Monday, 13 September 2010

Beauchamp Roding, Essex

St Botolph is in a sad state, the first things I noticed was that someone has put a stone through the north window and the generally run down appearance both inside and out. However its setting is stunning atop a hill, surrounded by trees and fields - a tranquil spot for an imposing church. At first sight I thought that it had been abandoned or was in the care of the CCT but on closer examination it appears that it is still in regular use with two services a month being held.

The listing on (a great tool for anyone interested in churches) says:

St Botolph, Beauchamp Roding(pronounced Beecham) is one of four Churches in the South Rodings Parish in the Deanery of Dunmow & Stansted and in the Diocese of Chelmsford. The Church is situated away from the centre of the village, standing in a church yard surrounded by fields and is approached via an entrance on the B184. The Church building, which is listed Grade II*, looks out onto an idyllic location with a beautiful view. The Church is always open and attracts a substantial number of visitors who are struck by the beauty of the surroundings and by the sense of peace and tranquillity they find there.

The church building consists of a nave, chancel, tower and south porch. The present nave dates from the fourteenth century, although this may have replaced an earlier structure dating from the eleventh century. The tower dates from the fifteenth century and contains the belfry; the bells are still in position although they are no longer capable of being rung. One unique feature of the Church is the staged benching at the rear of the nave.

ST EDMUND. C14 nave and C15 chancel and W tower. The tower is quite tall and has diagonal buttresses and battlements. It is at the time of writing in a dangerous state of preservation. Chancel roof with a tiebeam on arched braces. The beam rests on carved stone corbels.

Arthur says:

Beauchamp Roding. Quiet and remote it lies, with belts of tall trees behind its thatched cottages. The 14th century church is in the middle of the meadows, its 15th century tower seen from afar. For over 500 years two corbels have been a source of wonder to children here, one a beast protruding its ugly tongue, the other a long-winged angel whose head has been ruthlessly cut away. There is a stone panel of the scene in Gethsemane.

Flickr set.

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