Wednesday, June 08, 2011

St Edmund, Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire

The Victorian embellishments, enlargement and restoration makes this church appear to be totally C19. However the tower (but not the spire) is said to be original as must be the south wall of the church with its varied windows, and probably the chancel east window with strange intersecting tracery. The interior consequently is a little disappointing but repays closer inspection because the fittings are what is important here. Both screens contain old work, there is an old ches and the font again not in Pevsner is of an unusual design and difficult to date (?C17, earlier?). However the church is on the tourist trail for a special monument. Two effigies lie on a tomb chest, completely bundled up in shrouds. They represent Thomas Beresford d1473 and his wife, but the whole monument was made a hundred years later in Elizabethan times. The panels of the chest equally have the children and mourners incised and all of these are in shrouds like the effigies. Quite a spooky memorial, and a reason for the lack of faces is that no likenesses of the family survived for the later craftsmen to work with. Equally odd is the erection of such a memorial so long after their deaths.

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