Monday, June 20, 2011

St John the Baptist, Barnack, Cambridgeshire (SoP)

We drove past Barnack church on the way to our pub lunch at The Millstone in the village. Thankfully after the diverse churches we had all gone off to see, the plan came together for us to enjoy a lunch together. Suitably refreshed we returned to visit the church. Here is another of the area's great Saxon towers which repays close examination, and the church attached to it is large and impressive looking too from outside in the sunshine. The Decorated chancel is ornate and has an exceptionally finely detailed five stepped-light east window, and the south chapel Perp a very ornate embattled parapet.  I had been here before but had forgotten about the impressive early C13 south porch which shelters a very fine late Transitional doorway with a round arch, has a fine pointed full EE outer arch and an absurdly tall cross vault.
Inside the mighty Saxon tower arch dominates the west end and the interior looking east from here is tall and spacious, yet disappointing somehow. I felt much the same when I came here in 1986 and I cannot pinpoint why I feel like that. Maybe it is the Victorian roofs, the benches, the C19 screens and the overall tidying up which they undoubtedly did at the same time. And that is a shame, as there are also some fine treasures too, a Saxon figure of Christ in Majesty, an intricate carving of the Annunciation in the south chapel and an excellent EE font around which we all stood for the 2011 group photo.

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