Sunday, 5 August 2012

Peldon, Essex

The silvered oak hammerbeam nave roof leaves a lasting impression along with the tower consecration crosses which are, in my experience, unusual; otherwise St Mary the Virgin is relatively run of the mill. I saw no evidence of Mee's tower grotesques - I wonder where they've gone! - and Pevsner's Norman font made little impression.

ST MARY THE VIRGIN. Big W tower with angle buttresses, battlements and a higher embattled stair turret. Stone nave with early C16 brick buttresses and brick clerestory. The clerestory windows of two lights. The nave roof is of hammerbeam type. The braces up to the collar-beams form four-centred arches. The chancel was rebuilt in 1859 in an all too familiar style not usual for additions to old churches; stone with much white brick and a little flint - in the lancet style. Now boarded off from inside. - FONT. Plain, octagonal, C13, on nine supports.

Nave roof (2)

Glass (2)

PELDON. It lies scattered on the high ground between Colchester and Mersey Island. The timber-framed house near the church is the wing of a medieval house which has disappeared, and there are two medieval farms a mile away. The inn has panelled doors of the 17th century, and comes into Baring Gould’s romance Mehalah. The church tower is a bold stone structure of 1400, with flint crosses and two nail-studded doors, both 600 years old. Grotesques jut out from the corners below the embattled parapet. The oldest possession of the church is the Norman font, and there are windows and doorways which have been here 600 years; but the best thing is the 400-year-old hammerbeam roof of the nave.

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