Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Winterbourne Basset - St.Catherine Church

A lovely sunday morning, and a visit to this church set above the Winterbourne and which lies hidden behind some houses. It feels old, 13th century but has had bits and pieces added over time. Typical manorial church, but pretty with it, a sprawling flower bed on the south side played host to old fashioned flowers, Japanese anemones were in full flower, and marjoram and thyme flowers were covered in white butterflies. It said on the notice board that there was a service to be held at this church on the first of the month but no one had turned up, except the bell-ringer as we were leaving, and he turned round when he heard there was no one there. It is one of the small parish churches that are tied up with Clyffe Pypard down the road and Avebury church as well. One of the 'Winterbourne' churches, no evidence in the immediate vicinity of prehistoric stuff, but Hackpen Hill of course not so far away produces plenty.

Late 13th century effigies

South Porch

Early font with late wooden cover

The church and its relationship to the manor house

The church was dedicated to St. Catherine in the 16th century but was known as St. Peter's in 1848. Since 1904 it has been dedicated to ST. KATHERINE AND ST. PETER. Much of the building is of coursed sarsen rubble with freestone dressings. It has a chancel, a nave with north transeptal chapel, north aisle, and south porch, and a west tower. The earliest features are an early 13th-century font and a late 13th century effigy slab in the north chapel. The chancel and the nave with its aisle and chapel were apparently rebuilt in the mid 14th century although the nave may follow an older plan. In the late 15th century the tower was added, new windows were made in the north aisle, and the south-west corner of the nave, including a window and the south doorway, was rebuilt. Another window on the south side of the nave is of the 16th century. The south porch was added in 1611. Most of the fittings in the nave, including the pews, pulpit, and font cover, are of the 17th century. The chancel roof, which was lowered at that time, was raised again at a restoration of 1857. New roofs were then built over the nave, aisle, and transept
Ref; British History online.

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