Saturday, 22 January 2022

St Andrew West Bradley Church


My wife an I went to West Bradley in Somerset to visit one of her friends rather than be  sat while they chatted I went out to visit the church about half a mile away. Some history off Wikipedia :-

"The Anglican Church of St Andrew in West Bradley, within the English county of Somerset, dates from the 14th century. It is a Grade II* listed building.

The first chapel on the site appears in records dating from 1168. Until 1875 it was a subsidiary chapel to the Church of All Saints at East Pennard. The dedication to St Andrew was only added in the 20th century.

It consists of a two-bay nave, a south porch and a chancel, which has an organ loft. The two-stage square west tower has a small stair-turret on the northern side. The tower holds a ring of bells, the oldest of which dates from 1706, and has a clock which was added in 1739. The chancel and some other parts of the church underwent extensive restoration in the 19th century. Inside the church are a Norman font and a piscina. Further work, including the underpinning of the chancel arch, was undertaken in 1898.

The parish is part of the benefice of Baltonsborough with Butleigh, West Bradley and West Pennard within the Diocese of Bath and Wells."

The view of St Andrew from over the roadside boundary wall

You need to walk along the road to get to the entrance gate leading to the church

 Looking over to the left at the bell tower
Heading to the east end looking west
Around the north side looking west

 Then onto the west end an the tower again

Moving over to look east from the south west

The churchyard from the path as you walk up looking over to the west

Around the north side looking west

From the east end looking west

These graves are by the east end of the church

More over by the north west side

South west side beside the road

Into the porch

Which is quite plain

After going in the church I looked left towards the bell loft

The walked to the back to get  a view down the nave

Wider view

In the chancel

 The altar
Closer view of the altar and cover
The cross on the altar cover and altar cross above

 Turning around looking back west to the bell loft

The pulpit is over to the left of the chancel arch

Looking down to the nave

 Over to the right of the chancel arch you find the lectern

 The Norman font in the bell loft with heavy trunk in front
The niche is the old north door and now holds part of a tomb

Daniel Avery is how it would read now and he died in 1530 when Henry VIII was on the throne 

The organ which is in the chancel

 Beautiful Mothers Union Banner
a piscina which is where the holy water was held
View of a staff by a pew looking down the church

Keasberry memorial in the chancel
I will leave you this week with a view of the altar cross
Till next time have a peaceful weekend


Saturday, 15 January 2022

St Nicholas Forest Hill


I will start this years Church Explorer off  with the last two visits from last year. The first one is St Nicholas Forest Hill. I only noticed this church while checking to see if I had missed any in the smaller villages in the areas I had visited. The previous church I visited this day was at Horton-cum-Studley and after going around it I stopped on my way back from Oxford and noticed that Forest Hill was not far away and the church was easy to reach, finding somewhere to park was another matter as the church is on a hill by the road. Some history of Wikipedia :-

"The Church of England parish church of Saint Nicholas the Confessor may have begun as a chapel, but by 1341 Forest Hill was a separate parish and St Nicholas' was being referred to as an ecclesia parochialis ("parish church"). It was given to Osney Abbey in about 1140. When the de Lacy manor was granted to Cardinal Wolsey in 1526, St Nicholas' church was included. Thereafter the advowson of the parish remained with whoever owned the manor. In 1807 Lincoln College, Oxford bought the estate, including the manor house and St Nicholas' church. St Nicholas' church building is Norman, and the 12th century chancel arch is probably original.

The church was rebuilt in the 13th century in the transitional style from Norman architecture to the Early English Gothic style: the lancet windows on both sides of the chancel and the gabled bellcote at the west end of the nave date from this rebuilding. Later the present west window was added in the Perpendicular Gothic style. In the same period a south porch was built. Its inner door is Perpendicular, but the outer is transitional between Norman and Early English and has been re-set, presumably from where the Perpendicular doorway is now. In 1639 buttresses were built against the west wall to support the bellcote. The bellcote has two bells, cast in 1652.

In 1847 the architect James Cranston restored the chancel. The Oxford architectural writer and publisher J.H. Parker designed the east window of three traceried lancets. In 1852 the Gothic Revival architect George Gilbert Scott restored the nave and added the organ chamber and north aisle, re-setting the original transitional style north doorway in the new wall. A Sanctus bell was cast and hung at the same time as the restoration. A Wesleyan congregation was established in Forest Hill in the 19th century. It originally had a wooden chapel, but in 1898 opened a new brick-built one."


 As you can see the church stands beside a road on a hill, admittedly it is behind a wall

First part of the church after entering the gate

Walk along the path and you come to the porch

The east end which you pass on the way in
Go around the north side and you find this extension
Looking towards the north side from the west end

The west end and the bells above
Walking over to the sough you can see the huge buttresses that dominate the west end

 The porch which is open for visitors

The North east end showing the graves there

The south east corner of the churchyard

Along the boundary wall you find headstones standing against it

A tomb but the boundary hedge at the west end

A gate between a headstone and tomb most likely takes you to a former rectroy
These tombs are beside the church at the north west end

Looking west along the north side

Looking across the east end

In the church looking down the nave

This beautiful candelabra really stands out in the church

Over the chancel arch is verse from the bible

This is a stitch photo showing the three arches in the north of the nave

I had turned the lights on and it washed the photo a bit

The chancel arch looks as though it dates back to the 11th century

In the chancel looking at the altar and east windows

The east windows

The altar cross

Over on the north side of the chancel you see this memorial
The inscription 

Underneath another which is fading

Looking wast through the chancel arch

Over to the left a small arch takes you to the pulpit

Two stone seats in the chancel

These candle holders supported by angels

are on either side of the altar

You come out on the pulpit through a small arch in the chancel

Look down into the church

Small lancet window

closer view

the windows in the nave are all like this

with different scenes in them

The windows all look stunning sand are dedicated to some person

The good shepherd 

The Madonna and child beside a stained glass window

Memorial to Grace  Isabella 

 Stanier memorials

Memorial to the millar family

Second Miller Memorial 

Two more miller memorials, they are all buried along the road in a separate village cemetery

Forest Hill Roll of Honour

Those who served are listed with crosses marking those who died

The church font

The organ

I will leave you this week with a view of the advent candles with the chancel behind
Till Next time Stay safe and have a peaceful weekend