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English Church Architecture.


UFFORD, St. Andrew  (TF 094 040),


(Bedrock:  Middle Jurassic, Upper Estuarine Series.)


A church of three parts, with a late thirteenth century chancel, a mid fourteenth century aisled nave and porch, and a fifteenth century tower.


Although this is a mediaeval building in all its component parts (as seen above, viewed from the southeast), the interpretation of the existing fabric is relatively transparent here and the can be described in a few short paragraphs.  Even so, the styles of its chancel and aisled nave may not be entirely reliable guides to their dates – viz. Early English in the former and Decorated in the latter – for there is a suggestion both are later than they seem at first sight.


The chancel is three bays long and has two two-light N. windows, three two-light S. windows, and a pair of renewed two-light windows close together to the east.  The oldest of these are the Y-traceried, easternmost windows in the N. and S. walls, along with the very small low-side lancets in the westernmost positions.  However, the other two-light N. window has trefoil-cusped lights beneath trilobes and lancet subarcuations, a form that seems likely to be original yet scarcely earlier than c. 1300 (the two remaining south windows are segmental-arched, Decorated insertions), and analogously, although all but one of the aisle windows have reticulated or curvilinear tracery, the three-bay aisle arcades, supported on quatrefoil piers with intervening rectangular spurs and semi-octagonal capitals to the foils, which must surely be contemporary, seem unlikely to predate the second half of the fourteenth century.  (The S. aisle E. window is shown below left and the N. arcade. viewed from the southwest, below centre.)  Such slight stylistic deviations from the norm might, for example, be explained if both the chancel and the nave were the work of conservative, older masons, who continued to privilege some of the window traceries of their youth.  As for the S. porch, the mouldings around the outer doorway are so similar to those of the nave arcades, it seems inconceivable that this was not a part of the same phase of construction.  Within the nave, enclosed stairs immediately west of the chancel arch (i.e. one on either side) must once have given access to a former rood loft. The N. stair projects externally above the aisle and chancel roofs to form a short embattled, octagonal turret, and it is this that is probably the church's most notable feature.  The chancel arch has semicircular responds with semicircular capitals, and bears a flat chamfer and wave moulding above.   The Perpendicular W. tower is probably a fifteenth century addition, which rises in five short stages to battlements, supported by shallow clasping buttresses given modest accent by decorative septfoil-cusped, ogee arch-heads between the first and second set-offs.  The tall tower arch has castellated capitals to the semicircular shafts facing the opening, and a hood-mould around the arch, springing from lion label stops.



Unfortunately, the church is almost entirely devoid of interesting furnishings except for a damaged triple sedilia and piscina recessed in the chancel S. wall, and for the font (seen above left, viewed from the east), which is probably late Perpendicular and somewhat unusual in appearance due to the narrowness of the base relative to the bowl.  No old carpentry survives and only one monument requires mention, and that a rather horrid, seventeenth century one, placed against the chancel N. wall, west of the sanctuary.  It commemorates Bridgett, Lady Carre (d. 1621), whom it portrays in cold, crisp, yellowing alabaster, reclining on her right elbow, dressed in all her finery, with characteristic ruff collar and matching cuffs, beneath the expected “symbols of mortality”, carved in bas-relief above – as unconsoling a composition as might readily be imagined.