Saturday, 11 November 2017

St Peter's Church, Wolfhampcote

In a curious, inexplicable way, the Church of St Peter, Wolfhampcote, is one of the most impressive churches I know of. It isn't the stained-glass windows - there aren't any. Nor is it the tapestries, carpets or beautifully carved altar screens or misericords: if there were any they were removed long ago. No, it is the sheer simplicity of the interior. 
The Church of St Peter, Wolfhampcote. 10 November, 2017
The church is no longer used for services although it remains consecrated. It is now cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust and, although I admit to being an atheist, it pleases me that this building appears to be in safe hands. The simplicity of the building helps to focus the visitor on features which might be otherwise overlooked. The 13th Century chancel arch, for example is pleasing in its form and proportions. Above the arch is a royal coat-of-arms of Queen Anne - although I doubt she paid the church a visit.
The chancel arch with, above, the royal coat-of-arms of Queen Anne.
10 November, 2017
The simple pews are small, rather fragile-looking and very basic. I didn't risk sitting on one.
The pews could hardly be more simple.
The parishioners would have faced the very basic altar, not distracted by stained glass; as I have said, there isn't any. In theory any valuable stained glass could have been removed for safety but I suspect that isn't the case. The church would have been cold and uncomfortable but we know that in mediaeval time non-attendance was generally not an option.
View towards the altar of St Peter's Church, Wolfhampcote.
10 November, 20
Outside, the building is again simple. It is possible to imagine church representatives and local worthies leafing through an architect's brochure and choosing something within their means. The structure has subsided in places and cracks have been plugged with mortar.

Masonry was thickly encrusted with lichens. St Peter's, Wolfhampcote.
10 November, 2017
A number of table tombs formed a small group and the headstones in general were a lichenologists paradise but time was pressing. I tore myself away and continued my journey.

Tony White  E-mail:

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