Thursday, 19 March 2015

St Dunstan, Stepney

The Church of St Dunstan by Walter Courtenay Pepys and Ernest Godman

THE Church of St. Dunstan stands in the churchyard on the east of Stepney High Street. It consists of a clear-storied nave of five bays, with wide aisles, western tower, and a choir of two bays, with a presbytery without aisles projecting eastward. There are also vestries adjoining the presbytery on the north, and north and south porches to the nave.

There is no chancel arch, but the choir is sufficiently defined by the meeting of the open high-pitched roof of the nave with the nearly flat chancel ceiling between the fifth and sixth bays from the west, and the presence of stairs formerly leading to the destroyed rood loft. The point is also marked on the north side by a heavier pier between the fifth and sixth arches.

The main alley of the church has a pitched roof covered with tiles, and is ceiled internally. The aisle roofs are flat and leaded.

Externally the church has been "restored" with such completeness that scarcely a vestige of old wrought stone work remains visible. The fabric is of various dates, but though the rubble walls in large part are probably much earlier, the bulk of the detail is coarse "Perpendicular"of various dates ranging through the fifteenth century. Of this period, naturally the most prolific in works of architecture, there are many features of similarity to those at St. Dunstan's in the neighbouring churches of Bow, West Ham, Barking, the old Tower of Hackney Church, and many others.

The interior has recently been entirely denuded of plaster, and despite several interesting disclosures made in the process, this is in many respects regrettable.

A chronological detailed description of the church being well-nigh impossible owing to the confusing effect of restorative zeal, perhaps the best course is to treat each feature in sequence from west to east.

The Western tower is 92 feet high, and in its lowest stage opens to the nave by a "Perpendicular" arch. Above is the ringing loft, and again the clock chamber, reached by a stone newel stair in the north-west corner, which continues to the tower roof. The stair turret is wholly internal. The large belfry contains ten bells. The tower roof, within modern battlements, has a curious louvred arrangement, which seems to incorporate the base of a former lantern now destroyed. In the "extra illustrated" copy of Lysons' Environs of London in the 12 other, apparently earlier, is undated. There is also an original drawing dated 1794. All these illustrations are in remarkable agreement, unusual in such cases, and each shows the tower roof surmounted by an octagonal cupola of pleasing design, 'ogee' in shape, apparently lead covered, and rising above an open arcaded stage standing upon a louvred base (the latter quite possibly that still existent and now hidden from view by the raised parapet). Surmounting the cupola is shown a gilded ball and vane terminating with a crown as finial.

In the 1795 view the roof over the nave is shown to be covered with lead, the chancel has an additional roof, as at present, which is covered with tiles. But it is evident that the chancel roof was also leaded in the first case, and that it was of the usual 15th century character, the lead covering being laid on the rafters and boarding which now appear only as an inner ceiling over the chancel; for we read that at a meeting of the Vestry, held on April 1, 1656:€”

      " the Churchwardens and others Jindeing a dropping downe of raine in severall places over the ChanceII by which the people were disturbed and that there was feare of the decayeing and rotting the timbers in that roofe to ye greate danger & damage of the people they did by themselves & workemen take a vewe upon the leads over the Chancell, which they found very defective, The charge of which (in case the lead bee taken upp and new cast) is estimated by the said workemen att £/\. $ y otherwise to bee only layde with a new crowne peece & the two gutters new layde with sodering and workemenshipp as itt now lyes will cost ^T"i 8, And the timber worke not valued, The consideration of this is left to the vestry. "

The matter was further considered at a meeting held on April 28th following, & the necessary works ordered, for which payment was authorized at a meeting in the following January. The exact nature of these works is not specified, but it may be that instead of the extensive repairs being made to the old lead flat, the additional roof, more steeply pitched and covered with tiles, was constructed. The chancel roof of the Chapel at Stratford Bow, which was of the same style and date, was treated in a similar manner about 1755.

The nave aisles were, until the 1899 restoration, filled with galleries which have been removed; the present seating of the nave is largely made up of old oak panelling of various 18th century types.

Both the aisle walls have been raised, probably when the present flat roofs were constructed. The character of the masonry changes about two feet below the present wall plates; below, it is random rubble, but the upper portion is partly brickwork and coursed. Externally at this level there are traces of a string course. The south aisle roof has fine carved braces, and the two eastern bays of this aisle were remodelled in the early 15th century period, evidently to form a chantry chapel, the walls being either rebuilt or increased in height and the windows enlarged.

In the north aisle of the nave the windows are of three lights with depressed four-centred untraceried heads, splayed jambs, and segmental rear-arches. Those in the south aisle are three light segmental pointed, also without tracery, in square jambs with through-arches and hollow chamfer. The window in the west wall of this aisle has formerly been similar, but is now reduced.

The clerestory has small, square-headed, two-light windows beneath segmental arches, & maybe of "Decorated" date; Perpendicular clerestories are generally larger. The nave is ceiled in oak with a flat four- centred barrel vault. Most of this is new, having been destroyed in the fire of 1901, together with the choir roof and organ.

The vaulted north and south porches are modern. The doorways, however, are good examples of fifteenth century date, and must always have been protected by porches of some description, being well preserved. Beside each is a stoup. A highly interesting Norman rood, now fixed on the north wall of the chancel, formerly surmounted the south door. In the engravings of the Guildhall 'Lysons' before-mentioned there are shown north and south porches to the nave, though these can scarcely be the original porches, as they are seemingly constructed of slight wooden framing with hipped roofs. The Norman rood shows clearly above the roof of the south porch. The drawing before referred to, entitled "Stepney before the alterations 1794”, also shows the western porch. The northern and southern porches originally had glazed sides, for in the Vestry minutes, June 18, 1619:€”

      "It is ordered that the Porches one upon the South side, the other upon the North side, be repaired;  the floores made even, and paved and the glasse windows amended. "

In a print in 'Maitland' 1755 the south porch is represented with glazed sides.

In 1610 a western porch beyond the tower was erected in the "Tuscan" style by Mr. Richard Phillips, churchwarden. It is represented in a print (no date) in ' Lysons ' published in 1811, and no doubt was demolished because it fitted so ill with the rest of the building. It never can have been required, the base of the tower forming every shelter requisite.

