Thursday, 24 February 2011

Wickham St Paul, Essex

The churches in this part of Essex tend to have brick built Tudor towers and All Saints is no exception with an octagonal stair turret. The body of the church is whitewashed and it sits outside of the village besides an old farmyard and farmhouse. A pleasant site but having peered through the windows I decided against searching out the keyholders and pressed on to Castle Hedingham. Given that Hedingham was locked with no keyholders perhaps my time would have been better spent here.

ALL SAINTS. In 1505 in a will £20 was left for the building of the tower. It is indeed a fine specimen, though not high. Red brick with blue brick diapers, diagonal buttresses, high stair turret, battlements and brick pinnacles. Brick W doorway and brick W window of three light with depressed pointed head and intersecting tracery. The rest of the church indifferent. - CHEST. Heavily iron-bound; C13. - SCREEN. With one-light divisions, ogee heads and some panel tracery above.

All Saints (3)

WICKHAM ST PAUL. It has belonged to St Paul’s Cathedral for a thousand years, a little link in Essex with the heart of London. Its houses are round a pleasant green, but its church is half a mile away by a farm, and we come to its porch beneath archways of roses. It was standing much as we see it before old St Paul’s perished in the Great Fire. Its fine brick tower is Tudor and has a door to the stair turret, which has been opening for 400 years. Part of the nave is 12th century, and the chancel was refashioned in the 14th century. One of the bells has been here about 500 years; and just as old are the nave roof and the great treasure of the church, a fine chancel screen with much delicate tracery. There is a 13th century chest bound with iron, a Jacobean altar table with a new top, and fragments of 15th century glass including a lion’s head.

Flickr set.

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