Sunday, January 20, 2008

St Andrew, Dowlish Wake, Somerset

The church was largely rebuilt in the C19, but reusing old bits and setting a few puzzles for us. However much of interest inside and some excellent stained glass. Nave, central tower and chancel, with north aisle to the nave, and north aisle/chapel to the tower and chancel. Odd blocked north tower arch with a huge lancet opening into the north chapel. Between chancel and chapel a large tomb chest with effigies to John Speke and wife, all terribly recut, as the the C14 effigy of a lady in a cusped recess in the chapel. Also here is the man that found the source of the Nile, John Henning Speke d1864, a rather pompous black sarcophagus, back plate with inscription under an arch and a bust of the explorer who carelessly shot himself in the hip whilst out with his cousin in Wiltshire and died aged 37 15 minutes later. Some classy C19 fittings, also a much worn second font from West Dowlish church which was demolished c1700, Norman (although the church guide says Early Saxon) with remains of blank arcading around the bowl. [other pics on flickr]

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