From wall to wall, passing in front of the fifth piers from the west, stood the ancient screen, the aisles continuing two bays beyond and forming chapels. In the south wall still remains the staircase giving access to the loft, and from thence to the roofs. This has been altered to serve the galleries, but the position and extent of the original openings are still visible. In the spandril between the two arches springing from the bulkier pier in the north arcade is a narrow arched opening from nave to aisle. A heavy beam with braces here provides a start for the lower ceiling of the choir and presbytery, and the two remaining bays of arcade are unclerestoried. The first arch eastward from this is depressed and of different outline to the remainder. Traces of a string course are noticeable some distance below the present roof, possibly marking the roof level of the 13th century church. In the north aisle the second window from the east is the only one remaining in the church with curvilinear tracery. It is a two-light window with splayed jambs and simple flowing tracery of the 14th century or "Decorated" period.

The two choir bays of the south aisle are now fitted as a chapel and divided from the main alley by a screen. The roof here is slightly higher and the three windows have moulded jambs and pointed arches almost equilateral in proportion, filled with Perpendicular tracery. At the east end of the north aisle is a door leading to the vestries and a squint to the high altar discovered during a recent restoration. On the eastern respond is now placed the Norman rood before mentioned.

The north wall of the presbytery is pierced by the squint and by a door to the vestries, which was disclosed during the 1899 restoration.

East of this and to the north of the high altar is the tomb to Sir Henry Collet 1510. Above is an arched window opening containing part of the organ.

The east window of five lights with lean Perpendicular tracery is very broad and low in proportion. Its jamb shafts with their caps are of 14th century date, & indicate the presence of an earlier window in this space. On the south wall are triple sedilia, "Early English" in style, but so exceedingly well preserved as to be objects of suspicion; an old print in the vestry shows these much mutilated. As a liberal coat of whitewash has recently been applied, it is impossible to see how much of the old work remains. The window above is of the date of the early 15th century alterations, but was restored during the last century. There is no piscina, its usual position being usurped by the tomb, with Greek Doric columns, to Benjamin Kenton. This was taken out by the Rector during the late restoration in the hope of discoveries, but as nothing was found it was replaced. West of the sedilia is a doorway now blocked and used as a cupboard.

Towards the top of the south wall of the presbytery and choir are traces of sharply-pointed arches at a higher level than the present. These would seem to be the rear-arches of earlier windows. Similar traces, not so well defined, exist in the north wall.

The vestries contain no work of architectural interest, but several good engravings and prints of the church in earlier times. Above is the organ loft. The organ destroyed in the recent fire had good Renaissance woodwork, some of which is preserved. In the gallery over the western entrance is also preserved a very fine oak poppy-head bench-end. The present ritual arrangement of the church does not coincide with the original. There is no screen, and the choir seating occupies one bay of the true choir and part of the presbytery, the nave having encroached one bay on the choir. An oak pulpit is placed on the north side, against the first pier from the east, and the font at the west end of the nave before the tower arch.

In 1806 the church was repaired both within side, and without, at the expense of at least £5000, on this occasion all the monuments were repaired, and the inscriptions restored with much care. (Harkian MS. Vol. I. 36). Unfortunately the vestry minutes of this date being lost, no details of this extensive restoration can be given.

In 1828 the Church was "thoroughly repaired and beautified" (Lewis' The 1828 & Topogr. Diet. )

In 1846-8 a restoration was recorded in an inscription upon the window over the east end of the nave which was destroyed in the great fire of October 1901 and not replaced.

This restoration was begun in the incumbency of the Rev. Daniel Vawdrey, and finished in that of the Rev. Richard Lee. It was not however until 1852 that the accounts were settled; the total cost was £3610. It was probably at this restoration that the east wall was refaced, unfortunately of brick instead of rubble, like the rest of the Church, and the galleries much reduced. A notice of this restoration occurs in the Rev. J. H. Sperling's Church Walks in Middlesex, 1849, together with architectural details of the fabric.
In the restoration of 1901 the east wall was refaced with rough stone to correspond with the remainder of the Church.

On the north wall at the west entrance is a brass, which records the restoration of the Church, and the erection of the porches and second Restoration vestry in 1871-2, during the incumbency of the Rev. J. Bardsley. It was at this restoration that the whole of the Church was refaced, a new organ built, and the west window filled with stained glass. At the restoration during the Rev. J. F. Kitto's incumbency (1885-6), in addition to cleaning and painting, the choir seats, a new pulpit and east window were added, the ground lowered all round the Church, and the main approach widened and deepened so as to bring it down to a level with the Church; before that two steps led down to the west door. The total expenditure was £3783.

The restoration of 1899, during the incumbency of the present rector, the Rev. A. E. Dalton, is commemorated on an inscribed brass tablet by Restoration the west door of the nave. The work included the removal of the galleries, stripping the plaster from the walls inside the Church, remodelling the seats, rebuilding the organ, re-hanging the bells, and placing the altar in the south chapel, at a total cost of £5,600.

The account of the great fire of October 1901 had better be given in the words of the Rector, as published by him in the Parish Report of Fire 1901-2:

      "October 12th, 1901, will be a day long remembered in Stepney. At 6.20 A. M the alarm was given that the Church was on fire, and it was soon found that owing to the morning being very foggy, and the fire being at the east end, right away from the road, it had obtained a strong hold ere it was discovered. How long it had been burning we shall never know. There was no smell of fire when the Church was closed at 9.30 the evening before. It originated from a gas jet in the stoke-hole under the vestry floor, that had been there for thirty years, within a foot of a wooden ceiling, which was protected only by a thin sheet of iron. Probably this had gradually worn thin, and the wood above it become more charred, till at last it ignited. Once through the vestry floor, the fire laid hold on the cupboards of cassocks and surplices, and within ten minutes of the alarm being given the flames were through the roof of the choir vestry. A wooden staircase carried them up to the organ chamber, which was a literal furnace before the first engine arrived, & thence the flames reached the roof, along which they raced with terrific speed. In a very few minutes 18 engines and 120 men of the Fire Brigade were on the spot, & though at first they feared the whole church was doomed, yet their energy and skill were equal to the task, and by cutting through the roof just before the fire reached the tower, they got it under control, and before 8 o'clock it was all out.

      Of the vestries only the bare walls remained, their contents being entirely destroyed, except the plate and registers, which were preserved intact by their safes.

