SP8526 : Stewkley - St Michael - Norman arches

taken 7 years ago, near to Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, Great Britain

Stewkley - St Michael - Norman arches
Stewkley - St Michael - Norman arches
An interior photograph from the nave of St Michael's, Stewkley looking through two Norman arches to the chancel at the eastern end of the church.
Most parish churches have two main sections, the nave and the chancel, separated by the Chancel Arch. At this ancient Norman church in Stewkley however there are three definite sections. Most westerly is the nave (from which this photo is taken), a broad Norman arch then separates this from a roughly square area beneath the Tower; a second Norman arch then leads from the Tower area into the chancel.
Both arches are richly decorated with Romanesque zig-zag carving. It is one of the finest unspoilt Norman interiors of any church in Britain - and one of the most highly decorated.
See shared description below for more information and links.
Stewkley - St Michael

St Michael in the large village of Stewkley is one of the most complete and unaltered Norman churches in Britain. Only the south porch and south vestry from the C19th, and late 14th-century pinnacles, parapet and stair-turret to the tower date from later than c.1160 when the nave, tower and chancel were built in the reign of Henry II. (There are also a few modern buttresses to the chancel to help stabilise it).
The church was sensitively restored by G.E. Street 1862, at which time most traces from intervening centuries were removed. The chancel had previously required its roof to be rebuilt in 1844. The nave and tower also have C19th roofs.

There is a wealth of zig-zag or chevron ornamentation to windows, doors and arches. The interior being a particularly overwhelming array of these Norman geometric designs.
The interior is also unusual in having two arches (both Norman) the first between the nave and the tower, the second between tower and chancel.
The church contains a contemporaneous Norman "Tub" font.
There is a plan of the church here LinkExternal link
For much more detail on this church see:
EH Grade I listing LinkExternal link
BHO (VCH) information LinkExternal link

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SP8526, 126 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 29 December, 2014   (more nearby)
Thursday, 15 January, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Listed Building Status (from Tags)
Grade I 
Period (from Tags)
Primary Subject of Photo
Church Interior 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 8521 2610 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:55.6143N 0:45.7335W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 8519 2610
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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