gilt rim, 1521; large Elizabethan Cup; large Cup probably of 1624; Paten of 1713.

St Leonard (3)

St Leonard’s is at the Hythe, a 14th century church with a beautiful hammerbeam roof 400 years old, richly moulded, and well lit from the clerestory. Four angels which once held it up are in the vestry. The roofs of two chapels are a century older than the nave’s. There are six old chairs, a mazer bowl of 1521 with a silver rim, and an Elizabethan cup with two bands of ornament, and two medieval bells still ringing in the tower, from which a remarkable clock face of stone looks down. It is as old as 1500 and has carved spandrels. Two heads which once supported the roof beam still project from the walls at the chancel arch. The windows are attractive with 24 big ļ¬gures, among them Thomas Becket, Helena, Ethelbert, the Confessor, and Charles Stuart. The door by which we come and go is 500 years old and pierced with holes made by the bullets of the Parliament men in the Civil War.

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