      The organ was entirely gone, including the fine old front carved by Grinling Gibbons. Of the roof we have preserved only the main beam of the chancel arch, two out of the four big beams of the chancel, & the ten rafters next the tower. One bay of the north aisle roof was also destroyed. The altar was burnt owing to a portion of the organ falling upon it, and the choir stalls were considerably damaged by falling tiles, but otherwise the internal fittings were only damaged by smoke & water, thanks to the excellence of the old roof, none of which fell in. The east window was three-fourths destroyed, and two other of the stained glass windows considerably damaged. "

The subsequent repairs rendered necessary by this fire are also detailed in the following account by Mr. Dalton :

      "We have endeavoured to replace everything as it was before the fire, putting the roof back timber by timber in good English oak, only boarding it with oak instead of the deal of comparatively recent date. This and the new vestry doors have all been cut from the unburnt portions of the old oak timbers. The timbers of the roof, which were not touched in the restoration of 1899, were found to be very rotten, & before many years much repair must have been undertaken. Thus two corbels, each 12x15 inches, on which the centre beam of the nave roof rested, and which had been bedded 12 inches into the wall, were so completely rotten that not two inches of them remained. Now we have a roof sound and solid (the new chancel beams weighed two tons each) & one which we hope may last for another 400 years."

 A new altar was provided, and the choir seats restored in the places injured by fire.

The east and south windows in the chancel, and the east window of the north aisle, were replaced.

Notwithstanding the fact that St. Dunstan's Church appears to have suffered more, to judge by various records, than many of its neighbours in matters of spoliation or neglect of its monuments, there are still many preserved on the walls inside the Church: some are of considerable artistic merit, and not a few commemorate persons who became famous in the history of their times. In one, the monument to Dame Rebecca Berry, there is a wealth of local tradition owing to the fact that the arms on the sinister side of the shield bear, among other charges, a fish and ring (amulet); the monument has therefore been connected with the picturesque "fish and ring" legend, which appears, with slight variations, in many parts of the country. The interior Church was formerly much richer in memorials than now; two are given from Weever (Fun. Mon. ) on pp. 35-36; Norden (Speculum Brittania, 1593) mentions William Chaldnam and Joan his wife, 1484, "in the north aisle,  and Lady Anne Wentworth, 1571. Twenty-three monuments, which no longer exist, are also mentioned in Strype's edition of Stow (1720).

The following extract from Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, 1786, Vol. II. Part II. Page cccxxiv. Accounts for a great deal of this destruction both in Church and Churchyard:€”

      "How laudably attentive the Church Wardens of parish Churches among us are, will appear from the following Advertisement: 'Whereas there are many monuments, tombs and vaults in the Church and Chancel of St. Dunstan's Stepney, in a ruinous state, and many flat and headstones broken and sunk, or buried in the said Churchyard, and the said Churchyard from the great number of burials therein has become uneven, and in great need of a reform: The Church Wardens of the said Parish hereby give notice that all and every person or persons interested in any monument, vault, or flatstone in the said Church, or monument, tomb with flat or headstone in the said Churchyard, & who wish to preserve & perpetuate the same, that unless they apply to the Church Wardens, or any of them, on or before the first of January next, & agree to perform or pay for such repairs and replacing as are respectively necessary to such monuments, tombs, vaults, head and flatstones, that the same shall be removed without further notice, and that no grave in the said Churchyard will for the future be suffered to be raised above the surface of the ground. Thomas Taylor Ch. Warden Radcliffe. John Williams, Poplar & Blackwall. Matthias Kitchen, M. E. Old Town. William Cox,M. E. New Town.

The Vestry Minutes from 1777 to 1821 having been lost, the exact date of the above advertisement cannot be ascertained through the names of the Churchwardens, but probably it was about the time of the publication by Gough, viz. , 1786.

The inscriptions on the monuments, together with the heraldry, have been carefully copied, and are given below: the order in which they have been taken is beginning at the west end of the south aisle and proceeding eastward, returning from the chancel along the north aisle. It will be observed that the present position of some of the monuments does not agree with that given by the older authorities, because many of them were removed to their present places at the last restoration. Reference will also be found to the "beautifying" of the monuments during the restoration of the church, and it is to be feared that the original tinctures have in many cases been varied in the repainting of the shields. In an extra-illustrated copy of Lyson's Environs of London preserved in the Guildhall Library, many of these shields are described or illustrated, and when any reference to "Lysons" is made in the case of variations, it is this particular copy that is referred to.

NO. 1. EMMA RIMINGTON, 1852.

 A white marble tablet, with an inscription only, in memory of Emma Rimington, her husband Michael R. Junior, of Bombay, and her father Edward Thornhill of Upper Clapton.

NO. 2. DAME REBECCA BERRY, 1606.

This monument is in the form of a large shield, of stone, supported on a small bracket bearing a cherub's head. Above, it is surmounted by a coat of arms. Over all is an urn and a gilded lamp with the oil burning. The shield is in its heraldic colours, and the urn and shield are slightly gilt. Otherwise the stone (of unpolished marble) is left untouched, the black sunk lettering of the inscription filling the whole centre.

HERE LIETH INTERR D THE BODY OF DAME REBECCA BERRY, WIFE OF THOMAS ELTON OF STRATFORD BOW, GENT. WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE, APRIL 26 1606 AGED 52

Come, Ladies, you that would appear like angels fair, come dress you here. Come dress you at this marble stone, And make that humble grace your own Which once adorn'd as fair a mind As e'er yet lodg'd in womankind. So she was dress'd whose humble life was free from pride, was free from strife, Free from all envious brauls and jarrs Of human life, the civil wars, These ne'er disturbed her peaceful mind. Which still was gentle, still was kind. Her very looks, her garb, her mein Disclosed the humble soul within. Trace her through every scene of life, View her as Widow, Virgin, Wife, Still the same humble she appears the same in youth, the same in years, The same in low and high estate Ne'er vext with this, ne'er mov'd with that So Ladies now, and if you'd be as fair, as great, as good as she Go learn of her humility.

Dame Berry's Monument.

This tablet was originally upon the exterior of the East Wall, and there appears in a print in "Lysons" date 1809. When it was removed to its present position is uncertain. It is known as "The Fish and the Ring" monument and has received perhaps more notice than it deserves, from the idea that the lady, whose virtues are recorded upon it, was the heroine of the common legend describing the loss of a ring, & its marvellous recovery from the inside of a fish. The legend appears in many places and many forms, and probably was only connected with Dame Berry from the Coat of Arms on the monument, which contains a fish and a ring.

Her first husband was the distinguished Admiral Sir J. Berry, whose monument is in the N. Aisle.

NO. 3. ALEX. WELLER, 1734.

