Astoft

 

Ropsley,  Lincolnshire  -  St Peter Church
11th century

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Notes in italics from Lincolnshire by Nikolaus Pevsner, John Harris, Nicholas Antram (2002)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London



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The nave is Anglo-Saxon, as the long-and-short SW, NW, and NE corners reveal (second picture above shows the NW corner). On the NW quoin a rood is carved in relief. So the exposed wall inside is also essentially Anglo-Saxon. Pevsner does not explain the bulge on one side of the wall, both inside and out. Any information welcomed.



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Then the Normans built a new chancel and added a N aisle. Of the chancel one S window is preserved. The E and N windows must be C17 ..., and the chancel was shortened probably at that time. The N arcade is of three bays. Circular piers, square abaci with nicked corners. Heavily scalloped capitals. Round arches with one step, one chamfer, and a heavy half-roll. Next followed the S chancel chapel, early C13, of one bay, with triple responds and a double-chamfered round arch.



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So to the full E.E. (Early English), i.e. S arcade, chancel arch and W tower. The arcade has keeled responds (originally triple) and a round pier. Double-chamfered arches. The octagonal pier is, according to its inscription, a replacement of 1380 (by Thomas Bate, mason of Corby). In translation it reads 'That column was made for the feast of St Michael in the year of our Lord 1380, and the name of the maker Thomas Bate of Corby.' The chancel arch corresponds to the S arcade. 



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The tower has twin bell-openings with a colonnette and blank foiled circles in the tympana. Dec broach-spire, the broaches of moderate size. Three tiers of lucarnes, two in the main directions, the third in the diagonals. Dec S chapel with irregular fenestration. Is the clerestory Dec or Perp? Perp aisles and S porch. The porch has pinnacles and a parapet ... An inscription inside records its building in 1486 (by Richard Fox, born at the Peacock Inn, a stone cottage still standing in the High Street; he eventually became Bishop of Winchester). Inside the chancel a tomb recess of c.1300. It is its position which shows that the chancel was shortened. ... At the E end of the N aisle a curious arch to carry the passage to the rood-loft. ...



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Medieval pew ends. In a plain S aisle tomb-recess, C14 effigy of a lady under a nodding ogee arch. 
 

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