Martin J. Harding David Herbert Somerset Cranage.

An architectural account of the churches of Shropshire, Volume 1, Parts 4-5 online

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Online LibraryMartin J. Harding David Herbert Somerset CranageAn architectural account of the churches of Shropshire, Volume 1, Parts 4-5 → online text (page 6 of 19)
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The east window is plain and of two lights. The arches
were probably cusped originally.

In the south wall of the chancel are two insertions which
probably date from the 13th century. One is a plain lancet, near which
the wall has been partially rebuilt at a different thickness, and the other
is a trefoil-headed window at a higher level and farther east. Underneath
this latter is a sedile with a stone arm at the left, and at the right a
deeply cut piscina which has been a good deal hacked away. In the
south wall of the nave is a two-light cusped window with an arch in the
head : these small plain windows are difficult to date ; this one was probably
inserted early in the 14th century. The window farther west is mostly
modem: in the west jamb is an inscription recording the erection of a
gallery in 1726. On the east wall of the nave is the inscription : —

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This Church was a-

dorned. Anno. Domini

168 1. lohn Griffiths and

William. Vint churchwarden

It is impossible to say how much of the woodwork this may refer to. It

may include the simple chancel roof, the plain tie-beam roof of the nave,

the Jacobean communion table, the arch and panelling on the pulpit, and

also possibly the porch with its wooden arches and foiled purlin braces.

The church was repaired in 1868.

The font is a plain circular erection which may be Norman :
the octagonal base is modern. There is very little to indicate the date of
the tower. One window is modem and the other is a small rectangular
slit The tower arch is a plain segmental pointed affair which may date
from almost any period after the 12th century.

There is a very fine yew tree north-west of the church. The
parish register^goes back only to 171 5.

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^iTjrton Wafers.

E churches of Hopton Wafers and Doddington (see p. 302)
are very much alike, and the latter was evidently copied
from the former. Hopton Wafers, however, is more ornate, and
naturally so, for it is the parish church of an ancient
parish, whereas Doddington is in a newly formed ecclesiastical
district. Hopton Wafers had its old church, mentioned as
early as 1236: some of the details were apparently Early
English, and others were much later. This church was pulled
down about 1825 and entirely rebuilt. As at Doddington,
there are the ugly broad lancets, the doorways with four-
centred arches, the " embattled " tower and porch, the low-
pitched roof, the gallery at the west end, the continuous nave
and chancel, which are so often seen in churches of the
early part of the Gothic Revival. There are, however, elaborations which
Doddington does not possess. The eaves project considerably, and are
supported at the four corners by ornamental corbels, which are original if
not beautiful. The interior is apsidal at the east end. The porch has
buttresses. The gallery is decked with tracery, Devonshire foliage, and Tudor
flowers — all in cast iron ! The tower at Doddington is only " embattled " :
this has wonderful pinnacles and saw-like ridges between.

The same Classical feeling is shewn in the tower windows,
but those at Hopton have been filled up with details of modern Norman
character. The windows of nave and chancel have tracery of Perpendicular
character. The font is also of Perpendicular design and is made of local
marble. The old font, a plain erection, probably of the 13th century, stands
under a yew tree in the churchyard. The present rector wished to move it
back into the church, but found it was too dilapidated.

A good deal of alteration and improvement took place in 1892.
A large oak chancel screen was erected ; an oak triptych was put up, painted
with scenes of the Crucifixion and other sacred events ; a hammer-beam roof
was substituted for the plaster ceiling ; the east window was raised four feet,
and one of the chancel windows was shortened.

In the chancel is a marble monument to the late Mr. Thomas
Botfield, 1 762- 1 843. It is very unlike the taste of to-day, but it has

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considerable merit Mr. Botfield is represented as lying down, with his
wife kneeling at his side. The sculptor was Mr. E. H. Baily, R.A. The
pulpit is a plain Jacobean erection : there is some woodwork of the same
period in the choir seats. Near the lectern is an imitation of a book in
stone, with the Ten Commandments painted on it In the west tower
window is a fragment of isth century glass.
The register dates from 1729.