The next, a white marble shield of similar size, around which carved drapery is shown. Below are crossed palm branches and above a coat of arms of which the bearings are almost obscured. According to Lysons they are as follows: Sa., 2 chevronels between 3 roses arg., impaling arg., a lion rampant gu., on a chief sa. 3 escallops arg. The inscription states that the body is interred "near the enterance of the western porch of this church."

Burial register.—Nov. 18, 1734. Alexander Weller of Old Artillery Ground.

NO. 4. JANE NEVILL, LADY DETHICK. 1606.

An elaborate wall-monument to Jane Nevill, Lady Dethick, occupies the central position on the south wall. It is of marble, the mouldings gilded, and consists of a central arch over the inscription, on each side of which two detached columns of black marble support a small projecting cornice, which overshadows the whole. Two gilded brackets are placed under the columns, & between them is a small panel with the name of the executor who erected the monument. The central inscription is in bold capitals and is given below. Above the caps of the columns, which are gilded and ornamented with egg-and-dart carving, is a gilt rose.
A coat of arms stands in a circle over the cornice, but (according to Lysons) they are not the arms of Lady Dethick, for she was a Duncomb of Buckinghamshire. She married as her second husband Alex. Nevill, Esq. The arms, according to Lysons, are: Quarterly of nine—
1. gu., on a saltire arg., a rose of the field. Nevill.
2. Fretty or and gu., on a canton erm. a ship sa. Nevill (ancient).
3. Gu. billety or, a lion rampant of the last. Bulmer.
4. Ermine (a crescent gu). (fn. 1) Eudo, Earl of Brittany.
5. Or, a chief indented az. Middleham.
6. Az. 3 crescents and semée of cross crosslets arg. Glanville.
7. Quarterly or and gu., a bend sa. Clavering.
8. Az. an escutcheon (barry of 4 arg. & gu.), (fn. 1) within an orle of martlets arg. Walcot.
9. Arg., on a chevron gu., 3 fleur-de-lys or. Pever.
Impaling Or, 5 eagles displayed in saltire, sa.

The inscription is as follows:

sacræ memoriæ ianæ nevillæ dominæ detheck matronæ religiosissimæ modestissimæ: omnibus qua corporis, qua animi (dum vixit) dotibvs orna tissimæ: jesu christi servæ devotissimæ: conivgi svæ fidelissimæ: amantissimæ qua cum viginti fere dvos annos felicissime transegerat; alexander nevillus armiger, hoc nunquam inter moritvri amoris sui monvmentvm fieri testamento curavit. postquam annos fere sexaginta novem vixerat, vicesimo nono novembris 1606 placidissime in domino obdormivit Tobiah worthington, alexandro nevillo ex testamento solus executor; ipsius mandato hoc monumentum posuit
Burial Register.—Dec. 1606. Jane Lady Detheck, als Garter, wife to the Worshipful Alexander Neville of Poplar, Esquire, buryed the first day of December.

NO. 5. REV. HENRY LECHE, 1742.

A plain white marble slab projecting slightly beyond two fluted pilasters which support it on each side, bears the inscription: "In memory of Henry Leche, clerk, late Rector of this Parish, who died June ye 15th, 1742." Below, two entwined branches are carved beneath a skull, & over the slab is the coat of arms and crest, coloured and gilt. Arms:—Erm., on a chief indented gu. three crowns or.
Burial Register.—June 18, 1742. Rev. Mr. Henry Leche, Rector of this Parish—buried in the Chancel.

NO. 7. CAPT. NATHANIEL OWEN, 1708.

A marble shield, draped, with two cherubs' heads at the top corners and a skull below, in memory of Capt. Nathaniel Owen, ob. Feb. 2, 1708, his first wife Mary, ob. Aug. 6, 1685, & second wife Bridget, ob. 16 March, 1709. Above is carved the coat of arms, uncoloured, but according to Lysons—Arg., a lion rampant sa. a canton of the second, impaling az., a fesse embattled erm. between 3 cockatrices' heads erased.

Burial Register.—1685. Aug 6. Mary wife of Capt Nathaniel Owen of Mileend mariner

NO. 8. NICHOLAS GIBSON, OB. 1510.

A Brass Tablet dated 1900, bearing a shield with the arms Az. 3 cranes, and inscribed To the memory of Nicholas Gibson, Sheriff of London, and Avis his wife, who founded A.D. 1538 The Coopers' Company's Grammar School at Ratcliffe, this brass was erected A.D. 1900 in grateful appreciation by the Association of Old Coopers' School Boys. They lie buried in the Chancel of this Church.
Now mercifull Iesu, which hast assysted owre intent
Have mercy on owre sowles, and as for the residew
If it be thy will, thou mayst owre act continew"

In Strype's Stow, 1720, is the following account of a monument to N. Gibson, which is stated to have stood on the S. side of the Chancel.

HEREUNDER LIETH BURIED NICHOLAS GIBSON, CITIZEN AND GROCER OF LONDON, AND AVIS HIS WIFE WHO WERE FOUNDERS OF THE FREE SCHOOLS AT RATCLIFFE, AND AFTER SHE MARRIED WITH SIR ANTHONY KNEVIT KNIGHT, WHICH LIETH HERE BURIED ALSO WHICH NICHOLAS DIED THE XXIIJ OF SEPTEMBER 1510. AND THE SAID LADY AVIS ALSO DIED THE THIRD DAY OF OCTOBER 1514 WHOSE SOULS JESU PARDON.

Weever has the following inscriptions upon this monument:

Here was I borne, and here I make myne end
Though I was Citizen and Grocer of London,
And to that office of Schrevalty did ascend;
But things transitorie passe and vanische sone,
To God be geeuen thanks if that I have ought done.
That to his honowre, and to the bringing vp of youth,
And to the succoure of the age; for sewerly this is soth.
By Avise my wyff children were left me non
Which we both did take as God had it sent;
And fixed our myndes that ioyntly in on,
To releeue the poore by mutual consent.
Now mercifull Iesu which hast assysted owre intent,
Have mercy on owre sowles, and as for the residew,
If it be thy will thou mayst owre act continew.

Upon the same marble these verses following:

The five and twentyth day of this monyth of Septembyr,
And of owre Lord God the fifteenth hundred and fowrty yeere,
Master Nicholas Gibson dyde as this tombe doth remembyr,
Whose wyff aftyr married the worschyful esquier,
Master William Kneuet, one of the Kings privy chamber,
Much for his time also did he endeuer
To make this act to continew for euer.

