Friday, June 17, 2011

St Andrew, Northborough, Cambridgeshire (SoP)

Along with Upton, this was the other church I had suggested to Chris for our tour today. And I don't think anyone was disappointed with this architectural oddity. The Norman and EE church largely survives intact, the west front is probably the earliest part with a windowless wall to the nave four strip buttresses and a bellcote of the same period. To this a huge south transept has been added, probably the first part of a scheme to rebuild the whole church on a grand scale. A blocked arch above the aisle would have opened into a new aisle but alas for some reason this never came about. From the SE the difference of scale is marked between the early Decorated chancel and the later Decorated transept. Inside too the junction of the old and new is uncomfortable, but it cannot be denied that what we have is impressive enough. Under the south window are two recesses, presumably to house monuments to the benefactors from the Delamere family; indeed in the porch at Glinton are two effigies which local lore suggests were once in these recesses. The east wall has two rich canopies and brackets, and a rather crudely detailed but large canopied tomb without figures to James Claypole d1594. In the south aisle are unusually sedilia and a piscina, and the north aisle has another odd (blocked doorway?) round arch with later Decorated blank tracery. The lady who had kindly opened the church ahead of our visit was proud of her church. Her husband had arrived with his toolkit to open the donations box for the first time in many years. She thought it would need to be replaced as the opening would not accept £1 coins but the collections of coins I saw had a liberal helping of £1 and £2 coins, as well as the more expected copper shrapnel.

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