Monday, June 06, 2011

St James, Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire

Friday 3rd June - On my way to a Trustees meeting, usually held in Manchester, but tonight taking place in the Derbyshire Dales so en route I decided to get in some churches, and headed straight for Barton. The church is all early C16, built by Dr John Taylor who was chaplain to Henry VIII, and the tower is dated 1517. Splendid exterior, all rather long and low-looking from outside, with battlemented parapets everywhere, the tower embellished with eight small pinnacles and the apse with four more.

The west door was open and I stepped inside but became aware that the church was in use, as several groups of people of all ages were dotted around the church. As I stood here, I was approached by a man from the other end of the church. He welcomed me and said he was happy that I looked around and take photographs. He also told me that I was fortunate as the church is normally kept locked but that they were gathered to prepare for a choral evening. To be truthful I had seen all that there was to see from the west end. Despite its fame the interior was very disappointing and the fittings were almost all Victorian or later. I took some photographs but not as many as I would have normally and certainly did not take many in the chancel as choir members started to gather here. I missed the medieval crucifixion glass incorporated into the east window, assuming the window was all Victorian like the other windows.

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