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E manor of Kinlet belonged to Queen Edith, wife of Edward

the Confessor, and it seems quite possible that she founded

the church. There is, however, no mention of a priest in

Domesday Book, nor any detail in the present building

which proves a pre-Conquest date. There are, nevertheless,

several fragments which indicate that a church existed here

in early Norman times, if not before. This building must

have included a chancel and an aisleless nave. In the latter

part of the Norman period a north aisle was erected, and

some years later, when the style had very nearly become

pure Early English, a south aisle and porch and a western

tower were added, a new chancel arch being put up about

the same time. The next great change took place early in

the 14th century, when the old chancel was removed and a large new one

erected with north and south transepts, all of excellent workmanship.

Towards the end of the century a fine new roof was put on the nave with

a clerestory in character with it. The Perpendicular period saw a considerable

addition to the height of the tower. In 1727-33 several minor alterations

took place. In 18 14 some repairs were carried out, and in 1892-93 the church

was completely overhauled under the superintendence of Mr. J. Oldrid Scott.

The expense, as regards the chancel and transepts, was borne by Miss

Mary Childe, in memory of her sister, Catherine, the remainder being raised

by subscription. Much is also due to the watchful oversight of the present

vicar, the Rev. J. J. Case.

I have often explained that this book is a history of the fabrics
of the churches, and not of the parishes and the families who inhabited them.
The connection, however, of the chief family at Kinlet with the church has
often been so close that an exception must be made here, and a word or
two said about the owners of the beautiful park and estate which surrounds
the church. Between the days of Queen Edith's ownership and the possession,
late in the 12th century, by the Brampton family, the steps in the succession
are not very clear, but for the last 700 years the property has never been
sold, always descending by marriage or direct inheritance. The male line

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^ I ! I






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might die out, but there was always an heiress to carry the estates to
another family by marriage. The Bramptons were the owners till 1309,
when they gave place to the Cornewalls, who were lords of Kinlet from
that date to 141 5. The Lychefeld family possessed the property from
141 5 to 1450, and then the Blounts had power till 1581. The estate was
held by the Lacons from 1581 to 1657 and by the Childes for the hundred
years succeeding. From 1757 to the present day the owners have been the
Baldwyn family, who have taken the name of Childe. Several of the lords
of Kinlet will of necessity be mentioned in the following history of the church.


The glass of the east window will be referred to later on.
The tracery is exactly the same as that of the east windows at Chelmarsh
(see Plate XXX VH.) and Stottesdon. In dealing with Chelmarsh I have
remarked at some length on the remarkable architectural features and have
shewn the strong reason there is for dating them from the year 1345. I
also called attention to the surprising fact that a window of such early
Decorated form should be used so late as 1345. The question naturally
occurs, which of these three windows of the same form is the earliest? As
regards Stottesdon I must refer the reader to my account of that church,
and discuss the question here mainly as it affects Kinlet and Chelmarsh.
I have pointed out on p. 283 that the details at Chelmarsh are mainly late
Decorated. Let us examine those at Kinlet.

The east window itself, let me repeat, is of five lights with'
geometrical tracery in the head : this mostly takes the form of quatrefoils,
but the central opening at the top is a sexfoil. The north and south
windows of the transepts are even more decidedly geometrical (see Plate
XLH. for the southern one) with trefoils and quatrefoils. The other
windows of the transepts are not very distinctive, one being much later : they
will be referred to presently. In the south wall of the chancel (see Plate
XLII.) and also in the north wall is a two light window with an octofoil in
the head. The form is not nearly so delicate as the others, and the stone
work looks so fresh that I am inclined to think it is comparatively modem,
perhaps dating from 18 14; but the form is a possible one of the early part
of the 14th century.

