The church porchNorman south doorway with niche


History - The Nave


From the porch, entry to the nave is through the original round-headed Norman south doorway, plain in style and much restored in modern times. The stonework is still subject to heavy erosion.

The wooden doors are modern. Above the doorway is a 14th century niche which once held a carved figure, probably the Virgin and Child.

Church Layout

The nave seems to be unaltered in size from its Norman foundation, its original length extending from the western wall to the east wall behind the pulpit.

The pulpit

The walls to the south and north appear to contain much Norman masonry but no longer in original courses. These walls were seemingly largely rebuilt in the 14th century when new windows in the decorated style (Y tracery) were inserted in the south wall.

One of the two windows in the south wall    The three pillars of the nave north wall

 

In the early 14th century, an arcade of three octagonal piers was built to replace the north wall for the addition of the north aisle. The easternmost pier carries not only one end of the 14th century Chancel arch, strangely off-centre with the nave, but also supports the eastern-most arcade arch and the arch for the north chapel. The intention may have been to extend the nave eastwards at a later date (as at Owston) which could explain the unusual arrangement of a pier carrying thru-arches. This work may have been halted by the Black Death.

The nave roof is possibly at its original height. The roof trusses at the extreme ends are original 14th century but the three inner ones are modern (1967) copies of the earlier ones. The carved heads in the roof spars appear to be part of the 14th century roof timbers.

A carving on the roof spars   A carving on the roof spars   A carving on the roof spars


In the corners of the original trusses are carvings, one of which apprears to be of the Green Man, i.e. a representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves with branches or vines sprouting from the nose or mouth. These are frequently found on carvings in churches. One theory is that the Green Man is a symbol of the cycle of regrowth each spring.

Roof trusses showing position of carving   Panel rotated to show face


Notice on the South wall the corbel, carved in the shape of a sheep's head, which once carried the roof supports.

On the west wall hangs a funery hatchment, believed to be of John White (d. 1837) and which formerly hung in the north chapel - restored (1846) by the widow of John White.


Corbel    Hatchment


A gallery, which had been erected against the west wall some time after the Reformation was removed in 1862. At the same time the old box pews were replaced by the current pews and a new pulpit installed. All this carpentry was the work of Alexander Clark, whose workshop lay behind the present post office.

The font, originally located near the now-blocked north doorway, was moved in 1835 to a central position in front of the tower door. In 1995, it was returned to its original position after removal of two Victorian pews from the aisle. At the same time, the floor area in front of the tower vestry steps was repaired, the Victorian floor tiles, given in 1875 by Thomas Walker, having broken up due to subsidence of the ground.