Saturday 28 March 2015

St Andrews West Hagbourne

A wooden church probably existed here before the Norman Conquest, the stone church was probably built in the 12th century with the rest of the church following in the century's after. Originally in Berkshire the church is now part of Oxfordshire and is part of the Churn Benifice. I had visited the church in the past so but on the last occasion the door was locked .

                   St Andrews is along Church close not far from the village preaching cross

 Nice welcoming sign
And St Andrews Church looking from the gate

Going to the opposite end of the churchyard gives a good view of the bell tower
Which has eight bells the oldest being cast in 1602

Walking round the South side shows the South Aisle

 and a small extension with entrance porch

Down to the East you can see the massive chancel window 

at the base of which are a few old graves

 If like me you wander round the outside of churches then take some time to look at the old memorials, the words may have eroded away but the carvings are still there

on the South Aisle roof is this gargoyle

Another memorial 

and a few more further along.

Being as old as it is the churchyard as some nice old headstones and a couple of tombs

of which this is the most prominent 
 In front is this double headstone with skulls facing opposite ways, Wonder if they fell out


The tomb is to the Phillips Family and the inscription though easy enough to read is obscured by the railings round the outside

The rest of the churchyard has headstones scattered around 

or if you go to the east end you can see a few more
One nice this was the abundance of snowdrops

Back to the porch and main entrance on the north side.

This time the church was open
 The chancel looking to the window and altar

 The Altar though I felt sad the chancel window was not stained glass

because the stone work at the back of it looked impressive

 Turn round by the altar gives this view of the church

which looks to an organ loft

This was built into the belltower base and beneath good use was made of the space with a kitchen area

Some other features you can see in the church like these carvings  on the chancel arch

though I like this one most

I moaned about the chancel window having no stained glass well either side of the chance are these windows

 This window is in the North Aisle

 But the best is in the Lady Chapel in the South aisle

In the small vestry off the chancel is this stained glass


There are a lot of memorials round the church

Like this to David Michael Alexander  Wedderburn

The name Loader stuck out like a sore thumb to me as I noted one Will Loader on St Marys in Wallingford, he was lord mayor there in 1653

The Humphrey memorial


At the back in the North Aisle is the parish roll of Honor

Listing the fallen in two wars. Interesting to note that the second war had more casualties, usually it is the other way round.

The plaque on the left is in the vestry along with the memorial on the right

Going in the North aisle you walk across this slab on the floor then looking up the aisle you seem a few more to the Loder Family

Looking along the North Aisle you can see a huge coat of arms
which belongs to Charles 2nd

Here we look along the South aisle to the west end

another looking through to the chancel
along with this hole for people to see the service from the South aisle

Couple more interesting things, the font on the right with painted shield and the pulpit which has a date you can see in the photo below

If  you look up at the ceiling you can see some nice touches like the carvings

The arches on the South

and North side of the church look impressive as well

and you cannot forget the Mothers Union who do some beautiful needlework on the kneelers

I have to say that I was very pleased to be able to see inside St Andrews and that the church had not been spoiled like many when they have been reordered. Rather than chairs replace the old pews with chairs they had new pews made. The church seems to have a good congregation as on the day of my visit they were having a light lunches which was home made soup & bread, the lady who seem to be organizing it said I should stay. I wish I had done by the time I got home.
One last thing to my old mate Cliff who rings the bells here I did like the church, just would have liked to see the bells in the tower sometime and see if they are any better than the Buckets at my local one.

 I will leave you with these photos I took of the snowdrops growing in the churchyard

along with some primroses I noticed.

  In Memory of Cliff Garlick RIP