Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hamming it up in Somerset - part 8


No dedication is recorded for this church which was rebuilt in the C17 and now known as above. Still Gothic, with short lofty clerestoried nave and lower chancel. Opening the original door and you are immediately confronted with another doorway in an ornate Gothic screen; this screen was removed from a similar position at St Mark the Lord Mayor's Chapel in Bristol when that church was restored. Small stained glass figures flank the double doors and go through these doors and the church rises full height, a wonderful sight. The arcades look authentic work, matching the local style (could they have been reused?). At the east end of both aisles grand monuments. To the north Sir Edward Hext d1623 and wife d1633. White stone, superbly carved effigies, on a rather plain chest. The railings around are also original. By it on the east wall excellent carved Royal Arms. To the S Sir Ralph Stawell d1689 completely architectural, with two putti flanking the inscription below and around very ornate ironwork railings also original. The rood screen is still Perp in style and recalls many of the fine screens around but is turning classical in part. Charming little angels clutching texts below the main inscription. The seating and the pulpit also of the period as is the glass in the east window.
Unbelievably this church does not make that much maligned volume "England's 1000 best churches" by Simon Jenkins. Come here - plan your day around seeing this unique building - it is a stunner.

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