St Martin

Gorgeous 14th century church with ancient furnishings.

About this church

St Martin's dates to the 14th century, with a tall west tower, a nave with north and south aisles illuminated by a high clerestory with large Perpendicular windows. It was built, or rebuilt, just before the Black Death of 1348.

One curiosity is the clock, which was meant to be installed in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, but the parishioners could not agree which way it should face so it was not actually installed until the following year.

 

In the porch is a beautifully carved holy water stoup. Inside is a grave slab bearing a brass inscription to William Kerr, who died in 1499.

One window in the south aisle contains original 15th century glass, with fragments depicting angels. The angels are identifiable by their feathered costumes, a common motif in the late medieval period, when mummers wore feathered costumes to play angels in mystery plays. One of the angels plays a rebec, a kind of medieval fiddle.

The superb east window, with wonderful Victorian glass by Ward & Hughes, installed in 1862. The glass depicts scenes from the life of Christ, while above are Biblical scenes from the Old Testament.

The most fascinating historic feature is an ancient 12th century chest. It is beautifully carved, in the style of a Norman font, with blind arcades on the front and rosettes on the end panels. It has been dated to 1175, which would make it one of the oldest oak chests in Britain.

Another interesting historic feature is the octagonal 15th century font, with carved panels depicting the symbols of the four Evangelists alternating with heraldic shields. Most of the carvings are well preserved, but a panel depicting the Crucifix was damaged in the Reformation.

 

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Wildlife haven

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Regular events

  • Most Sundays, 9.30am Eucharist, except 5th Sunday in month and special festivals.

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