All Saints Church - exterior

There has been a church in the village since Norman times and probably earlier. The first definite mention is in 1096 when the rectory was given to the Prior of Barnwell. All that remains of this are perhaps the grotesque corbels supporting the nave roof. Most of the present church was built about 1445 although the tower may be somewhat older, judging by some peculiarities in the masonry on the north and south sides. The main building has survived virtually unaltered since that date though the nave roof has been lowered – the moulding indicating an earlier roof-line can be seen on the east face of the tower.

The present church was probably built by masons from Northamptonshire although the flint-faced exterior is typically East Anglian. The church is described in the ‘Victoria County History’ as being a fine example of flint and rubble construction. The tower has buttresses clasping the corners, a Northamptonshire feature.

English Heritage has listed the building as Grade II.

The church is unusual in being approached from the north by a pleasant path through the churchyard. So this side of the church is decorated with a porch, larger windows and an original conical roof to the stair turret. Since 1983 this has an added ornament of a heron weather-vane. Herons are among the many birds to be seen on this particularly attractive part of the river Rhee shadowed by large chestnuts. In 1974 the churchyard was redesigned as a peaceful garden, with seats overlooking the river and roses planted to commemorate those whose ashes are interred here

This page was added on 13/11/2015.

Comments about this page

  • Hi
    I have a postcard of the exterior of the church. The photo is identical to the one shown as ‘Church 1910 taken from Vicarage Garden’, except on the post card there is just a bit more shown on the right (few more branches), and more of the ground at the front, which appears to be fairly clear, maybe a lawn and flower bed.

    However, it was sent as a postcard, and the date of the postcard is 3/3/1905, with a nice half penny stamp. So the photo is certainly older than that date.

    Unfortunately, the photo is very faded, though I will get a scan and send it when I can though may be a while.

    I also have a photo of the interior of the church, similar to the older ones shown. It is also made into postcard that was not used, so there is no date (maybe the same date as the post card of the exterior?).

    Mike Mellor

    By Michael Mellor (24/08/2021)

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