Astoft

 

Silchester,  Hampshire  -  St Mary Church
13th - 14th century
with notable tomb effigy

Click on photos to enlarge.
Notes in italics from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd (1967) Yale University Press, New Haven and London.


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Nave, aisles, and chancel, and the usual bell-turret

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Of the early C13 must be the chancel, see its lancet windows and priest's doorway. The E window is Perp. There is no chancel arch. ... Screen. Perp. Of one-light divisions, but with a charming pierced top frieze of angels with spread wings.
PULPIT. Early C18, but with a fine domed tester dated 1639.
In the splays of the chancel lancets masonry pattern with flowers; c.1300 or earlier.

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The N arcade of two bays. It has a round pier with a square chamfered abacus, trumpet-scallop capitals, and pointed arches with a slight chamfer. That one would call 1210 at the latest. ->  But the N aisle has not only a W lancet -> but a doorway with a hood-mould decorated with dogtooth, which indicates c.1230, a date which would fit the S arcade (below) better than the N arcade

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South arcade. The capitals here are moulded, and the arches have a proper chamfer.  The S aisle wall was rebuilt about 1325-50 with windows with reticulated tracery and ..

Tomb
Effigy:

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.. an ogee-headed tomb recess with uncommonly big cusps. ... In the tomb recess effigy of a Lady wearing a wimple, early C14, very slender. 

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The following description is by the late George C. Boon F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S. in 1989 and is taken from the exceptionally good church guide available in the church. "The effigy, later fourteenth-century and probably that of Eleanor Baynard, wears kirtle, open-sided cote-hardie with deep V-neck once painted vermilion, and mantle; her head is covered by a substantial kerchief, and her neck and chin by a wimple-like 'barbe' - in all, widow's weeds. Her feet peep out to rest against a dog (damaged), and two winged angels support her head." 

Boon dates the effigy later than Pevsner, noting that "The lady is shown as a widow; and .. Edmund Baynard (husband) was alive as late as 1359". 

Studying the effigy, I would take issue with Boon on two points. Firstly, I can't agree with him on the V-neck. Surely it is the cord of her mantle. Secondly, I don't see wings on the supposed angels, I see stone support at the back of the head. The high quality of the carving is such that wings would surely appear more clearly.
I do like the nearer "angel" - note the hands on the cushion in the various pictures and the face. 


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East of the south porch .. two C14 coffin lids. One has the busts of husband and wife, but below the busts just the lid with a foliated cross, the other has a man's head in a quatrefoil, and also a cross below.

Boon identifies them as thirteenth-century and "presumably of members of the Bluet manorial family."

Picture of the double coffin lid from the Rev. Charles Boutell's "Christian Monuments in England and Wales" (1854):

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