Friday, 18 January 2013

Noak Hill, Essex

I am definitely getting soft in the head. Built in 1841-2 St Thomas should not be my cup of tea at all but I really rather liked it. I wish I'd got inside as Mee makes it sound interesting, rather to my surprise.

ST THOMAS. 1841-2 by Blore. Red brick, with transepts. Octagonal SW turret. The main windows with transomes. Not in a style usual in the 40s.

St Thomas (2)

NOAK HILL. It looks across at the trees in Pyrgo Park, where kings and queens came to stay, and we come to it for a few treasures in its 19th century church, wood and glass about 300 years old, mostly brought here from the Continent. Both in wood and in glass there are strikingly vivid pictures of the Crucifixion by old craftsmen. The one in wood is on the chancel wall, and also shows Christ bearing the Cross. It is sombre and perhaps a little grotesque, but full of quaint realism, and is said to come from a monastery at Florence. The other is in the east window, an intensely realistic scene with Our Lord between the two thieves, the Madonna and three other Marys, John, two horsemen, and soldiers holding the spear and sponge. The window also has full-length figures of Peter and John the Baptist, and a group of the Madonna with Zacharias and Elizabeth. In other windows are French , heraldic medallions of the 16th century, panels of Saul with Doeg the Edomite, The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging, and Doubting Thomas. We see also the badge of Jane Seymour, with a bird springing from flowers set in a round tower, and two medallions with the heraldry of Anne Boleyn. All this old colour the church has to brighten it, and it glows too with the yivid hues of coats-of-arms in all the nave windows.

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