This pious act here mentioned in this epitaph, is a free school founded at Radcliff in this parish, by the said Nicholas and Avise for the instruction of threescore poor men's children, by a schoolmaster and an usher, with an almshouse, for fourteen poor aged persons; and this foundation continues to this day; (Weever). Both the almshouses and school were demolished about eight years since, and the inscribed tablets and stones from the buildings were obtained by the Survey Committee and presented to the London County Council, to be preserved in the Council's museum of London antiquities.

NO. 9. REV. GEO. HARPER, D. D. , 1815.

The next memorial is a stone sarcophagus represented with pilasters each side and natural foliage. Above, a pediment in which a gilt shield shows no arms visible. It is surrounded by a carved wreath of flowers.

NO. 10. DR. BLONDEL, 1734.

Beneath the last is a plain marble slab bearing the name of Jacobi Augusti Blondel, M. D. , and a long inscription. Two flat fluted pilasters stand each side, and over a small cornice is the coat of arms with a lamp each side, the flames of which are gilt. Arms : az. , 2 bars and in chief a mullet or.

NO. 11. LIEUTENANT HAROLD CHARRINGTON, R. N. , 1882.

To the Glory of God and in Memory of Lieutenant Harold Charrington, R. N. , second son of Spencer Charrington, Esq. , of this Parish, who was killed by Arabs in the Desert of Mount Sinai on August 11th 1882. This and the adjoining windows are dedicated by Friends of the Family.

 NO. 12. THOMASINE BREWSTER, 1596.

On the South wall is a dark marble slab into which are let two brasses, the one below bearing an inscription to the wife of John Brewster, Esq. 1596. The one above bears the coat of arms a chevron erm. between 3 estoiles, impaling a chevron erm. between 3 lion's heads erased, and a chief bearing no charges. The inscription is as follows:

HERE LYETH THE WIFE OF JOHN BREWSTER ESQ WHOS HEAVENLIE DEATH DECLARS HER HAPPY LYFE FAME SAYE THY WORSTE OF HER 1 THE DESIRE AND THOV MUST BLASE HER FOR A GODLY WYFE OF RICH & POORE THOV KNOWEST, BELOVED WAS SHE SPEAKE THOV THERFORE, THE REST OF HER FOR ME I SAYE NOE MOORE, HER NAME WAS THOMASINE TO WHOM NO DOUBPT THE LORD FORGAVE HER SINE NOW BLESSED IS ALMIGHTIE GOD THEREFORE AND PRAYSED BE HIS NAME FOR EVERMORE OBIIT ANNOS ETATIS SUE 46. ANNO DNI 1596

John Brewster was Secondary of the Fines Office, and appears in the Vestry Minutes as Auditor for Poplar 1589-91. He sat on the Vestries of 1589 and 1594, but then is entered as “gone”. He married first, Thomasine, d. of John Piers, and second Elizth. d. of R. Thornhill, and widow of Sir James Deane -his pedigree, and an account of the funeral of his second wife are to be seen (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 14417. f. 5).

Burial Register—September 1596. Tomazin, wife of Mr John Brewster of Popler Esquier buryed the XIX day. a monument is set in the Chancell.

NO. 13. BENJAMIN KENTON, 1820.

Below is another brass to Benjamen Ken ton Esq. Ob. 25 May 1800. Above the name are the words "mortui resurgent " and a shield of circular form bearing the arms (the colours are hatched only): az. Y a fesse erm. , in chief fleur-de-lys, impaling chequee or and gu. T on a Jesse gu. 3 lions rampant.

 NO. 14. SIR THOS. SPERT, 1541.

A marble monument to Sir Thos. Spert in the South wall of the Chancel is of the same general design as that to Anne Nevill. Two black detached Corinthian columns with gilt capitals and bases support the cornice. The arch over the inscription (which is in gilt on black) is surrounded by a gilt moulding with egg-and-dart carving. A cherub's head, copper colour, with gilded hair forms the key & is flanked by two similar heads. Three or four large gilded roses and two smaller ones add to the ornamentation. Over the cornice are the arms gu., a saltire between 4 body hearts or, on a chief of the second a ship; (this according to Lysons, but the shield now shows an azure field) and on each side a marble obelisk. Between the brackets that support the columns is the date of erection of the monument by the Company of the Trinity House in 1723. A similar inscription further down commemorates its reparation in 1806, and between these two is a sunk panel with a carved representation of a three-masted boat. The inscription is as follows:

D. O. M.

Hereunder was laid up ye bodie of Sir Thomas Spert Kt, some tyme Comptrowller of the Navy to King Henry the 8th & both the first Founder and Master of the worthie Society or Corporation called the Trinity Hovse. He lived enobled by his owne Worth, and dyed ye 8th of September in ye yeare 1541, to whose pious Memorie the said Corporation hath gratefvlly erected this Memoriall.

Not that he needed Monument of Stone
For his well gotten Fame to rest upon:
But this was rear'd to testifie that he
Lives in their Loves that yet surviving be
For unto Virtue, who first raisd his Name
He left the preservation of the same
And to Posterity remaine it shall
When Brasse and Marble Monuments do fall.
Learn for to dye while thow hast breath
So shalt thow live after thy Death.

An: Dom. 1622, by the Company of the Trinitye Howse, this Monument was erected 81 years after ye Decease of theyr Founder. 1725. This monument was again repaired and Beautified by the Corporation of the Trinity House, in Commemoration of their Founder in the year 1806. Earl Spencer, Master. Capt. Ios. Cotton, Dep. Mastr.

Norden mentions this burial thus—

Also Sir Thomas Spert Knight, sometime Controller of the Shippes to H. 8. Dame Margary, Dame Anne and Dame Mary his wives lie in the Chauncell there - he deceased Anno 1541.

NO. 15. MARY LEYBOURNE, 1731.

A white stone tablet to Mary Leybourne with brownish-grey marble cornice and architrave, and pilasters each side, is placed high up in the South wall of the Chancel, at the extreme East end. Two lamps are carved above and stand be- side the coat of arms : az. 6 lions rampant, 3, 2, and 1 . Or. ; impaling gu. 3 lilies arg. A shaped sunk panel below is carved with a representation of a winged skull.

NO. 16 BENJAMIN KENTON.