The arches to the transepts from the chancel must be closely
examined in this connection. The two chief mouldings are the wave and
the double ogee, both of the Decorated variety with broad convex portions.
The capitals and bases are extremely like those of the north arcade at
Cleobury Mortimer (see p. 296 and Fig. 39). I have already pointed out
that the date of this, which is probable for architectural reasons, is before

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1330. The other details at Kinlet are not decidedly early or late Decorated
in character : they will be described presently. To sum up then, the chancel
and transepts of Kinlet are of the Decorated period. The mouldings are
not of a late form as they are at Chelmarsh, but fit in to an early 14th
century date. The windows are decidedly early in character, and we cannot
be far wrong if we date the work from the first quarter of the 14th century.
It follows then that the east window at Chelmarsh was copied from that at
Kinlet and not vice-versa. The form was evidently retained because it was
a beautiful one, for the Chelmarsh builders of 1345 knew very well what
they were about, and had the skill and the means to erect a different sort
of window if they had preferred it.

It is interesting to note also that the date I have assigned to
Kinlet from the architectural point of view is a probable one for historical
reasons. Brian de Brampton, lord of Kinlet, died in 1294, leaving a
daughter and heiress, Margaret, who was born in 1292 or 1293. Edward I.
intrusted a great part of the estates, till the heirs came of age, to
Edmund de Cornewall, the eldest son of Richard, the illegitimate son of the
Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans, who was the youngest son of King
John. This Edmund was so enamoured of the property that he made it his
own in 1309 by marrying the young heiress. It is unlikely that a large
sum would be spent on the church during the interregnum, but after 1309
it seems quite probable that the new owner would signalize his advent to
power by some new architectural work, perhaps to provide a suitable shelter
for a monument to his father-in-law. Everything points then to the
erection of the grand new chancel and transepts at Kinlet in the second
decade of the 14th century,

To come back now to the details of the chancel, there are one
or two things which should be noticed in addition to the tombs and modem
alterations, which must be reserved for separate treatment In the south
wall is a good trefoil-headed piscina : some of the details have been renewed,
including the basin, but the credence shelf is original. There is a piscina,
now placed in the font, which was dug up under the chancel. Its form is
simple, and it may date from the 12th or 13th century. Above the chancel
arch is the mark of the steep-pitched roof which covered the former chancel.
The present roof evidently dates from the period of the rebuilding. It is of
the trussed-rafter form and rather low-pitched : the collar braces so nearly
meet one another that there are practically only six cants instead of the
usual seven.

The roof of the north transept has seven cants, and is steeper
than that of the chancel : it has been considerably repaired. The north
window, which has already been referred to, contains some ancient glass in



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Plate KUi XXXIX.



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the head, of 14th century date. The east window is a Perpendicular
insertion. It is of three lights under a pedimental head, which necessitates
an unusual form for the well carved cusps : the jambs have the characteristic
Perpendicular shallow hollow. The lower part of this wall is eleven inches
thicker than the higher : in the southern portion the thicker part is
continued higher up, and a piscina is contained in it (see Plan). This is
very like the one in the chancel only smaller : the basin has been mostly
renewed. In the north-west corner of the transept is a doorway with a
segmental pointed inner arch : the same form is seen in the arch to the
aisle, with a wave moulding of Decorated character.

The south transept is smaller than the north transept and has
a similar roof and end window. The southern support of the arch between
the transept and the south aisle leans outward a little. The chamfer at the
base of this and on the wall opposite is unusual, for it looks like an external
plinth. It has been cut into on the north side, perhaps by a screen. There
are several features in the transept of exceptional interest Indeed, this south
transept, or St. Catherine's chapel, would alone be sufficient to make Kinlet
famous, for there are very few places where the arrangements of a mediaeval
chantry chapel can be seen so fully. There are two aumbries, a piscina, and
a recess for a tomb in the south wall (see Plate XXXIX.). Far more
remarkable and unusual than these is the character of the east window. It
is of three lights and square-headed, but not a Perpendicular insertion like
that in the north transept, but part of the original Decorated work with a
little glass still remaining in the spandrels. The central light has always
been partly blocked up, and in front of it is a carving of very great interest.
It is a representation of the Trinity. At the back is a large crowned figure
of God the Father, and in front is a Crucifixion, with two angel figures at
the foot : unfortunately the figure of the Dove has been knocked away from
the south side. The whole rests on a moulded corbel. It is true that this
carving has only recently been placed in position, having been brought from
the base of one of the tombs, where it was placed by the Rev. J. B. Blakeway
in 1 8 14. It fits so exactly where it is, and the blocking of the window is
so evidently original, that there can be no reasonable doubt that it is now
where it was first placed early in the 14th century. The thicker part of the
wall under the level of the window does not fit in very well at its upper
south end, with the tomb recess, but the lower part is bonded, and there can
be no doubt, from the external appearance, that the recess was intended from
the start. The effigy which now fills it is much later as will be presently
shewn, and it is impossible to say whose tomb it was built for ; but it seems
highly probable that Edmund de Cornewall intended it for a monument to
himself or his wife, or both, or to his father-in-law, Brian de Brampton. On

