Sunday, 13 May 2018

Westhall, St Andrew

  I had to go down a tiny winding lane to reach this utterly delightful church which is much larger  than it appears from the outside.  Apart from just a few houses the other side of the road the church is isolated among the trees. It has an imposing medieval North door complete with closing rings and is sheltered by a C16 porch. 

The first thing one notices on entering into the C14 nave is the fine Seven Sacrament font from c1450 which although having suffered mutilation still shows some of it’s paint and gesso work 
The scenes around the bowl represent Christ’s Baptism - Holy Orders – Baptism – Confirmation – Matrimony – Penance and Extreme Unction.
There remains what must have once been a vibrant mid C16 dado screen, with nearby rood steps set into the North wall which led to the rood loft 
A large wall painting of St Christopher is on the North wall near the South door, and other wall paintings can be seen on the South wall of the South aisle, including one of a consecration cross

The pulpit is from the Stuart period.  

The large airy chancel was restored in 1882 with it’s East window containing some C14 glass – this is flanked by two Decalogue panels.

Some of the choir stalls have delightful animal heads carved on their ends,

 There’s also a piscina and drop sill sedelia on the South wall of the chancel with two credence shelves close by 
The South aisle is divided from the nave of the church by an arcade which was originally built c1150 and houses the tomb of Nicholas Bohun d.1602 

The priests doorway has an ogee arch with headstops and three scratch dials can be seen on the buttress to the left of the door.

The C14 tower was built up against the lovely Norman West door – this means that the beauty of this door arch is hidden from sight unless one is inside the base of the bell tower 
…one wonders why the builders did this.

The churchyard is charming and contains many trees including an enormous yew tree which must be extremely old.

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