Below the memorial to Mrs. Leybourne is a monument of white marble to Benjamin Kenton Esq. (1800). It consists of two fluted Doric columns supporting a curved frieze upon which are placed three shields, and between these, two ringed serpents. Behind the columns is a relief representing a scene from the parable of the good Samaritan. The base projects with a wider curve and has in its centre a panel with the inscription & some indifferent carving. The shields bear the following charges - 1. sa., a cross couped or, within a bordure of the last. 2. sa., a fesse erm., in chief 3 fleur-de-lys or, within a bordure of the last.

NO. 17. WILLIAM DAWTREY, 1589.

A little wall tablet of reddish marble to William Dawtrey contains an inscription in black letters in a square panel, on each side of which are two slight pilasters having two sunk panels of black marble in each. The whole is surmounted by a cornice on which is a shield, of which the charges are almost invisible. The lower portion has two small shields in relief and a black medallion in the centre. The arms, according to Lysons, are as follows:—Quarterly of 6, 1 & 6. Az., 5 fusils in fesse, arg.Dawtrey. 2. Az. 3 doves or.Wood. 3. Gu. a bend engrailed arg. between 6 crescents or.Rivers. 4. Sa., 3 garbs or, from each a dove rising arg.Skarfield. 5. Erm. 3 bars gu.Hussey. Impaling quarterly 1 & 4 Az. on a fesse between 3 stag's attires or, a fleur-de-lis of the field between 2 demi-roses gu.Stoneley. 2. A lion rampant bebruised with a baton. 3. A fesse vaire within a bordure engrailed, in chief an unicorn.
Wm. Dawtrey married Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Rich. Stonely, of Warwickshire.

Inscription on Marble Tablet—

Genero suo. Gvlielmo Dawtrey Quondam Lincolniensis Hospitii socio: Wilhelmi Dawtrei sus sexiæ. Armigeri filio et Hæredi, Viro ingenii acumine Mentis acie, et non Vulgari Municipalium Angliæ legum Scientia, Præcellenti: Richardus Stonley Armiger Hoc amoris et Pietatis simbolum posvit. Obiit XVI Octobris 1589

NO. 18. REV. THOS. DOD, 1727.

A shield of excellent design surmounts a tablet of white and black veined marble, to the memory of the Rev. Thos. Dod, Rec tor of Stepney, his sons Thomas, d. 1726, John, d. 1730, his daughters Ellin, d. 1727, and Mary Colvill d. 1795, and his wife Mary, d. 1773. The inscription is on a white slab that occupies the whole centre. A winged skull is carved below. The arms upon the shield are thus described by Lysons : Arg. , on a fesse gu. Between 2 bars wavy sa. 3 crescents or, impaling gu. A lion rampant regard, or. The whole of the bearings do not, however, now appear, and the sable bars and red field are all that are coloured.

NO. 19. ROBERT CLARKE, 1610.

The monument to Robert Clarke and his daughter, is some height above the Chancel floor in the North Wall. A cornice of marble and two large pilasters enclose a recess in which are the figures of Robert Clarke and his wife kneeling facing one another on either side of an altar. The back is freely embellished with the usual strap ornament, fruit & flowers, all round a central panel which bears the inscription given below. The pilasters contain panels of black marble. Below is the English inscription which is divided into two parts by small pilasters, and beneath this the marble is of various colours. Two heads, floral ornament and a central boss complete the memorial. The arms are placed upon a corbel under the cornice and their description in Lysons runs thus they are his own parentheses: Barry of gu. & vert, 2 pellets (they should be plates), impaling sa. (it should be az. ) 2 pales engrailed between fleur-de-lis in chief or Langton.  The former is repeated above upon a shield surmounted by a cherub and on each side an urn. The monument is heavily gilt in parts, and the inner faces of the pilasters are ornamented with a gilt net- work of lines.

Inscription:—

IN OBITUM ROBERTE CLARKE GENEROSI QUI EX VITA HAC MIGRAVIT DIE MENSIS IN CLERICI TUMULO SPECTRUM VIDE FRAGILITATIS VANA VIRI EST VIRTUS VITA CADUCA CARO FLOS SICUT EST FUERIS SPIRANS FUIT HIC SICUT IPSE AST CELERI RAPUIT MORS VIOLENTA PEDE VTQ CADAT FLORES IN GERMINE MESSIS IN HERBA TURBINE COMOTUS SIC CLERICUS PERIIT VITA LICET BREVIS EST CŒLIS ÆTERNE MORATUR QUEM COLIT OMNIPOTENS TOLLITER HUIC CITIUS LAUDIBUS EXIGUIS DECORANS MAJORE MERENTEM DIMINUO LAUDES PIUS SIBI FAMA REFERT SI PIETAS CHARITAS BONITASQ IN MENTE REFULGENT HÆC UBI CORDE VIRENT OMNIA RECTA PUTES

Here resteth the bodie of Robert Clarke Esq. Sonne of Roger Clarke Esquire, late Alderman of the City of London, A man humble in prosperity, a liberall distributer to the poore, curteous & affable to all - an upright And a just dealer in this worlde and a devoute and most relligious seeker for the worlde to come. He had to wife Margaretta daughter to John Langton Esq. Sometyme Governor of the English Company in Sprucia under the Kinge of Polonia: whoe lived together in great love And integritie almost six yeeres He had by her one onely daughter named Frances Who lived one yeere and three quarters and here lyeth interred with her most deere and loving father. Whose memory the said Margaretta to express her true love and affeccon hath cavsed this Monument to be erected He dyed the xxxth day of May Ano Dni 1610 Having lived xxxv yeeres
Burial register.—June 12, 1610. Robert Clarke of Bednal greene, Gent. sonne to Alderman Clarke of London, deceased. he gave 36 mourninge gownes beside cloakes, and was buried the 12 of June.

NO. 20. SIR HENRY COLLET, 1510.

A large canopied altar tomb about seven feet wide, stands in a recess on the N. Side of the Chancel. The tomb itself projects from the recess ; it is of polished Purbeck marble, and has three square and four narrower panels of tracery on the face. The back and sides of the recess above are panelled, with two rows of arched and cusped heads, and the soffit of the canopy is carved to represent vaulting and pendants. The face of the canopy has arched and cusped heads, surmounted by a frieze of cusped quatrefoils. All the stone-work over the tomb itself is whitened. One of the shields in the tracery on the face of the tomb bears a small brass shield inscribed as under :

Here lyeth sir Henry Collet knight twice mayor of London who died in the year or our Redemption 1510.

