Sunday, 22 July 2012

Liston, Essex

Onwards to Liston and its church whose dedication is unknown - strangely this applies to both Liston and Borley - which I found locked with no keyholder named. Quite why this should be is beyond me but ours is not to wonder why.

I'd have liked to gain access as the Norman door and C15th glass sound interesting.

Pevsner: CHURCH. Nave and chancel Norman, see the masonry at the E end, and the plain, blocked N doorway. The chancel was widened in the C13, but the windows are all renewed. W tower, not too big, early C16, of brick with blue brick diapers, diagonal buttresses, a three-light brick W window, and stepped battlements on a trefoiled corbel frieze. The stair turret reaches higher than the tower. The S chancel chapel was added in 1867. - FONT. Octagonal, Perp, traceried stem, and bowl with cusped panels and shields. - BENCH ENDS with two poppyheads. - STAINED GLASS. N window, in the tracery, several small C15 figures. - PLATE. Large Plate of 1683; Paten on foot probably of 1683; Flagon of 1702; Cup probably of 1702. LISTON HALL has been demolished.

Dedication unknown

LISTON. Its fine red tower is Tudor brickwork, and stands in a churchyard with neatly trimmed yews, by the side of Liston Hall park. One of the two bells is older than the tower, but far older than both is the Norman nave, which has a small doorway ornamented in the 12th century with zigzags and flowers. The chancel was made wider in the 13th century, but has kept its Norman wall at the east. A Tudor door is still swinging in the porch, and inside are handsome roofs 400 years old, that in the chancel having four angels looking down. A 15th century beam takes the place of the chancel arch, and there is a 15th century font, poor battered thing. The chancel has a medieval wooden seat, and the organist has a 17th century stool. One of the windows is delightful with glass new and old. It has nine charming roundels of Bible scenes, and in the tracery are figures coloured 500 years ago, the clearest being the Madonna holding a palm leaf and an orb. The others are probably St Anne, St George, Mary Magdalene, and St Michael. The church has a pathetic link with one of the most tragic events in the history of the Empire, the Massacre of Cawnpore. We read here how  Robert Thornhill, his wife, their two little ones, and a faithful nurse, were cruelly massacred after 66 days and nights of extreme suffering; and how Henry Thornhill and his family had already been murdered at Neetapore in those bitter days of the Mutiny.

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