St Edith - Monks Kirby, Warwickshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 26.654 W 001° 19.197
30U E 614187 N 5811776
Quick Description: The first church at the site is said to have been founded in 917 by Ethelfleda, substantially rebuilt in around 1380.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/9/2017 3:39:14 AM
Waymark Code: WMVEP2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 0

Long Description:
"The parish church of ST. EDITH stands on the summit of a small mound, on the south side of a large churchyard planted with avenues of yew trees. It consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles and chapels, south porch with a parvise, vestry, and a tower built into the south-west corner of the church. It was rebuilt in the latter part of the 14th century and again towards the end of the 15th century, when the present arcades were built, the upper part of the tower rebuilt, and most of the windows replaced. The priory buildings were on the north side of the chancel; part of them were embodied in the church during the 15th-century reconstruction to form the chapel. Apart from the blocked openings, a door jamb, offsets for an upper floor against the chapel, and the line of a steep roof on the north wall of the chancel, nothing remains of the priory buildings. About the end of the 16th century the church was re-roofed; it was re-leaded in 1709, according to a cast lead inscription removed from the roof in the 19th century, now fixed to the east wall of the parvise. The general arrangement of the church is somewhat unusual, the nave, until recent times, extended into the chancel without a chancel arch or other line of demarcation except, no doubt, a screen. Although the church is lofty there is no clearstory, but the windows are placed at an unusual height above the floor. The tower is tall and exceptionally large. When the upper part was rebuilt in the 15th century it included a tall octagonal spire; this was blown down on Christmas night 1722.

Most of the east wall of the chancel has been refaced with ashlar and the gable and south buttress rebuilt. It has a modern pointed traceried window of three trefoiled lights. The lower part of the north wall is of ashlar, in which there is an aumbry with a four-centred head, and an opening, also with a four-centred head, both blocked with masonry. The upper part, of alternate courses of ashlar and rubble, has the line of a steep-pitched roof and a blocked splayed opening with a four-centred head above the opening below. On the south a low modern vestry replaces a small earlier structure. It has a pointed doorway, a two-light squareheaded window on the east and another on the south, a diagonal buttress at the angle, and a low buttress against the aisle wall, terminating in a crocketed finial. The roof is a low-pitched lean-to one with a plain parapet. Above the vestry the wall has been largely refaced and has an early-16th-century traceried window inserted in a shallow square-headed recess; it is of three cinquefoil lights with a transom under a four-centred head. The east wall of the south aisle above the vestry is lighted by a traceried window of three cinquefoil lights under a four-centred head with a hood-mould. The south wall, which has a moulded plinth, is divided into four bays by buttresses, each in two stages terminating in pinnacles with crocketed finials above a plain parapet. At sill level there is a weathered offset, the lower weathering being carried round the buttresses and porch as a string-course. The east bay has a pointed traceried window of two cinquefoil lights, and the remaining three have wide windows of three trefoiled lights, the centre ogee and the others pointed; the tracery in all these windows is of late insertion.

The porch is two-storied, built of red sandstone ashlar. The gable, which formerly contained a sundial, was rebuilt on a classic moulding in the 19th century, omitting the sundial. The south entrance is by a richly moulded pointed archway, with the string-course carried over as a hood-mould. Above this arch the parvise is lighted by a small pointed window of two trefoiled lights, with its tracery restored, and on the east side by a narrow ogee-headed window. The ground floor has a stone vaulted ceiling with moulded ribs and carved central boss, supported in the angles on attached shafts with moulded bases, the rib mouldings dying out on the shafts. The doorway has an elaborately moulded pointed arch of three orders, the inner supported on a moulded capital, the two outer are without capitals, but all three have moulded bases.