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the site of the altar are now placed some old tiles which seem to date from
the 15th or the early part of the i6th century.

West of the tomb recess is an original doorway with ball flowers
on its external hood-moulding and a segmental pointed scoinson arch,
moulded with the sunk quarter-round. This moulding also appears on the
inner arch of a small window adjoining, which has its external hood finished
with ornaments of a more elaborate character but much decayed. This single
cusped light is remarkable on account of its "low side" character. It has
been a long narrow window, no less than 5 ft 10 in. from the top of the
inner arch to the sill, which is only 2 ft 6 in. wide and i ft. 10 in. from the
floor level. The lower part of the window, to the extent of 3 ft 3 in., is now
blocked. I cannot see that the particular formation of this low side window
at Kinlet throws much light on the much-vexed question of the purpose of
these openings. A little to the west of it is a shallow internal irregular
recess, which has no appearance of originality, but was probably connected
with some late fittings. Near to it in the west wall was a single light window,
now completely blocked. There is no apparent explanation of the thickening
of the wall between this and the aisle (see Plan) : it dates from the period
of the transept


Attention must now be directed to some very fine monuments.
The first in chronological order is the one already referred to in the recess
in the south transept (see Plate XXXIX.). It is a beautifully carved
alabaster recumbent figure of a lady. The date is approximately fixed by the
costume, which includes the horned head-dress and the sideless coie-kardi, a
peculiar bodice without sides : this combination we should expect to see in
the reign of Henry V. or Henry VI. Recalling the Kinlet family history
of that period, we notice that Sir John Cornewall died in 141 5, leaving an
only child and heiress, Isabel. She married, before her father's death,
Sir William Lychefeld, and died before 1430. The effigy then is probably
hers, for there is no other member of the family who is likely to have been
buried at Kinlet about this time. At any rate there can be no doubt that the
effigy is very much later than the recess, and this of course is no uncommon
occurrence. The meaning of the enshrouded infant figure is obvious, but
there is no historical evidence to throw further light on it Under the head
of the chief figure is a cushion supported by two cherubs : the feet rest
against a little dog, gracefully carved and partly hidden by the folds of the
dress. There are five holes at the side of the effigy and one larger one in
the east wall : they were probably for a protecting rail or grille.

The next in chronological order is the alabaster tomb on the
south side of the chancel (see Plate XL.). The north and east sides of the

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'^ . /'- .1..^ ^ ''

• - * t.

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Plate YYYTY. XL.

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base are ornamented, the others are plain and modem. Above are the figures
of a knight and lady. The armour of the former is of great interest.

(i.) No helmet is shewn except that supporting the head, and the
hair is of a fair length : the crest has been hacked off the
(2. There is a collar of mail.
(3.) The cuirass finishes in an ornamental way, but is not ridged or

covered with placcates and demi-placcates.
(4.) There is a skirt of seven taces, and buckled on to the fifth are

tuilles with baguettes of mail between.
(5.) A loose belt supported a sword on the left side and a

misericorde on the right : both have been knocked off
(6.) On the arms are fairly large pauldrons, the two sides being

dissimilar, coutes tied on with pairs of bows, and gauntlets.
(7.) The genouillitres are well carved and have plates above and
below : the sollerets are pointed and rest against a lion : the
spurs are gone.
The Yorkist period of armour lasted from circa 1455 to 1485,
and the armour here is evidently that of the latter part, without, however
the extravagances which are often seen elsewhere (see p. 48).

