St Giles’ Church

St. Giles’ church is probably of Saxon origin as there was a priest in the manor at the time of Domesday; the present church is much later and is a Grade II listed building.

StGilesChurch
Creative Commons Licence Justin White | licenced under a Creative Commons 4.0 Licence

The oldest portion of the church is the chancel which is good early English, probably late 13th or early 14th century.  The original three-lancet east window had been replaced by a broad window of five lights but was restored in 1892.  The nave represents the restoration and was until fairly recently a plain structure with a gallery.  The Tower, embattled with pinnacles, was erected in 1826-1829 built by John Smallman.

In 1892 the entire building was restored, at the expense of Mrs Purton at Faintree and other subscribers, in memory of William Purton who was buried here.  A small vestry was thrown out (now an organ chamber) on the north side of the chancel.  In the nave early english windows replaced the old ones, and a similar window was built into the west side of the tower.  A porch was also added.

The tower houses six bells (a treble, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and a tenor) cast in 1827 except the 4th re-cast in 1938.  The inscriptions on the bells are:

  • Treble – Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts
  • 2nd – Heaven and Earth are full of Thy glory
  • 3rd – Glory be to Thee, O Lord on high
  • 4th – King of Kings and Lord of Lords
  • 5th – I will extol Thee, my God and King
  • Tenor – I will praise Thy name for ever and ever

The medieval font stands on a stone platform with a 20th century cover.

The north east window depicts the Good Shepherd (in memory of James Twist who died 1898), the window opposite is of the “Lillies in the Field” dedicated to William Purton who died 1893.  The north east window is of Mary Magdalene (in memory of Frances Purton who died 1909).

The chancel is medieval featuring a timber arched roof with collar beams and purlins, resting on stone corbels.  Directly below these are two female masks on the north side and two male masks on the south side.  The four lancet and arched windows are all medieval, although the south west one is somewhat more rounded, but the same date.  The large east window is divided into lancets, which are modern, each one dedicated to a saint – St. Paul, St. John the Baptist and St. Peter.  The north east window in the chancel is of Ruth.  The chancel arch has a sunken quarter-round moulding which probably dates from the end of the Early English period.  On the south side is a male head with a chain and strap around the top, on the north a female head with a pedimental   head-dress.  The ambray is set deep in the north wall of the chancel.

The Altar and carved reredos is 19th century.  The piscina on the south wall of the Chancel, has a large square headed recess and the jambs are chamferred, according to the Early English style, ending in small leaves.

StGilesChurchCedars
Creative Commons Licence Justin White | licenced under a Creative Commons 4.0 Licence

In the churchyard there is reputed to be a mass grave denoting a plague at some time.  The seven yew trees standing around the edge of the churchyard are meant to protect the church from gales and storms.  The two cedar trees are over 200 years old.