The wall of the north aisle, except half the west bay, was rebuilt with light-coloured ashlar in the 19th century, including the windows, probably copies of their predecessors, and the two central buttresses, which rise in four weathered stages. It is lighted by four traceried windows of three trefoiled lights in deep hollow splays under four-centred heads; the one at the west end and the east jamb of the eastern one are original. At the west end there is a small added buttress, close to the original one, which has a moulded string-course and gabled head. The chapel at the eastern end is divided into two bays by a rebuilt buttress. Both bays have a traceried window of three trefoiled lights under a four-centred head in deep splays, and immediately below their sills there is a splayed offset for a floor of the destroyed priory buildings. The east wall, built of a mixture of red and light-coloured sandstone ashlar, continues at the north end as a buttress and contains the south jamb of a doorway. It has a restored three-light window under a segmental pointed head. The west wall is built of squared and coursed masonry in alternate wide and narrow courses and has an angle buttress, as on the north. It has a traceried window of three cusped trefoil lights under a fourcentred head. A large modern buttress divides this wall from the west end of the nave, which has a large pointed widow of four lights in a deep hollow splay, the head and tracery being modern.

The lower half of the tower, which has a moulded plinth, is built of red sandstone ashlar and the rebuilt upper half of light-coloured ashlar. It rises in three stages, with buttresses in five weathered stages at the angles of the south and west walls, and terminates in a 19th-century parapet with open trefoil-headed panels, central pediments and crocketed pinnacles with weather vanes at each angle. On the west side the ground floor is lighted by a tall pointed three-light traceried window, of three splayed orders, in a deep splay, and on the south by a similar window, but of two trefoiled lights with restored tracery. The second stage has traceried windows of two trefoiled lights with transoms under four-centred heads and hood-moulds on the east, south, and west. The belfry windows on each face are similar, but with a string-course at sill level. On the east side above the ringing-chamber window there is a clock dial. Against the buttress at the south-east angle the wall is splayed out for the tower staircase, which is lighted by six loop-lights, three ogeeheaded in the lower stage and three round-headed in the rebuilt portion.

The chancel (45 ft. by 23 ft.) has a tiled floor with three steps to the altar placed against a carved stone reredos with a central cross of alabaster. The walls of the eastern end are of roughly coursed rubble up to their junction with the nave arcades of red sandstone ashlar; two bays of the south arcade and one of the north are included in the chancel by a modern dwarf wall of light-coloured ashlar and oak screens. The dwarf wall extends right across the church to embrace both the chapels. At the eastern end in the south wall there is a trefoil-headed piscina under a pointed arch on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases, and triple sedilia with pointed moulded arches, the inner order trefoiled, supported on circular shafts with moulded capitals and bases. Between them is a narrow blocked doorway with a four-centred arch under a square head with sunk spandrels. All this portion of the wall has been rebuilt in light-coloured sandstone ashlar and the sedilia and piscina are restorations; the doorway, however, is original. In the north wall opposite are two aumbries with four-centred heads. High up in the wall above them there is a narrow rectangular opening and on the same level a narrow trefoil-headed opening into the chapel. Below this opening there is a modern unglazed four-light window, and west of it the east bay of the arcade, closed by a dwarf wall and oak screen. Hung on the north wall there is a framed painted Royal Arms of Charles II, dated 1660. The south side takes two bays of the arcade, the east one being partly blocked by a modern wall in the form of a buttress to the respond. Both bays are closed by walls and oak screens, with an opening in the east bay to the chapel.

The south chapel (28 ft. 4 in. by 12 ft. 6 in.), known as the Skipwith chapel, has a hatchment on the south wall bearing the Skipwith coat. Part of the east wall, including the sill of the window, was rebuilt in ashlar with an ogee-headed doorway and hood-mould when adding the modern vestry. At the southern end of this wall there is a moulded ogee trefoil-headed piscina with its projecting basin cut away, and above it a moulded and carved bracket. Built into the wall on the north side of the east window there is a small square panel with a carved shield of arms. The east window has a hollow-moulded four-centred rear-arch; the south window has splayed jambs with a pointed reararch.

