Monday, 16 November 2015

Fornham All Saints, Suffolk

On the face of it All Saints, locked, keyholder listed, should tick all the boxes - fabulous location, attractive exterior, interesting churchyard, quirky interior (see the aisles and north transept/chapel), great gargoyles and some good poppyheads amongst other articles of interest - but it doesn't quite do it for me. Whether this is due to the 1863 Blomfield restoration or that it was overall a dull and cloudy day I didn't warm to it as much as I feel I should have.

ALL SAINTS. Norman S doorway with one order of shafts. Early C13 W tower, unbuttressed with lancets and a small single-chamfered doorway towards the nave. Nave of c. 1300, see one window with Y-tracery. Tall Dec chancel, the E window reticulated. Perp S aisle attached to the E wall of the S porch. Battlements with initials, shields, etc., in stone and flushwork. The S arcade has two bays, the S chapel one into the chancel. The Perp E window has a niche to its r. in the SE angle. There was also one in the NE angle. - BENCH ENDS. With poppy-heads, and three with animals on the arms. - PLATE. Cup 1566; Paten 1660; Flagon 1762.


Headstone (6)

Poppyhead (2)

Gargoyle (10)

FORNHAM ALL SAINTS. It has a church chiefly 500 years old, but with a lofty chancel a century older, and with a low tower whose base is a century older still. We found much interest here in a wealth of small things - little gargoyles on the tower, a door with a very old lock, another door with fine old hinges, in the porch a wooden face with its tongue out, a king’s and a queen’s head outside the east window, carved bosses in the aisles, painted bosses in the fine roof of the chancel, a canopied niche in a chapel, and poppyheads carved on old benches.

But these are not all Fornham has for the pilgrim. The sedilia and the piscina by the priest’s doorway are 600 years old; by the altar is a statue of Christ copied from the one by the famous Danish sculptor Thorwaldsen; and at the side of the chancel is part of what was once the roodscreen. The east window has lovely tracery filled with attractive glass of Our Lord in Glory among the Apostles; and there is another fine traceried window in the Mannock chapel, which has also a peephole and many brass inscriptions to the Mannocks. It has, too, a brass of an Elizabethan Professor of Medicine, Thomas Barwick, who looks as if he is just giving a lecture to his students.

Some charming thatched cottages stand close to the church, and other cottages here have been made from the house called Aldridges, whose ancient moat is now dry.

No comments:

Post a Comment