Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A Peek Inside the Village Church

I had to leave the car at my local garage as its air con had developed a leak and lost all the Nitrogen. (Expensive stuff to replace!) In fact it needed a replacement part as well as re-charging.  On the walk back home I followed a footpath which lead me to the back of the churchyard. As I was on my own I decided to have a quick look inside the village church. There were a couple of things I wanted to see and photograph where possible.

So I headed to the porch doors hoping they would be unlocked:


I opened the extra, fragile looking, door which is mainly wire mesh and normally kept shut to keep birds out when a main door is open. Yes. The doors were unlocked.

Once inside the porch I could see the small stained glass window on the West side:


and the inside of the porch doors:


Ahead of me was the main door to the Nave:


Unusual, I think. It is really hefty at about 4 inches thick as the inside is lined with planks of wood:


In spite of its weight it moves easily on those three large iron hinges.

Walking down to the East end I could see the screen dividing the Nave from the Chancel.


It was worth a closer examination as the panels are carved:



About half of the panels contained carved faces:

Untitled 01

Hanging above the screen is a beautifully painted carved crucifixion:


To the left is the pulpit:     To the right, the organ:

DSCN8536    DSCN8523

Walking back to the West end of the Nave lead me to the font:


On which I found one of the things I was hoping to see.
Carved in one shield on the font:


Graffiti. Not any old scribbled carving. Medieval graffiti. What looks like a W is in fact two overlapping Vs, a reference to the Virgin Mary / Virgo Virginum. A design which can be found in many churches up and down the land. Thought to have been used to keep evil spirits away from the baby being christened. I only found out about this from an article in the latest Village News.  A group called U3A Louth Church Mice had visited the church to search for and record any Medieval graffiti.

In the article they suggested a book for those interested in the subject.
Medieval Graffiti: the Lost Voices of England's Churches by Matthew Champion.
There are many places where a copy can be bought as well as an electronic version for Amazon's Kindle and an epub version from Kobo. The latter is the version I bought and am now working my way through its 263 pages. Very wordy and discusses many of the different theories about the meanings behind all sorts of Medieval church graffiti. Some illustrations. I wish there were more.

Whilst in the Nave I photographed the stained glass windows:
DSCN8533b      DSCN8522


Finally, a carved head supporting a roof timber in the porch:


As always the photos can be clicked to take you to my Flickr account where they can be viewed larger. They were all taken with the Nikon Coolpix S9050 pocket camera.

You may have noticed various non churchy items strewn about. Every Saturday there is a sale of donated items organised by a local resident. All proceeds are given to various local or national charities. The chosen charities being different each month.

Oh, yes. I said I was looking for a couple of things. The other was a plaque commemorating one of the village war dead. Unfortunately I couldn't find it. There is more Medieval graffiti to be found - another day maybe.


  1. This is interesting. I like looking round churches the CofE and catholic ones have some cracking work in them.
    Run your AC once a month whether the weather requires it or not. The seals dry out if you don't. I guess now it is fixed you won't need it for another two years.

  2. Adrian: The AC was giving a lovely icy blast when I collected it. I do use it in Winter as it clears misty windows in no time.

  3. Interesting tour of what looks a really lovely church.

  4. What an interesting post! I do so enjoy seeing inside old churches - so much history can be seen. The carved wooden faces are amazing as is the carved head in the porch. It is wonderful to see the medieval graffiti (I do hope you can go back and find more). I got interested in the subject when following Matthew Champion on Twitter - I have the book too :) It is a fascinating subject.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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