Monday, January 14, 2008

A long lunch in Wiltshire - part 2

gives its name to the benefice (of Draycot), but is the only one of these church not in use, being vested in the Churches Conservation Trust. It is also the only one I found locked today but the key readily available from a house in the tiny village Draycot Cerne at the end of a no-through road. The church however is not here, standing in landscaped grounds by a lake (actually a dammed stream) below
Draycot House, and reached across a low bridge over the lake. (None of this mentioned in BofE yet the house looks very large, and in core looking C17 to me!). It has an air of gentle neglect, just as it did when I was here last, a few weeks before it became redundant. Tower, nave and lower chancel, and a north transeptal family pew/chapel opposite the south door of the nave. Inside fittings are nearly all of a period, Gothic, and earliest Victorian with matching panelling. Unusually the chancel is lower than the nave - I mean the
floor actually, three steps lower. The nave floor also seems to slope slightly towards the chancel arch. The tower is completely filled by the organ. A collection of monuments in the north chapel, the usual swagger of the local gentry. A dark brown pedestal supports a sleeping child - Adelaide Cowley d1843. More interesting in the chancel is a tomb recess with a cross-legged knight, a grand early C16 tomb chest north of the altar, and if you move the mat in the centre of the chancel you will see Sir Edward Cerne d1393 and his widow d1419 holding hands in a good memorial brass.

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