St Peter & St Paul - Great Casterton, Rutland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 40.055 W 000° 31.240
30U E 667650 N 5838178
Quick Description: Medieval church of St Peter & St Paul, Great Casterton.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/3/2019 2:02:52 PM
Waymark Code: WM10GAK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 1

Long Description:
Medieval church of St Peter & St Paul, Great Casterton.

"The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL stands at the south end of the village on the west side of the Great North Road and consists of chancel 27 ft. by 15 ft., clearstoried nave 33 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft., north and south aisles 8 ft. wide, south porch, and engaged west tower 10 ft. 3 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The width across nave and aisles is 41 ft. 6 in.

The east end and upper part of the side walls of the chancel are faced with ashlar, but elsewhere the building is of rubble, plastered internally. All the roofs are leaded and of low pitch, behind battlemented parapets: the parapets are continued along the east gables of nave and chancel and the ends of the aisles.

The greater part of the church as it exists to-day belongs to the 13th century, but it has apparently developed from a 12th-century building consisting of an aisleless nave the same size as the present one, the eastern angles of which still exist, and a small chancel. To this early building a north aisle of two bays was added about 1250, and a little later a corresponding south aisle was thrown out, the nave extended westward about 14 ft. beyond the aisles, and a clearstory added its full length. The chancel was also rebuilt on its present plan, the old north and south walls perhaps being retained at the west end, and the porch added. All this work probably extended over a number of years, the character of the work in the south arcade and porch pointing to c. 1280–90, while that of the north arcade would appear to be some thirty or forty years earlier. There is, however, a mingling of earlier and later forms in arches, windows, and other features, which perhaps indicates the use of the earlier forms late in the century rather than a modification of the older work. As completed at the end of the 13th century the nave terminated with a bell-cote over the west gable, slight indications of which remain, but in the 15th century this was taken down and the present tower erected within the western bay, carried on three sides by new arches and reducing the nave to its present length. At the same time, or shortly after, the church was newly roofed, the walls of the chancel and porch heightened, and the present battlemented parapets erected, the building then assuming the aspect it has since retained.

In the 18th or early years of the 19th century the church was filled with box pews of deal and a west gallery erected. The gallery was removed about 1894 and the pews in 1927. The chancel was restored in 1930 when the floor was lowered to its original level.

The chancel is without buttresses and has a chamfered plinth along its east end and the eastern half of the side walls; there is also a string chamfered on both edges along the eastern portion of the north wall, the east end, and the whole length of the south wall. In the east wall are two recessed and widely spaced lancet windows, the moulded outer arches of which spring from jambshafts with moulded bases and foliated capitals whose abaci are continued as a string along the wall, dying out at the angles. Above the windows, filling the original gable, is a lancetshaped niche containing a figure probably intended for St. Paul, the outer moulded arch of which appears to have been altered in the 15th century, when the old high-pitched roof of the chancel was taken down. In the south wall is a window of three graded lancet lights with individual hood-moulds and farther west a widely splayed single trefoiled lancet, the lower part of which is blocked with plaster. There is a similar though less widely splayed lancet at the west end of the north wall, the sill of which is only 3 ft. above the ground; the rest of the north wall is blank. The lateral windows have single chamfered jambs, flat internal sills and chamfered rear arches. There are two plain aumbries on each side of the chancel, and under those in the south wall traces of a piscina. The chancel arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders with hood-mould, the inner order springing from half-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. There are marks of a screen and the bases and capitals are much mutilated. The floor is flagged and the roof is of four bays.

The nave arcades are of two bays with wide semicircular arches of two chamfered orders, with hoodmoulds on both sides, springing from half-round responds and dividing cylindrical pillar, all with carved capitals and circular moulded bases on square plinths. In the north arcade the capitals have stiff-stalk foliage and the bases are water-holding, that of the pillar having a double hollow, but in the later south arcade the foliage is more naturalistic, the scroll moulding is used in the abaci, and in the bases the hollow is omitted. There is a head-stop to the hood-mould on the south side only, over the pillar.