The female figure wears a head-dress which has points in
common with the horned and butterfly varieties, but which is neither. A
kirtle is worn, a sideless cote-kardi above, and a mantle over all, fastened by
a cord ending in ornamental clasps. There is a row of pendants attached
to a necklace. The head rests on a cushion supported by cherubs, now
mutilated : in the folds of the dress is a little dog.

The female figures on the east side of the base have similar
head-dresses to the chief figure, only that the approach to the butterfly
form is more obvious. There are seven figures on the north side, somewhat
mutilated. The three central ones are in Yorkist armour : the next two are
civilian figures, and the two outermost are angels.

The architectural character of the monument is Perpendicular,
with beautifully carved crockets ; and though there is no inscription, every-
thing fits in to a late date in the Yorkist period of armour, i.e, the latter part
of 1455 to 1485. On this account there can scarcely be a question that the
tomb is that of Sir Humphrey Blount, who died in 1477 and left directions
that he should be buried in the parish church of Kinlet within the chapel of
St. Catherine. Till the recent restoration, the monument stood under the
arch dividing that chapel from the chancel. His wife was Elizabeth, wife of
Sir Robert Winington. His son. Sir Thomas Blount, did not die till 1525,
when the fashion in armour and architecture had altered considerably : there

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are no signs of his tomb.

The tomb opposite (see Plate XL.) is that of Sir John Blount,
who died in 1531, eldest son and heir of Sir Thomas, and of his wife
Katharine, daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh Peshall, as the inscription
reveals. Sir John, who wears the SS collar, is represented in armour of the
early Tudor period (see p. 48), which is fairly normal, with one striking
exception. The feet are encased, not in broad-ended sabbatons as usual,
but in acutely pointed sollerets of an earlier type. There is, however, quite
a patched appearance about the shoes, which are not of the same piece of
stone as the legs. The alteration doubtless took place in 18 14, when some
repairs were evidently carried out The name of a contemporary workman,
" Carbine, Shrewsbury," is found inside the helmet. The five sons on the south
side of the base have the usual sabbatons. Dame Katharine is represented
by an alabaster figure which has beautiful detail carved upon it, especiall)'- in
connection with the necklaces and the pedimental head-dress. The sleeves
approach the Ellizabethan form. On the north side six daughters are
represented, also with the pedimental head-dress. The west side is ornamented
but not the east. The architectural character is very different from that of
the tomb opposite. Classical forms are coming in and Gothic forms
dying out.

The last tomb to be mentioned is that in the north transept,
which, without exaggeration, may be described as one of the finest Elizabethan
monuments in England. A study of Plate XLI. will reveal its character
better than a long description. It commemorates Sir George Blount, lord
of Kinlet, who died in 1581, and his wife Constantia, daughter of Sir John
Talbot, who died in 1584. Between the kneeling figures of Sir George and
his lady, in Elizabethan armour and costume respectively, are small figures
of a son and daughter. The former, John, died young, and the latter,
Dorothy, married John Purslow, Esquire, a neighbouring landowner. For
some reason Sir George Blount disinherited his daughter and left the property
to his nephew, Rowland Lacon. This gentleman erected the splendid tomb
as is recorded on the " Epitaphium georgii blount," fixed to the jamb of the
east window near. In the lower stage of the tomb is a representation of
Sir George's dead body according to the peculiar custom of the time. It is
diflficult to speak too highly of the exquisite carving of this monument : every
detail is cut with the utmost care, and the result is worth going many miles
to see. Many of the ornaments are of course Classical, and a series of Ionic
columns supports a dentilled cornice, but there is more Gothic feeling than
one generally sees in such an elaborate work of Elizabethan date. There
are arches between the columns and broad trefoil arches in the lower stage.
The panelling displays cusping and small canopies with crockets and finials.

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Tomb in thb North Transeit.

Platk XLI.

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Online LibraryMartin J. Harding David Herbert Somerset CranageAn architectural account of the churches of Shropshire, Volume 1, Parts 4-5 → online text (page 6 of 19)