Friday, 11 April 2014

All SaintsChurch, Wheatacre

Such a charming church set in a secluded setting in the middle of marshland. The gravestones in the churchyard tells us this church once belonged at the hub of a large busy community in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nowadays there’s only a few houses scattered around this rural area.

The approach to the church is down it’s own short driveway protected by hedgerows and a few trees.
The most significant thing which greets the eye on entering through the church gate is the Tudor tower with it’s chequerboard pattern in flint and red brick – typical of the Tudor period….The outside of the church itself appears to be a Victorian restoration.

The rood screen looks Victorian but has the most delicate tracery which could be original and from the C15

The font is from the C15 and has painted panels…I believe these must have been overpainted at a later date as the colours are still quite bright. The flamboyant wooden font cover is also from a later date and carved in an art nouveau style with flowers and fruit….a little incongruous but seems to work well.

The original Nave was no wider than the Chancel, but at the end of the C14 a larger Nave was required, therefore the North wall was demolished and a new one built adding six feet to it’s width. A large chancel arch was built in the East wall of the nave with the expectation of a wider chancel also being built, but this sadly was left at it’s original width (possibly through lack of money to carry out the intended work)..Part of this arch is now filled in and a smaller arch was built beneath it into the current chancel.

The church originally had a chancel with a chapel on either side, but the South chapel has disappeared and it’s  arch from the chancel into the chapel blocked with a wall containing windows

The South porch was added in Tudor Times, and has heads of a King and Queen acting as stops to the ogee shaped arch over the C14 church doorway.

King's head stop 

              Queen's head  stop

The church was restored in the mid 1880’s.

This is a really delightful church and has an equally pleasing churchyard to explore

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