The arms of Collet, as given by Lysons, are -  The Deanery of St. Paul's, impaling Sa., on a chevron engrailed between 3 hinds arg. as many annulets of the field -Colet. Weever adds a note to this inscription: This Henry was son to Robert Collet of Wendover in Bucks, and father to John Collet, Dean of St. Pauls, in the first time of his mayoralty the Crosse in Cheapside was new builded in that beautiful manner as it now standeth.

This monument is kept in repair by the Mercers' Company.

Sir H. Colet wills to be buried at Stepney, at the sepulchre before St. Dunstan and his monument is still to be seen on the N. side of the Church.Gough's Sepulchral Monuments 1786. Vol. I. Part I, p. 11.

The three following brasses, all of triangular shape, with inscriptions in Latin, are on the floor of the Chancel :

NO. 21. CHARLOTTE LEE, 1862.

Wife of the Rev. R. Lee, M. A. , Rector of Stepney 1847-1869.

NO. 22. EVAN JAMES, 1842 AND SARA ANNE JAMES, 1840.

NO. 23. BENJAMIN KENTON, 1800. See No. 16.

Weever (Fun. Mon. J also gives the two following monuments as being in the Church in his time :

JO. KITT, OR KITE, BISHOP OF CARLISLE, 1537.

Undyr this ston closyde and marmorate Lyeth JOHN KITTE Londoner natyffe. Encreasyng in vertues rose to high estate, In the fourth EDWARDS chappel by his yong lyffe, Sith whych the sevinth HENRYES servyce primatyffe Proceeding stil in vertuous efficase To be in favour with this our king's grase. With witt endewyd chosen to be legate Sent into Spayne, where he ryght ioyfully Combyned both prynces, in pease most amate: In Grece archbyshop elected worthely, And last of Carlyel rulying pastorally Kepyng nobyl houshold wyth grete hospitality: On thowsand fyve hundred thirty and sevyn, Invyterate wyth pastoral carys, consumyd with age, The nintenth of Iun reckonyd ful evyn, Passyd to hevyn from wordly pylgramage: Of whos soul good pepul of cherite Prey, as ye wold be preyd for ; for thus must ye lie. JESU mercy lady help.

RICHARD PACE, DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S, 1532.

Richardus iacet hie venerabilis ille decauus Qui fuit etatis doctus Apollo sue ; Eloquio, forma, ingenio, virtutibus, arte Nobilis, eternum viuere dignus erat. Consilio bonus, ingenio fuit vtilis acri, Facunda eloquij deteritate potens. Non rigidus, non ore minax, affabilis omni Tempore ; seu puero seu loquerere seni. Nulli vnquam nocuit, multos adiuvit, & omnes Officij studuit demeruisse bonos. Tantus hie et talis, ne non deleatur ademptus Flent muse, et laceris mesta minerua comis. Obijt anno 1532. Etat circiter40.

This PACE succeeded COLLET in the Deanery of Paul's, a man highly in favor with K. HENRY VIII. By whom he was employed as ambassador to MAXIMILIAN the German emperor; as also to Rome in the behalf of Cardinal WOLSEY, who stood in election for the pope dom. He wrote divers learned treatises yet extant. Nam vir erat (saith BALE) vtriusque literature peritia prasditus. Nemo ingenio candidior, aut humanitate amicitior: he was a right worthy man, and one who gave in counsel faithful advice; learned he was also, & indowed with many excellent gifts of nature, courteous, pleasant, and delighting in music, highly in the king's favor, & well heard in matters of weight. (Weever) .

MONUMENTS IN THE NORTH AISLE.

NO. 24. Stone panel, with sculpture of the Crucifixion, enclosed in an ornamented. From the character of the figures and the detail of the border, the date of the work is generally assigned to the 12th century probably the latter portion; and so, unless we accept the statement that the font still retains some of its original stonework, although restored, this panel is the oldest work now remaining in the Church. Until the 1899 restoration it was outside over the south door of the nave, but was then brought to its present position for better preservation.

NO. 25. Stone coffin lid, with moulded edges, bearing on its face a cross botonee, with a solid circle at the intersection of the arms, and surmounting a slender stem which stands on a base of 3 steps. The carving is in very low relief.

NO. 26. ANN MOOR, 1804.

A plain white marble slab, to Ann Moor, wife of Capt. John Moor, died at "Demarary, South America" 36

NO. 27. ANN ELDER, 181 1.

A plain white marble slab, on a simple base, recording also a bequest of five pounds a year to the Rector of Stepney for the time being, "to keep her family tomb (in the churchyard) in substantial and decent repair. "

NO. 28. A stone tablet, bearing no date, records that

"Ann Elder Gave by her Will the interest of £315 to three Daughters of Master Mariners under these conditions, that their respective fathers shall have been wrecked on the Coast of Cornwall, that they have attended the ser vices and sacraments of the Church of England, and be of deserving character. And that their respective ages be not under 20 years. Preference to be given to the Hamlet of Ratcliff, where they shall be resident at the time of their Fathers' misfortune. The above shall be given at the Vestry of the Church on the 4th Jany. In every year by the Rector. "

NO. 29. SIR JOHN BERRY, 1689.

A severely classical memorial to D. Joannes. Berry, who died in 1689: comprises a bust of himself in front of a black marble niche which is itself surmounted by architrave and pediment of white marble. The bust stands upon a curved pediment covering the inscription, which is in Latin, and forms a panel in a round frieze which with its architrave, completes the tablet. Lysons gives his arms: Or, 3 bars gu. , but they are not on the monument.
Inscription.

NE ID NESCIAS LECTOR, D JOANNES BERRY DEVONIENSIS, DIGNITATE, EQUESTRI. CLARUS, MARIS TANTUM NON IMPERATOR, DE REGE ET PATRIA, QUOD ET BARBARR NORUNT, BENE MERITCS. MAGNAM OB RES FORTITER GESTAS ADEPTUS GLORIAM FAM^ SATUR, POST MULT AS REPORT AT AS VICTORIAS, CUM AB ALUS VINCI NON POTUIT, FATIS CESSIT 1 4 FEBR 1 689 BAPTIZATUS 7 JAN 1 635

Burial register, Feb. 21, 1 689 Sr John Berry ofMileend, Knight.

NO. 30. HUGO JAMES, 1728.

A square tablet of white veined marble sunk in a deep moulding and surmounted by a shield, is that of Hugo James. His arms Arg. T a cross patonce gu.

NO. 31. NICHOLAS DIXON, 1818.

A plain white marble tablet, recording the above, and his wife Elizabeth Ann, d. 1823.

