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English Church Architecture -



POSLINGFORD, St. Mary (TL 770 482)     (October 2001)

(Bedrock:  Upper Cretaceous, Upper Chalk)


This small, heavily restored church consists of a W. tower, nave, chancel, and S. porch, of which the last (shown left) is constructed in Tudor brick, with five niches above the outer archway  -  one  in  the centre and two equal, lower trefoil-headed ones either side.  Elsewhere the building material is the usual local mix of flint and pebble rubble, while the roofs are tiled.  The embattled, diagonally-buttressed tower, rising in three stages, is notable for an external and presumably Victorian stair against the N. wall, giving access to a door in the second stage.


The church interior has only one feature of interest, namely the S. doorway inside the porch (illustrated right), which is Norman and consists of an arch bearing a roll, springing from an order of shafts with scalloped capitals with superimposed intricate  patterning.  The tympanum  encompasses a massive rectangular panel decorated chiefly with flower and leaf patterns. 


The only clue of the building's twelfth century origins before entering the porch, is a tiny Norman window in the nave N. wall.  The windows otherwise are an assortment but mostly quite pleasing apart from the new and ghastly E. window in a pseudo-thirteenth century style.  The chancel is lit by a lancet in the N. wall and one with cusped Y-tracery in the S. wall, indicative of c.1300, and the nave has a three-light Decorated window with reticulated tracery and another, very wide, three-light square-headed one, with cinquefoil-cusped lights and quatrefoils in circles above, which is probably largely renewed.  A similar but two-light window pierces the N. wall of the chancel