Easton On The Hill. CHURCH : ALL SAINTS

Easton On The Hill 1
Easton On The Hill Mooning gargoyle

A truly gorgeous Sunday and I met up with a friend for an afternoon visiting churches in and around the Stamford area. We had just come from neighbouring Collyweston and were to visit Tinwell and Ketton before taking in an evening service at St George at Stamford. This was a return visit to All Saints at Easton On The Hill, having previously visited there back in 2010. All photographs on this page are from this re-visit.

  All Saints at Easton On The Hill reminded me of neighbouring Collyweston with its elegant pinnacled tower. It was also equally difficult to get a clear shot of, both churches being surrounded by trees.
  The earliest parts of the present structure date from the 12th century, with building work ongoing here until the 15th century. The church was restored towards the end of the 18th century. The west tower is perpundicular in design, and is a five stage affair, with pinnacle on each corner of the tower, and weatherwane on each pinacle.
When North compiled his study of church bells in Northamptonshire in mid Victorian times there were four bells hanging here. The first was made locally by Thomas Norris in 1640. The second is of great age, cast by Mellours of Nottingham around 1510. The third was courtesy of Thomas Eayre I of Kettering who, as well as being a bellfounder, produced the first full scale map of Northamptonshire. The fourth was another from Norris, with this one having the names R Wheatli and J Browne inscribed on to it.. This latter bell was re-cast by Taylor of Loughborough in 1997, who also added two new bells at that time, making for a ring of six today.
    This church was open and inside it was very peaceful and calm. Lighting conditions were ideal as the sun blazed in through the South windows. The walls are limewashed and I was interested to see that there were two "retired" gargoyles that were resting against the north wall. These are 15th century and fell off the tower when it was struck by lightning in 1915
  I was also interested to see a plaque, which features several indented shapes, which would, at one time, have contained brasses. There was what appeared to be a knight on horseback, holding a banner, with an indent for a coat of arms and a bird flying overhead. The font is ornate, and is octagonal in design, being covered in shields and tracery.
A wall plaque in the nave reads as follows...'Reader beneath interrd doth lye Mary the daughter of Thomas Brudnell Citizen who by her fair will gave ten pound to the poore of Easton. A communion chalice to this church and ten pound to the poore of Ketton where shee first drew breath and here expired it Sept 20 1662'
In amongst the other memorials in one to the Skynner family, including Captain Lancelott Skynner R.N. who died in the ship wreck of the Lutine in 1799.
The church grounds are very large and are very well maintained and there are some delightful views of the church to had from the far north of the church grounds. In fact there are beautiful views to be had of this church from all over the village. A couple of very old graves caught my eye. One was worth noting purely for age, this was the grave of Mary, the wife of Rich Michel, and was dated 1642. This would go down as one of the earliest dated graves that I have seen in any church grounds. Very good condition as well given the age.
  The second is a variation on a theme of the Mortality of Man. A grave with a skull on, with crossed bones behind, is nothing unusual. However, this one had two cherubs, one on either side of the skull, lifting a crown on to the skull. The crown symbolises victory with the victory in quastion being over death with the deceased moving forward to eternal life.
   Close by stand the graves of Henry Bacon, who died in 1684 and (his wife?) Ellin Bacon who passed away in 1664. Again, each of these was in very good condition considering their age. Some very fine Georgian graves are also to be seen here. There were several people either in the church, or looking around the church grounds, and there is a lot for the visitor to see here.
  A man doing some work in the church grounds was keen to shwo me a gargoyle, high up on the tower. This was a gargoyle, who has been exposing his buttucks to the faithful of Easton On The Hill since the 15th century. Gargoyles and grotesques

 

  such as these are unusual but a certainly not unique. There is another low down on the south wall of the nave at Glinton and another over at Colsterworth near to Grantham. Another, with insanely grinning face, appears at Folkingham in South Lincolnshire.The story behind the one at Glinton is that a stonemason was, in his opinion, underpaid for his work on the church. To express his anger he carved a depiction of a man exposing his buttucks and aimed it in a line directly at Peterborough cathedral. Urban myth, possibly but a nice story. We can read all sorts in to the medieval thought processes behind these carvings, but there is a lot to be said for just putting those to one side and enjoying the end results!
Those interested in history might also like to know that there is a Priests House in Easton On The Hill, not too far from All Saints church. This is open to the public and is maintained by the National Trust.
This was proving to be a lovely afternoon out with the camera. The weather had been a delight all afternoon and it was a joy to be out and about. A beautiful English village at its best.

 

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