NO. 32. JOHN CHARRINGTON, 1815.

A white marble tablet, recording the above, who died Dec. 9th, and his wife Katherine, who died on the 1 3th of the same month. "They were interred the same day in the family vault at their native place, Aldenham, Herts."

NO. 33. LIEUTENANT HAROLD CHARRINGTON, R. N. , 1882.

A white marble tablet, in a frame of serpentine, to the memory of Lieut. Charrington, of H. M. S. Euryalus, and great-grandson of the above John ; who, together with Professor Edward Palmer, of Cambridge, and Capt. W. J. Gill, R. E. , was killed by Arabs in the Desert of Sinai. The inscription further records the interment of their remains in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, and the erection, by the Admiral and officers of the 'Euryalus, ' of a tablet in Hunsdon Church, Herts., to the memory of Lieut. Charrington.

NO. 34. ELIZABETH STARTUTE, 1620.

Two recesses, one above the other, enclose figures of the deceased lady and the erectors of the monument. Dame Elizabeth Startute is above kneeling; two detached Corinthian columns support the frieze, upon which is an inscription, and under the soffit of the cornice are three gilded roses. The lower recess is the larger and holds the figures of Capt. Michael Merriall and Clare his wife, who was eldest daughter to Elizabeth Startute. They kneel opposite one another, an altar between.

The chief inscription lies in a space between the two recesses and below the two figures another inscription tells of the gift. Two roses finish the corbels to the columns and a winged skull is beneath the centre. The figures and ornaments are painted and gilded as is usual in the tombs of the same date. Over the top cornice stand the arms : Az. Y between 2 bend- lets gu. , 3 garbs sa. Lysons describes the field as argent.

Inscription:

TO THE MEMORY OF THEIR BELOVED MOTHER ELIZABTH THE WIDDOW OF RICHARD STARTUTE CITIZEN AND FISHMUNGER OF LONDON : WHO HAD ISSHUE BY HIM 3 SONS & 4 DAUGHTERS, AFTER I O YERES SPENT WTH HIMREMAYNED 34 YEARS HIS WIDDOW IN LIFE AND DEATH A CONSTANT EXAMPELE OF TRUE VIRTUE AND SWEETLY FEL-ASLEEP IN THE LORD DECEMBER 5, 1620. ETAT 74. CAPTAIN MICHAEL MERRIALL AND CLARE HIS WIFE, ELDEST DAUGHTER OF THE ABOVE NAMED ELIZABETH STARTUTE, HAVE ERECTED THIS MONU MENT AS A TESTIMONI OF HER VIRTV & THEIR LOV.. THIS LIFE IS A WARFARE. COME LORD IESUS COME QUICKLY. REV. 22

NO. 35. JOSEPH SOMES, 1845.

An elaborate monument, of Gothic design, in white and grey veined marbles, to J. Somes, M. P. for Dartmouth, and a prominent shipowner. The in scription is in a central arched recess, and over is a shield bearing the arms - Erm. A cinquefoil, on a canton an escallop. Below the inscription is a carving, in white marble, of "two full-rigged ships off the Port of London."

Burial Register.  July 2, 1 845. Joseph Somes of M. E. O. T. Age 58.

NO. 36. ABRAHAM RALLINGS, 1644.

A square rough stone with raised margin, to the above, and also to "Abraham his sonn " who died in the same year.

NO. 37. JOSEPH JEWSON COOPER, 1874.

A white scroll upon a black marble slab, with inscription, and the remains of a carving in relief at the top.
NO. 38. Over the doorway leading from the Chancel to the Vestry is a small mutilated sculpture representing the Annunciation, enclosed in a panel having a triangular cinquefoiled head. Previous to the recent restoration it was in the wall of the north porch, & before that, in Lysons' time, on the west wall of the Church.

The Font, which is generally regarded as the original one, though much restored, consists of a square bowl, the E. & W. Sides of which are ornamented with arcading. The south side contains a series of maltese crosses, each in the centre of an amulet, and the north side bears intersected triangles, filled with foliage at the extremities. It is supported by a central shaft, and at the four corners by pillars of Purbeck marble, with floriated capitals. At the base is a cruciform step which is raised upon a large circular slab of black marble. This slab bears upon it the following inscription: Presented by William Henry Hawkins, Esq. , 1848. Lysons refers to the font as "ancient, stands on a circular pillar, surrounded by four others of a smaller size "; it would appear, therefore, that if the present font is the original one, it has been re-chiselled and polished to such a degree in one or other of the frequent "restorations" of the Church as to effectually destroy all traces of its antiquity.

The brass eagle lectern is modern, and has upon its base inscriptions recording the restorations of the Church in 1871-3, and 1880-1, together with the names of the respective Rectors and Churchwardens during those periods.

Seating of in the nave and aisles is of plain oak, the sides and backs Church converted from the former high-backed pews. The choir stalls are also of oak.

There is a carving of the Royal Arms fixed on the nave wall above the tower arch; it bears no date. In form it is an oval shield surrounded by the motto of the Garter, and with the usual quarterings. Shield surmounted by a knight's helmet; supporters, crowned lion, and unicorn; motto, " Dieu et mon droit. " The whole surmounted by royal crown and lion.

THE CHURCHYARD AND ITS MONUMENTS.

CAPT. WILLIAM WILDEY, 1679. Altar tomb much decayed. Arms : a chevron gouttee bet. 3 martlets.

ABRAHAM ROBARTS, 1761, and family. Large altar tomb, enclosed by iron railings. Arms : 3 cross bows, a label for difference, on an escutcheon of pretence, a chevron gouttee bet. 3 birds close, for Wildey. Crest : a stag lodged regardant.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Family tree

After just over a year the family tree is back online and now cross referenced with everyone born between 1771 and dying after 1841 against the 1841-1911 census returns. This amounted to about 8000 individuals and I'm now wondering what to do next - I'll probably go back to churching.

Anyway the new site can be found here.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Leicestershire & Rutland churches

I happened across a site today that covers Leicestershire & Rutland churches, not, I have to admit, in as much detail as I'd like but nonetheless it's shown me a wholly new and really exciting, to me, vernacular.

Almost all exteriors look stunning but the interiors appear to be a bit hit and miss; as usual due to insensitive Victorian restoration. Having said that there appears to be a lot of Norman work that has survived.

I think I might need to sell up and move northwards instead of doing the City of London churches next.

The best church, so far, has become a church I must see before I die: Titencote.