All Saints - Harmston, Lincolnshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 53° 08.920 W 000° 32.830
30U E 664030 N 5891618
Quick Description: All Saints, a medieval church in the Lincolnshire village of Harmston.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/2/2020 1:00:28 AM
Waymark Code: WM121GM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 1

Long Description:

  "Harmston can be found some five miles south of Lincoln, just to the west of the A607, whuch runs from Grantham to the outskirts of Lincoln. The village here is one of the Cliff Villages, sitting on a 50 miles long escarpment which runs from near to Grantham to the Humber Estuary.

     There was a village here, with a church mentioned, at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086. Harmston Hall was built here in the early 18th century, replacing an earlier manor house,  and was the home of the Thorold family, with George Thorold being Lord Mayor of London between 1719 and 1720.

     The church here consists of west tower, nave with north and south aisles, south porch, clerestory and chancel. There are three round clerestory windows to north and south, these featuring an attractive design made up from seven circles. Entrance to the church grounds is from a lychgate which dates from 1905. This was made locally in the village.

       The oldest part of the present structure is the Norman west tower, which dates from the 11th or 12th centuries. This is of two stages, with the upper stage battlemented and pinnacled, with a frieze of quatrefoil designs running across the top. Three grotesques look out from each side of the tower, fabulously carved and appearing to date from different times. A winged, spikey haired creature, with a mouthful of sharp fangs, which he appears to delight in showing the onlooker, sits close to a muzzled bear like creature. As always, the skill of the stonemason is showed off for those who care to look upwards. A very weathered wooden clock face is set on the westen side of the tower, which dates from 1791 and was made in Lincoln.

    Eight bells hang here,  a ring of eight cast ny Thomas Osborne of Downham, Norfolk. The bells here were a gift from Samuel Thorold of Harmston Hall. Sadly, Thorold had an unfortunate end, dying of injuries sustained after his horse drawn carriage overturned in 1820. The first two of the ring were dated 1799, with the others dated the previous year. The third of the ring is inscribed 'Sing ye merrily unto God', the fourth reads 'Peace and good neighbourhood' with the seventh inscribed 'Let us Lift up our voice with joy'.  The first three bells of the ring were re-cast by Tylor of Loughborough in 1914. Interesting to see a ring of bells here from a founder so far away!

 It appears that the rest of the church was re-built in 1717, at which point the tower was also repaired. Major re-building also occurred in the 1860's at a cost of around £1,300. Sadly, the funds were not available at the time to re-hang the bells and there was a time where the church was without the use of the bells until the money was donated by Major Nathaniel Clayton Cockburn.

    [Inside the church] There are three bays to north and south and the chancel is two bay. Most of the fixtures and fittings date from the time of the 1860's restorations.  Of considerably greater age are the font, which is Norman, and a remarkable Saxon cross, of which more later.

    Two memorials in the chancel are to members of the Thorold family. Wonderful monuments both of them, but certainly not understated! A memorial to Samuel Thorold, who died in 1737, features a bust of the deceased dressed in Roman toga, with putto to left and right. A putti is an effigy of a small naked male child, which were popular in art at that time. They are more often called cherubs. The putti to left hand side of the monument holds a human bone whilst standing on a skull. This is worth looking at in a little more detail.
    Human skulls and bones are often used as symbols of Man's mortality. Medieval superstition dictated that the human skull and thigh bones were important in the resurrection, which is why the skulls and thigh bones are found in bones crypts, while the rest of the bones are disgarded. The putti here is carrying what appears to be a thigh bone, which could symbolise the resurrection. The figure also has his foot resting on the skull. The symbolism of these monuments is still speaking to the onlooker, as much today as it was back in the 18th century when they were carved. It is difficult though to decipher this message with a 21st century mind. It appears though as if the act of standing on, pressing down on and leaning against is symbolising a type of victory over death. Death is trodden underfoot, the victory is won and the deceased will take their place in heaven. A statement of the faith of the deceased!

    Opposite is a memorial to George Thorold, immaculately attired and with fabulous powdered wig. The format is the same with putto to left and right, one with human skull and the other in an attitude of mourning.
    Other memorials include one to Margaret Thorold, who passed away in 1616 at the age of 80. The memorial relates that she had no fewer than 19 children, eight sons and 11 daughters.

    Some decent stained glass here with the fine east window of the chancel featuring a depiction of the crucifixion.  Angels at prayer look up from the foot of the cross and other angels reach out towards Jesus as He hangs dead on the cross. A powerful piece of work.
    As was mentioned earlier, there is plenty of history here, with the village mentioned in the Domesday Survey. That history is highlited by a small Saxon cross  which can be seen in the north aisle.  This was found in the walls of the old manor house and features a beautifull carved representation of the Crucifiction, and a much more weathered and hard to discern carving of the resurrection on the other."

SOURCE - (visit link)

Building Materials: Stone

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