Each aisle is lighted at the east end by a lancet window, the sills of which are extended inside, and by a larger pointed window in the north and south walls, originally of three lights, the mullions of which have been removed and a single one reaching to the head inserted. These windows, which probably had plain intersecting tracery, have hollow-chamfered jambs and hood-moulds with good head-stops. They were placed near the east end of the walls to give increased light to the aisle altars, the piscinae of which remain, that on the south aisle being square headed with fluted bowl, the other (which is in the north wall) trefoiled and its bowl mutilated. There are also image brackets on either side of the east windows, those in the south aisle being carved, the others rounded. The blocked north doorway is pointed and apparently of a single chamfered order, with imposts formed by the stringcourse which runs round the north aisle at sill level. This string is chamfered on both edges, but the corresponding one of the south aisle is of later character and is continued round the porch. In both aisles there is a diagonal buttress at the east end. The pointed south doorway is of a single chamfered order, with hood-mould, on moulded imposts: the oak door has good 13th-century hinges. The porch doorway is of two chamfered orders, on large half-round responds with carved capitals, that on the east similar in character to the capital of the south-east nave respond, the other with a mingling of stiff-stalk and natural fructed oak foliage. The porch has single-stage buttresses, and the original eaves table now forms a string along the side walls about 8 ft. from the ground. Above this the later walling is of ashlar, contemporary with the parapet.

The 13th-century clearstory has three circular windows on each side, two of which light the nave, the westernmost window, on either side of the tower, being now blocked. Originally the windows had trefoiled cusping, but this now remains only in the window north of the tower. The stone corbels of the earlier nave roof remain in position at the level of the sills of the clearstory windows. In the outlying western portion of the nave, which covers the tower, is a single lancet window on the south side, the internal splay of which is taken round the head in semicircular form. The north side is blank, save for the clearstory window already mentioned. A pointed window of three lights with vertical tracery was inserted in the west wall when the tower was erected, but this is now blocked, the blocking being pierced at the bottom by a small square-headed opening.

The tower is carried on lofty arches on the north, south and east sides and has a staircase on the north formed in the nave wall at its junction with the aisle. The inner chamfered order of the arches rests on half-octagonal responds with battlemented capitals and moulded bases, the outer hollow chamfered order being continued to the ground. Above the arches is a ribbed vault with large circular well-hole and a shield in each of the four angles, one of which (south-east) is blank; the others have the arms of Browe (north-east), Quarterly, 1 and 4 Browe, 2 Warren, 3 Folville, with crest (north-west), and Browe impaling Warren (south-west). The lower part of the east arch, towards the nave, is closed by an 18th-century partition, with doorway, the upper part being plastered and containing the Royal Arms of George II. The lateral arches remain open. The pointed bell-chamber windows are of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head, and the tower finishes with a battlemented parapet with a small gargoyle at each angle, and tall crocketed pinnacles.

The rectangular unmounted font stands on a chamfered plinth and may be of late 12th- or early 13th-century date. Each of its sides is covered with an incised pattern of diagonal lines in four panels. It has a modern flat oak cover.

The 18th-century pulpit is of painted deal, with fluted pilasters and canopy with dentilled cornice. A stone altar was erected in 1931 and the balustraded altar rails moved westward to the entrance of the chancel.

In the south aisle wall is a 13th-century tomb recess with moulded two-centred arch on short jambshafts with foliated capitals and moulded bases, below which is the freestone effigy of a priest in eucharistic vestments. On the outside of the same wall, but a little farther east, there is another recess of the same character, with projecting canopy, containing a blocked effigy, the head and feet alone being represented.

There are remains of painted wall decorations at the east end of the north aisle, the window splays being covered with masonry lines and red five-lobed flowers.

In the chancel is a tablet to Richard Lucas (d. 1827), rector for 42 years, who built and endowed the church at Pickworth. The glass in the east windows was inserted in 1905 to the memory of James Atlay, Bishop of Hereford (1868–95), and of his parents, his father Henry Atlay having been rector of Great Casterton 1827–61. On the exterior of the chancel is a tablet to Vincent Wing (d. 1776). The stone entrance gateway to the churchyard is a memorial to those men of the parish who fell in the war of 1914–19.

There is a ring of five bells by Henry Penn of Peterborough, 1718.

The silver plate consists of an 18th-century cup without date letter, and a paten of 1723–4, both given by the Rev. Richard Lucas in 1802. There are also two pewter plates and two pewter flagons.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) all entries 1665–1753; (ii) baptisms and burials 1754– 1812; (iii) marriages 1754–1812."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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