Friday, October 09, 2009

St Mary, Tetbury, Glos

THE place in Gloucestershire for quality antiques (at extortionate prices) is Tetbury, complete with its Highgrove Estate shop. I was astonished that my friends had never been inside the main church of the town, with its complete Georgian interior (minus a large three decker pulpit that is). They showed an interest in it as we drove by en route, and after we had walked the length of the High Street looking at nice things we couldn't afford we found ourselves at the church. A sign outside proclaimed the church to be open, not a state it was found very often in in the 1990s. I had not realised that the west tower and spire was completely rebuilt in the late Victorian era (a picture in the exhibition in the south passage shows it completely gone) thinking the tower was medieval. The rest was rebuilt in 1777 and is in a fancy Gothick. Slim pillars support a plaster vault. The north passage (running along the length of the church and accessed by multiple doors) contains several medieval effigies and two Elizabethan ones with crest from a dismantled monument of some size. My friends were astonished at the graceful interior, and more so at the original Georgian locks and doorknobs on many of the doors. The box pews remain, hiding many a naughtiness I suspect during the lengthy sermons!

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