The north chapel (31 ft. by 12 ft. 8 in.) is stonepaved for a distance of 20 feet, six steps above the level of the nave, the remainder being occupied by the organ. In the angles of the east wall there are niches with mutilated canopies of ogee trefoils, pilasters with crocketed finials, and battlemented bracket pedestals. To the west of the narrow light to the chancel there are traces of a destroyed dividing wall. There are two large alabaster table tombs of similar design, one in the north-east corner to Sir William Feilding, died 1547, and Elizabeth his wife, died 1539, with their life-sized effigies; the man is in armour with a book clasped in his conjoined hands, clean shaven, wearing three rings on each hand and is without a ruffle. The woman is also clasping a book, wearing a ruffle, and with three rings on each of her hands. The pedestal is divided in front into five panels, three with shields, and the end into two, both with shields. The other tomb, towards the opposite corner, is to Basil Feilding, son and heir of Sir William Feilding, date of death left blank, and Gooddeth his wife, died 1580. The two effigies are very similar to the others but the man has a beard and is wearing a ruffle, his feet rest on a lion and his gauntlets are laid beside his right leg. Each is clasping a book, each wearing two rings on both hands, and on the hem of the woman's dress there are two small sleeping dogs, one on either side. At the east end of the pedestal are two shields, at the other a shield supported by undraped figures. On the south side there are three shields, each held by a woman, and three infants in winding-sheets; and on the opposite side three shields, one supported by a man and woman and two held by men, one dressed in armour, the other a civilian, and a woman with her hands clasped in prayer with two infants in winding-sheets.

The nave (76 ft. by 23 ft. 10 in. and at the west end 76 ft. by 14 ft.) has red sandstone ashlar walls and a floor of modern tiles. The north arcade consists of six and the south of five bays of moulded pointed arches which die out on plain tall lozenge-shaped pillars with moulded bases. Two bays of the south arcade and one of the north extend into the chancel, this arrangement being accounted for by the presence of the tower within the church. At the west end the wall has been increased in thickness up to the level of the window sill with modern light-coloured ashlar; the window has a hollow-moulded pointed rear-arch. The tower arch is pointed and richly moulded, the mouldings dying out on plain half-hexagonal responds. These plain responds, similar to those of the arcade, suggest that it was inserted at the same time as the arcades were built. On the east wall of the tower, where it projects into the nave, the roof line of the earlier aisle is visible. Hung on the west wall there is a coloured plan of the seating, with the names of the occupiers, dated 1752. The pulpit, a modern octagonal one of stone, is placed on the north side of the chancel. Hung on the tower wall there are a helmet, a pair of gauntlets, a sword, and a pair of spurs, all of small size.

The north aisle (76 ft. by 12 ft. 6 in.) has three blocked doorways with four-centred heads at the east end, two close together on the ground floor and above them, one to a first floor. Built into the north wall at the west end there is a badly mutilated head and shoulders of a large stone effigy. Against the north wall there are two white marble monuments of very similar design, one to the 7th Earl of Denbigh, died 1865, and his wife, died 1847; the other is to Lady Augusta Feilding, died 1848; and between them three small tablets to other members of the family. The west wall is thickened in the same manner as the nave.

The south aisle (55 ft. by 12 ft. 6 in.) has a modern tiled and partly boarded floor. The tower arch is pointed and richly moulded, the mouldings continuing down to a moulded base. It has been partly blocked on the north side to take the respond of the later arcade. The windows have pointed rear-arches of two splayed orders continuing down to the sills, and the door a pointed rear-arch of two plain orders. Above the door there is a small ogee-headed light to the parvise.

The tower (17 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft. 6 in.) has a modern tiled floor with a modern octagonal stone font in the centre. It has a stone vaulted ceiling with moulded ribs and a central octagonal boss. The moulded ribs die out on plain chamfered responds in the angles, without capitals but with moulded bases. In the southeast angle there is an ogee-headed doorway to a circular staircase leading to the tower and parvise; above the door there is a painted list of charities, dated 1714. Both windows have pointed rear-arches to deeply splayed reveals. Round the walls there is a dado of oak panelling cut from the old bell-frame in 1921 when it was replaced by a steel one. The traceried screens enclosing the chancel and chapels were also made from these timbers.

Of the six bells the earliest probably dates from the late 14th century; three are by Henry Bagley, 1618, 1623, 1640; one by Joseph Smith, 1711; and one by Thomas Eayre of Kettering, 1741."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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