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English Church Architecture -

Suffolk.

 

LINDSEY, St. Peter (TL 978 449)     (September 2012)

(Bedrock: Eocene, London Clay)

This little building in predominantly early fourteenth century, Decorated style, consists of a chancel, a nave with S. aisle and S. porch, and a little W. belfry sitting astride the nave W. end, which replaced a tower in 1836 (Pevsner).  Windows include a number with reticulated tracery truncated by segmental-pointed arches above (as seen above, in the photograph of the church from the southeast), while the others, in anticlockwise order from the porch, are: (i) in the nave S. wall (towards the east), a restored three-light window with strong mullions and mouchettes above ogee-pointed lights;  (ii) in the chancel S. wall (towards the west), a Y-traceried window of late thirteenth century design;  (iii) in the chancel E. wall, a renewed three-light window with tall cinquefoil-cusped lancet lights set within an encompassing arch;  (iv) in the chancel N. wall, a single lancet;  (v) in the nave N. wall (east of the blocked N. door), a tall two-light window with intersecting cinquefoil-cusped tracery beneath a square head (illustrated left)  (inside it is apparent there was once another such window, to the west of the door);  (vi) in the nave W. wall, a new three-light window with intersecting tracery;  (vii) in the aisle W. wall, a one-light window composed of a trefoil-cusped ogee arch.  Taken together, these might suggest construction of the building commenced c.1300 and proceeded slowly in fits and starts.  The half-timbered porch has a collar beam roof, open sides, and a heavily worn outer cruck arch above a brick and stone base.  The nineteenth century bell-turret is weatherboarded and  the nave roof is now of mansard form.

 

Inside the church, the three-bay aisle arcade is formed of arches bearing a hollow chamfer on the outer order and a flat chamfer on the inner, springing from octagonal piers with capitals which differ slightly from east to west.  There is no chancel arch but the broken remains of the rood stair can be seen in the nave N. wall, immediately west of the nave/chancel junction.  Equally badly eroded but barely discernible is the niche with little lierne vault, supported on a shaft, in the easterly jamb of the nave N. window.  The nave roof has four-way struts from the king posts to the collars and collar purlin, the chancel roof is ceiled although a tie beam remains exposed, and the aisle roof is of simple lean-to construction.

 

Furnishings include the Early English font at the west end of the nave (illustrated right), formed of a square bowl decorated on each face with four blank lancet arches with trefoils and circles in the spandrels, supported on five shafts, the central one of which is octagonal.  The very odd font cover, of uncertain date, is formed of eight turned shafts leaning at a low angle over a plain boarded top. There are a number of old benches, or sections of benches, of various dates, in both the nave and chancel, but the most interesting piece of carpentry is the  "Laudian" communion rail (below), one of several in this area, which surrounds the altar on three sides and may or may not date precisely from the archiepiscopacy of William Laud, between 1633 and his execution in 1645.   A royal arms of George I hangs on the nave N. wall.

 

Finally, the church contains one significant monument, which is supported on consoles on the chancel N. wall.  It commemorates Nicholas Hobart (d. 1606) and his wife Elizabeth, and features a cartouche in an open pediment, an inscription in Latin, and carved cherubs and roses etc., decorating the sides.