Saturday 27 August 2016

St. Bartholomews Nettlebed

From what I can find out there has been a church in Nettlebed for a thousand years. The present church, St. Bartholomew's, replaced the second church and was completed in 1846 following a major re-build. Parts of the tower date back to Norman times and are all that remains of the previous church
Time for a coffee this week, it's a long one

The entrance though the Lych gate and if you look over the wall nearby you get this view of the church

Round to the South side and the entrance porch

The west end with the  main part of the church on the side of the twoer

The door could well have been the original entrance to the church though I find it hard to see what part of the tower is Norman

Looking at the east end of the church

The door here looks like a porch entrance but I think it was just for the priest

Another view of the east end looking across the churchyard

Opposite ends, the chance and the tower

Lot's of old headstones around from around 1700

more from the 1800's

Viewing up the South side to the church

All these headstones blong to the Fleming Famliy

 Celia Johnson was an actress who was in a flim called Breif Encounter who you might remember from this Blog from in A Bit About Britain
She was married to Peter Fleming who was a travel Writer and  brother of one Ian Fleming

They lay buried beside each other with  other members of the family

The grave of Robert Fleming who started the Bank Robert Fleming & Co

Not sure why but I liked the carving on the stone, the pillar is unusual round here

Quite a few crosses in the chuchyard

And this rather magnificent memorial which I'm afraid the wording has eroded off though the coat of arms survives 

 Sort of stands out on it's own

Couple of War Graves. F.W Steptoe &
 F.W. Groves

Loved this carving of an angel

it was not the only one as you can see in this photo

Some of the headstone you can see in the churchyard

Not see this type of tomb before

I was impressed by the bowl in the wreath

The churchyard has a lot of headstones for a village of it's size

The porch with signals me to go inside

The photo does not quite show how light the church was when you walk in the door

Above is the font which is in the South Aisle and on the right the screen at the back of the church

The nave which is very light

Looking towards the chancel with the light shining through the window

Heading through the chancel arch to the chancel itself

The Chancel window was installed in 1970 and is in Memory of Dr Robin Williamson the work is by English painter and stained glass designer John Piper

The altar and  screen

on either side of the chancel you ca see these panels

Looking out of the chancel to the nave and the back of the church

Another view of that superb chancel window and the altar cross

Here we have the marble pulpit with a prayer desk in the foregroound

Above the view of the nave from the pulpit and if you look over to the left you will see this fellow looking in your ear

The church banner on the left and another prayer desk to the right beneath a couple of the memorials in the church

 Another view of the pulpit with a floral arrangement in front

The  memorial on the left and below are at the front of the nave. The John Clark one is in the South Aisle

Nice memorial to Henry Algernon Baumgartner a past vicar of the church

Michael Valentine Fleming who died a hero fighting the Retreat to Dunkirk

Valentine Fleming who was the son of Robert Fleming founder of the bank Robert Fleming & co
He is also the Father if Peter & Ian Fleming

 This is the near buy stained glass window in memory of them

The angels are St Valentine & St Michael

and at their feet you can see the dedication to Major Valentine Fleming DSO

And Captain Michael Fleming

Some of the carving son the ends of the pews

Over in the South aisle you can see quite a few memorials

The south aisle

The east end wall of the South aisle

These memorials are really worth going in to look at

This one is really quite something to view

with gilding and coats of arms

It's dated 1658 & 1674 to some of the Harris family

I found the detail on it quite amazing

the skulls so realistic and the coats of arms beneath

Beneath the Harris memorial you can see this one to Edmund Taverner 1637

The South Aisle chapel

High up on the North side of the South Aisle

and at the back is this coat of arms which gave me some grief trying to get the lighting right 

Remember the screen at the back of the nave well this is the view from it

You can see right down to the chancel

Before going back outside some of the other stained glass in the church

This one is at the back of the South aisle by the font

Back outside & I had notice this planter which turns out is a Romanesque font 

On the north side churchyard are more tombs

This brick one  is in good condition

By the wall a headstone which may well have been put there out of the way being misplaced

Nearby a couple more older headstones

Looking at another tomb with others in the background

A couple more headstones which look like they are from the 1700's

Going out the Lychgate you cannot help notice the War Memorial with the fallen listed from the first war on one side

While the other has those from the second

Nearby a poppy wreath left from Remembrance Day with Remembrance crosses in a line nearby

An interesting church which had some surprises for me, I hope you enjoyed the tour.
Have a great Bank Holiday Weekend