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English Church Architecture -



WINDRUSH, St. Peter (SP 193 131)    (February 2001)

 (Bedrock: Middle Jurassic, Taynton Limestone Formation)




The church (shown left, from the northeast) consists of a W. tower of two stages, a three-bay nave with a S. aisle and transept, and a chancel with a cross-gabled S. vestry and lean-to organ chamber.  The building is small and much of the exterior detail is Perpendicular and commonplace. However, the Norman S. doorway (shown below right) is of great interest, for the two rolls around the arch are decorated with archetypal beakhead moulding that extends down the jambs of the inner order and is even superimposed on the shafts supporting the outer order, beneath the scalloped capitals.  This doorway is of modest size, but no better illustration of this moulding may be found anywhere in the country.


Inside the church, the three-bay arcade (illustrated below left) is Norman-Transitional and composed of pointed arches carrying two flat chamfers, springing from circular piers with octagonal capitals, the easternmost of which is decorated with nailhead, indicating a date no earlier than c. 1190.   The chancel arch has spread alarmingly and its two orders of shafts to the west and one to the east, now do little more than rest against it.  All have scalloped capitals but the south shafts on both sides are decorated with spiral moulding while the north shafts are carved with either lozenges or chevron, of which the latter is decorated further with nailhead along the narrow bands.


The chancel itself, together with the vestry and organ chamber, is Victorian and the work of Henry Woodyer (1816-96).  Woodyer was briefly Butterfield’s pupil and his best work reflects Butterfield's interest in local materials and structural polychrome.  This work (of 1874), however, is unremarkable, and even the encaustic floor tiles manage to disappoint.


The church contains one significant item of furniture in the form of the Jacobean pulpit, decorated with the standard round arches below and strapwork panels above.