GLATTON. CHURCH : ST NICHOLAS

Glatton Exterior 1.jpg resize
glatton tower 2

A gloriously sunny Saturday in late April 2010, and a return trip to the church of St Nicholas at Glatton. My previous trip there 18 months or so earleir was memorable for all the wrong reasons. On that day, my camera broke right at the start of the day, and I got a puncture cycling home. Better luck this time though with my camera holding out and Holme, Connington, Sawtry, Woodwalton and Folksworth all being visited.

  I cycled in to Glatton from the west, and this road gives a lovely long distance view of St Nicholas. Sadly, my vintage point from about a mile distant was affected by the morning mist, which the sun had failed to burn off at that time.
  Glatton itself is just lovely. There are a large number of exquisite 17th century cottages to be found here, particularly in High Haden road, where the church is.
  There was mention of a church here in the Domesday Survey of 1086, but nothing of that structure remains. The earliest parts of the present church date from the 12th century, when an aisled church existed. A previous tower here dated from the 12th or 13th century. There was a large amount of rebuilding done here at the end of the 15th century. The nave arcades were rebuilt, as was the west tower, which was rebuilt circa 1500. The roof of the nave was restored in 1615, and the roof of the transept and north aisles were renewed in 1701. More restoration came about in Victorian times, and again in the early 1930's, when the nave roof was restored again.
  As I stood in the church grounds I looked up and my attention was immediately caught by four large beasts, one at each corner of the tower. These looked as if they were howling! With them being quite worn it is difficult to say for sure what these animals are. One of them in particular caught my attention as it looked very similar to one that sat over the south porch at the church of St John in Peterborough city centre until recently. The beats appear to be chained and seem to be looking upwards and howling, possibly at the moon.
  Four bells hang here. Two of these were cast by Francis Watts of Leicester, and are quite rare in this area. Both are dated 1595 with the inscription on one reading "com com and preay", the other reads "searve God and o beay thy princ".The third bell is more modern, being cast by Taylors of Loughborough in 1863. The fourth bell was made by Thomas Eayre of Kettering in 1736.
   There is a surviving example of a deaths head stone to be seen in the church grounds here. In some places these are quite common, but they are not all that common in this area. A human skull is carved on to the gravestone symbolising the Mortality of Man. These symbols were used mainly in an age when the general population for the most part could not read of write.The symbols on the gravestone reminded the onlooker that he/she would go the same way as the deceased. The human skull on stones such as these are often depicted alongside an hourglass. Sometimes the hourglass has wings, all to denote the passing of time.

glatton lady chapel

The human skull on the deaths head stone here is pictured at the foot of the page. It is very worn but it appears as if the skull is balanced on a human leg or arm bone.
  This church is normally kept locked to visitors and I didn't see any keyholders listed. However, I gained entry here when attending a Christmas service in 2012. A really lovely bunch of people!
Church is beautiful inside and I was really taken by a tiny little lady chapel to the north of the chancel, pictured right, beautifully lit and making an ideal prayer room.
Looking upwards and an inscription of ANNO 1615 is carved in to the wooden beams in the ceiling. Also worth noting here is that a tiny heart is carved in to the beams.
One small piece of Saxon carving stands to the west of the nave, it is thought that this dates from 900 AD and is described in the church leaflet as being a "lion mask". Personally, when I furst saw this carving, my gut reaction was that it was a representation of the devil. This is the first one of these that I had seen and apparantly they are very rare.
Beautiful church in a lovely village, well worth a visit if you are in the area, and worth a detour if you aren't!

Glatton saxon carving
glatton interior 1
Glatton grabe carving 3
glatton tower effigy 1
Glatton tower effigy 3
glatton tower 3
glatton tower effigy 2
glatton grave 2
glatton deaths head 2
Glatton Chocolate Box
Glatton village sign

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