Tuesday, June 14, 2011

St James, Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire

I relocated using the A14 and the A43 to NE of Kettering. The first church I tried was locked but I returned to it, so it will follow too! Whilst waiting for the keyholder to come home I went to this church where a sign on the long path leading to it screamed "CHURCH OPEN". There was also a road sign pointing to a window that is in the church but not the church itself! The church is of some antiquity, as both arcades are Norman with round piers, the north one earlier with stepped arches and square capitals , the south with one step and one chamfer and circular capitals. The tower is a little later. Decorated chancel, Perpendicular clerestory and several windows. Notably low and deep south porch. In the chancel three sedilia and two similar niches of differing sizes flank the east window, one with an amusing little figure. Two wall memorials by Westmacott Senior (with portrait medallion of the deceased being cuddled by two ladies, chancel) and Junior (A charitable lady presumably the deceased giving out bread to a child, his kneeling mother and an old man leaning on a stick, north chapel). The east window of the south aisle contains an unusual subject, a Flying Fortress B-17 of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th US Airforce flying over the White Cliffs of Dover as it returns from a combat mission, installed in 1983 to commemorate those stationed at Grafton Underwood airfield during World War II. Also of note the tiny window on the south side of the chancel.

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