Monday, June 06, 2011

St Andrew, Cubley, Derbyshire

Driving north on the Ashbourne road I glimpsed this church seemingly all on its own across the valley. When I got here, it is all on its own to the south of its village, and it seems to be burrowing into the hillside. The walls of the nave and south aisle are C17 with square-headed windows, later than the splendid Perp west tower. The chancel is C13 with a large five-light window with intersecting tracery. The restorer here was J P St Aubyn, and he seems to have conserved rather than made good and improved as happened so often elsewhere. Even more surprising is to enter and find a Norman arcade and its clerestory inside the church. Pevsner does not mention the clerestory, nor does he mention the tiny effigy in the sanctuary.
The chancel is raised five steps above the nave and there are a further four steps until you reach the sanctuary. The south side lancets are filed with medieval glass fragments. Two once splendid alabaster tombs here, one with a very damaged effigy of a knight. The font is Norman but plain and there are some surviving painted decoration on the arcade arches, especially the eastern one. It oozes charm and antiquity, and  has an air of genteel neglect. Long may it remain in such a state.[open]

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