St Nicholas - Stretton, Rutland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 43.868 W 000° 35.694
30U E 662395 N 5845075
Quick Description: St Nicholas' church, Stretton.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/30/2018 12:03:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMYCQH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
"The church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of chancel 22 ft. 6 in. by 13 ft., north and south transeptal chapels, nave 38 ft. by 18 ft. with bell-cote over the west gable, north aisle 9 ft. 9 in. wide, and south porch 9 ft. 6 in. by 10 ft., all these measurements being internal. The south transept is 12 ft. square, and that on the north 12 ft. 6 in. by 13 ft., the width across transepts and nave being 48 ft. 3 in.

With the exception of the south transept, which is faced with dressed stone, the building is of rubble throughout and all the roofs are covered with stone slates. There are no parapets. All the walls are plastered internally. There was an extensive restoration in 1881.

Of the original aisleless 12th-century church only the south doorway and some portion of the walling remain. The doorway has a moulded semicircular arch on nook shafts with simple cushion capitals and moulded bases. The capitals have chamfered abaci (that on the east side enriched with double billet) and cabled neck mouldings, but the shafts are without ornament. The tympanum is quite plain: on its upper part is a scratch dial. Early in the 13th century a north aisle was added to the nave, the wall being pierced for an arcade of two bays, and at the same time, or shortly after, the chancel was rebuilt in its present form, and the porch and bell-cote erected. If the round arch opening into the south transept is the old chancel arch re-used, which is not unlikely, it follows that a transeptal chapel was constructed on this side when the chancel was rebuilt, the width of the arch determining the width of the chapel, but when, probably c. 1290, a chapel was added on the north side it was formed simply by returning the wall of the aisle northwards and throwing a transverse arch across the aisle from the wall above the arcade. Its width corresponds roughly with that of the south chapel, but has no correspondence with that of the adjoining bay of the arcade. Later changes were the insertion of new windows in the chancel in the 14th and 15th centuries, and the south chapel appears to have been rebuilt in its present form probably early in the 17th century. Before the restoration, the church had fallen into a state of utter disrepair and the work then done involved a considerable amount of rebuilding, including the whole of the west wall from within a few feet of the ground, the bell-turret, the nave arcade, and the north and west walls of the aisle, the width of which was slightly increased. New roofs were erected throughout and new windows inserted in the nave and aisle.

The chancel is without buttresses and has a stringcourse chamfered on each edge at sill level: it retains two widely splayed lancet windows, one on the north side and the other at the west end of the south wall, the sill of which is dropped and a transom inserted so as to form a low-side window. The 15th-century east window is of three cinquefoiled lights and Perpendicular tracery containing a short battlemented transom, and near the east end of the south wall is a square-headed 14th-century window of three trefoiled lights, the hood-mould of which has head-stops. The 13th-century double-arched piscina recess has chamfered jambs and an octagonal mid-shaft with moulded capital and base: the bowl is rectangular in shape, with a single orifice. There is a plain rectangular aumbry in the north wall. Below the 14th-century window is a contemporary pointed wall recess, with richly moulded arch and hood-mould with head-stops. The 13th-century chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, the inner order springing from large halfoctagonal moulded corbels enriched with nail-head and supported by heads: there is a hood-mould towards the nave. North of the arch, in the angle of the north transept, are the remains of the rood-loft stair and upper doorway.

The early 13th-century nave arcade consists of two semicircular arches of two moulded orders springing from a pier consisting of a central shaft moulded at the angles, in the hollow faces of which are four slender shafts with foliated capitals and moulded bases. The responds follow the same plan and design, though the stiff-stalk foliage of the capitals is of an earlier character than that of the pier, which is naturalistic and outcurved; the whole of the arcade, however, is of one period and, though very much restored (at the time of rebuilding, preserves all its original characteristics.

The nave retains a single lancet window in the south wall, west of the porch, and a much-restored lancet was re-used at the west end of the aisle. The north doorway is also the old one re-used, but it appears to have been a 15th-century insertion. The semicircular arch to the south transept is of a single order with flat soffit and chamfer on each edge; it springs from large square imposts, below which the chamfer is continued down the jambs, stopping above the floor. The transept is lighted at the end by a late square-headed window of four lights, and in the east wall is a small single-light pointed window which is apparently an old one re-used. The north transept has at the end a much-restored pointed window of three uncusped lancet lights under a hood-mould with foliated stops: the east window is squareheaded and of two rounded lights. In the south-east angle, near the rood-loft stair, is a small pointed piscina recess, the bowl of which is missing, and above it an image bracket. There is a small rectangular recess at the north end of the west wall.

The porch has a pointed outer doorway of two chamfered orders, the inner on half-octagonal responds with moulded bases, and capitals enriched with nailheads. There are two steps down from the porch to the nave.

The bell-turret has two openings with arches of three chamfered orders, covered by a ridged roof running north and south, ending in gablets with crosses facing east and west, and surmounted by a small spire and weather vane. The great west buttress is of four main stages and is carried up nearly the full height of the turret, ending in a gablet. Two grotesque heads have been built into the west wall of the nave near the angles.

The late 12th-century font has a rectangular bowl with slightly curved sides and a round moulding at each angle; it stands on a modern stone base and has a flat cover.

During the restoration traces of red colouring were found on the walls, but no pattern except in the north transept, the walls of which had been decorated with a conventional design of foliage and tracery in two shades.

The former Jacobean altar rails are now in the vestry at the west end of the aisle; there is also an oak chest dated 1662. The vestry is inclosed by an oak screen made up from the former 17th-century pulpit.

The present pulpit and fittings are modern, but there are two old benches, one in each transept, with shaped ends and poppy heads. In the south transept are tablets to Elizabeth, relict of John Brown of Stocken Hall, who died in 1714, and her son Samuel (d. 1707), and to Elizabeth Hunt (d. 1727), and in the chancel to Edward Horsman (d. 1720) and the Rev. John Lamb, rector (d. 1842); the glass in the west windows of the nave is in memory of the Rev. Edward Bradley (Cuthbert Bede), rector 1871–84, 'through whose efforts this church was restored.' There is a memorial tablet in the nave to three men of the parish who lost their lives in the war of 1914–19.

The smaller of the two bells is by Henry Penn of Peterborough, 1710, and the larger by Thomas Norris of Stamford, 1663.

The plate consists of a cup on which only the maker's mark R.B. is visible, and a paten of 1682–3. There is also a pewter plate.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms and burials 1631–1758, marriages 1631–1754; (ii) baptisms and burials 1759–1812; (iii) marriages 1754–1812. The first volume contains memoranda of payments under the provisions of the Edward Horsman charity, 1693–1725."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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