Notes on West Bergholt - St Mary

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One thousand years of history
  
West Bergholt - St Mary  St Mary's church has a Saxon nave, fourteenth century chancel and south aisle, and 15th century bell tower. The nave once had a Norman south doorway but that was destroyed when the south aisle was added: pieces of carved stone from the doorway have been incorporated into the walls of the aisle (see note). The east window was replaced in 1928 in 14th century style.  In 1904 a new church was built near to the main village. This church was declared redundant in 1975 and is now under the care of The Churches Conservation Trust. It is however still consecrated and can be used for private prayer or hired for services, e.g. weddings. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
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West Bergholt - St Mary -Tower  The south aisle was added in the 14th century, the bell tower in 15th centtury. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Interior  The north wall of the nave is Saxon: the pillars and south aisle were added during the 14th century. The huge tie-beam where the nave and chancel join is the rood beam, which once would have supported a rood cross. The cross would have been removed during the reformation, and a tympanum of lath and plaster now fills the gap. The painting is of the Royal Arms of King James I who ruled from 1603 - 1625. The painting extends above the current ceiling level: the ceilings were plastered during the 18th century. At some point the painting was limewashed out and the tympanum appeared bare. The arms were rediscovered and conserved in 1986. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Nave, Arcade
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Gallery View  From the gallery, the view of the altar is restricted : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Gallery
4 West Bergholt - St Mary - Gallery View
West Bergholt - St Mary - Arms  The Royal Arms of King James I who ruled from 1603 - 1625. The painting extends above the current ceiling level: the ceilings were plastered during the 18th century. At some point the painting was limewashed out and the tympanum appeared bare. The arms were rediscovered and conserved in 1986. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Interior  The chancel is 14th century. The ceilings were plastered during the 18th century, hiding the 14th century roof timbers. The panelling behind the altar is early 17th century, the communion rails, late 17th century. The Bevington organ was installed in 1877. The east window was replaced in 1928 in 14th century style with new stained glass. The altar itself was given to the church by Thomas and Sarah Daniell in 1913. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Chancel
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Altar  The altar itself was given to the church by Thomas and Sarah Daniell in 1913. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Gallery  Dormer windows were inserted into the roof, and a gallery was built into the westernmost bay of the nave, during the 18th century. The gallery is supported on cast iron Doric pillars, encased in wood. The front of the gallery is pannelled, and in the centre is the Royal Arms of George III in 1816. King George III was also head of the House of Hanover, a principality in Germany. Hanover fell to the French and Prussians during the Napoleonic Wars but after the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, Hanover was elevated to an independent kingdom by the Congress of Vienna. This resulted in a change to the English Royal Arms to reflect George III's changed status.  Massive tie-beams add to the structural strength of the building, but severely restrict the view from the gallery. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Gallery
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Arms  Royal Arms of George III in 1816. King George III was also head of the House of Hanover, a principality in Germany. Hanover fell to the French and Prussians during the Napoleonic Wars but after the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, Hanover was elevated to an independent kingdom by the Congress of Vienna. This resulted in a change to the English Royal Arms to reflect George III's changed status. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Bell Tower  Most of the timbers of the bell tower are fifteenth century, but some are older and may have been re-used from an earlier tower. The bell tower contains only one bell, cast in 1883 by John Warner & Sons, which replaced a 15th century bell by William Chamberlain of London. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Bell Tower
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West Bergholt - St Mary - East Window  The east window was replaced in 1928, in 14th century style. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Window
11 West Bergholt - St Mary - East Window
West Bergholt - St Mary - Font  The font is probably from the 13th century. The stem is later, and the lid, probably c.1800. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Font
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Graveyard  "Old" St Mary's graveyard. The churchyard is partly bounded by a prehistoric earthwork. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Graveyard
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Organ  Bevington organ, 1877. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15, Organ
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Buttresses  The western doorway in the north wall was created in about 1300, when the church was lengthened westwards. It was blocked and partly glazed at some time in late 18th century, possibly around the time a gallery was built inside the church. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
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West Bergholt - St Mary - Window  The Saxon north wall of the nave was built in the 11th century, on the site of an older, wooden church. The north doorway was blocked up probably early in the 14th century when the nave was extended westwards and a larger doorway was created slightly to the west of the original door. At about the same time the windows in the north wall were widened and the south aisle added. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
16 West Bergholt - St Mary - Window
West Bergholt - St Mary - Flint & Rubble  Fragments of carved Norman stonework have been incorporated into the walls. : Church, Essex, West, Bergholt, St Mary, Saxon, Norman, C14, C15
17 West Bergholt - St Mary - Flint & Rubble
West Bergholt - Piscina  The high altar piscina in the chancel has a simple arch and a well-preserved octofoil drain, into which the disposable water used at the Eucharist was poured. There is another 14th century piscina recess in the south wall for use with the side altar in the south aisle. : Piscina, West, Bergholt, altar, church, C14
18 West Bergholt - Piscina