A beautiful Friday in mid July 2009. Summer was here in the UK for the first time in what seemed like several years. The sun shone, and it was possible to go out confident that you would not come home wet! This was the first day of what was to be a long weekend cycling in South Lincolnshire. It was good to find the church here open. On a previous visit I had foundf it locked but it appears that I arrived too early in the morning on that occasion.
The church itself is an impressive sight, standing as it does on high ground on the edge of the village. Some very impressive views to be had from the church grounds, looking out over the surrounding countryside. The church itself is very large, with a huge chancel. The tower is castellated and some pretty badly weathered gargoyles sit atop the tower. These have seen better days, many years of wind and rain no doubt leaving their mark. The earliest parts of the church Here date back to the 13th century, but it mainly dates from the 14th century.
As mentioned earlier, the church was open, and the definite highlight of the interior is definitely the memorial to one Dame Bridgett Lady Carre, which can be found on the north side of the church. Dame Bridgett has been reclining on her pillow, Bible in hand, since 1621. She had served both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Anne. Sadly, there is damage to this memorial with one finger on the left hand missing and damage to the face. A lovely monument though, with the inscription reading as follows....
Here lyeth buryed the body of Dame Bridgett, Lady Carre, widowe, daughter of Sir John Chaworth of Wiverton in the County of Nottingham, Knight, late wife of Sir William Carre of Sleaforde in the County of Lincoln, Knight. Who served the late Queen Elizabeth, of most famous memory, being on of the gentlewomen of her Majestie's Pryve Chamber of the space of five and twenty years, and afterwards served the nost renowned Queen Anne, wife of our most gracious Sovereign King James for the space of fourteen years; being the residue of her life, and dyed the 18th day of april, being the age of 79 yeaarrs. The which said Lady Carre out of her love to her dear sister Katherine, wife of George Quarles of this town of Ufforde, esquiere, hath caused her body to be here interred. 1621
Some very nice stained glass can be seen here, including one which I think is Jesus being baptised by John The Baptist. It is pictured below so if you can offer any further suggestions then please get in touch.
A few nicely carved bench ends are also to be seen, featuring a series of grotesquely carved faces, some with tongues stuck out in typical medieval gesture.
There are four bells hanging here, although at the time of North's mid Victorian study of the church bells of Northamptonshire, there were only three. One bell was orihinally dated 1870 and is inscribed "God Save The King". This was re-cast by Taylor of Loughborough in 1896, at which time they added a fourth bell, but I am struggling to establish who the original founder was,
At the time of North's study, it was uncertain who cast the remaining two bells, but it was known that they were exrtremely old. According to the National Church Bell Database, both of these were cast around 1430 by R Hille in London. This is a founder that I have not come across before and an internet search has not turned up any information on him.
The church grounds are well maintained and there are lots of Georgian gravestones to the south of the church. Many of these are very badly weathered, but enough remains to show glimpses of what would have been some high quality carving in their day.
I enjoyed my time here very much. A lovely church in a picturesque village.
Postcript: Sadly the church of Andrew at Ufford is now no longer used for worship. At the time of typing this (November 2013) the church is still being kept open for visitors but the church itself has been listed on the church of England website as being up "for disposal". Very sad to see this. I paid a visit here at the end of September 2013 and spent some time with a lady opposite who locked and unlocked the church daily. We spent a pleasant time chatting together as the sun dipped down at the end of a gloriously sunny Sunday. The photos at the foot of the page are from that visit.