Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wicken Bonhunt, Essex

Last Tuesday I went on a mop up trip in the north west quadrant which, apart from four remaining Cambridge churches, finished off the area.

The day began with St Helen's Chapel in Wicken Bonhunt which is on private land and therefore inaccessible, which is a shame as the Norman features look fascinating but even more annoying was the angle of the sun.

From British History Online: Chapel of St. Helen, at Bonhunt Farm, ¾ m. E. of the church, now desecrated and used as a stable. The walls are built of flint and pebble rubble, patched, and in parts rebuilt with brick; the dressings are of limestone and clunch; the roof is covered with thatch. The chapel, consisting of Chancel and Nave, was built in the second half of the 12th century. It was apparently repaired in the 13th century. The E. wall of the chancel and the N.W. angle of the nave, with various minor repairs, are modern.

Wicken Bonhunt, Chapel of St. Helen Wicken Bonhunt, Chapel of St. Helen
Architectural Description - The Chancel (15½ ft. by 10¼ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a small 12th-century window with rebated jambs and semi-circular head. In the S. wall is a similar window. The chancel-arch has been removed and the internal angles of the chancel rebuilt with modern brick.

The Nave (22 ft. by 14¾ ft.) has two windows in the N. wall; the eastern is of the 12th century, and similar to those in the chancel, but apparently much restored at a later date; the western window is modern. Between them is a modern doorway with several 13th-century moulded stones, re-set in the head. In the N.W. corner are re-set part of a circular shaft with a carved foliage-capital of the 12th century, found during some recent repairs. In the S. wall is a 12th-century window, much altered, with a modern head. Further W. is the blocked S. doorway with a semi-circular arch, all modern, except some 12th-century internal voussoirs. In the W. wall is a round window, externally quatrefoiled and probably of the 12th century.

The Roofs are modern, but contain a number of old timbers, re-used.

Fittings—Piscina: In nave—built into E. jamb of N.E. window, of pillar form with stop-chamfered angles and round basin. Miscellanea: In nave— scratched on W. external jamb of S. window, Sundial.

CHAPEL OF ST HELEN, Bonhunt Farm, 3/4 m. E. A complete Norman chapel of nave and chancel with a number of plain original windows.

St Helen's Chapel (1)

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