Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton :: Shared Description

The church dates back to the pre-conquest period - the south door possibly dates back to this period - and during the middle ages was a pilgrimage shrine of Our Lady of Egmanton, to whom the church is dedicated.

The church consists of nave, chancel, north aisle, south transept and tower. The north aisle arcade is late 12th century, in Early English transitional style, with circular columns, and the chancel arch is of similar date. The north aisle is largely 14th century work, as is the south transept. The chancel was rebuilt in the 15th century and the west tower added at around the same time. The east window has been reconstructed at some time in earlier 14th century style with reticulated tracery.

The interior of the church is dominated by the late 19th century restoration/revival work. The patron of the living, the 7th Duke of Newcastle was an ardent Anglo-Catholic and was determined to return the Marian shrine of the mediaeval period. To this end he employed the young architect Ninian Comper. Comper had already started to make a mark as a restorer and decorator in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, and at Egmanton he created a lavishly decorated rood screen and loft, and a new organ case, equally lavishly decorated.

From the nave, the screen almost completely obscures the chancel arch. Above the lowest panels, in alternating red and cream, the screen consists of 4 lights either side of the doorway. On each side, the two nearest the doorway are open, the outer pair contain elaborate paintings. To the left of the doorway are Moses and Isaiah, to the right Ezekiel and St John. Above this a series of radiating fan traceries support the loft itself. The bressumer to the loft is intricately carved with vine scrolls, and the face of the loft is a series of 12 panels, each containing a gilded crocketed and traceried ogee against alternating red and cream panels. Alternate panels contain shields inscribed 'maria' or jhesus' in Gothic script. The upper front supports the rood itself, consisting of the crucified figure of Christ with to his right his mother Mary and to his left the Apostle John, his 'beloved disciple'. The arms of the crucifix terminate with panels displaying the symbols of the four evangelists. Behind the rood a large canopy, reaching almost to roof level, curves out from the chancel wall over the rood. This is ornately decorated with gilded ribbing between a series of square panels of dark blue. The whole screen is lavishly gilded.

On the south side of the nave is the organ case, which is based on the one in Freiburg cathedral in Germany, and which is decorated to match the screen. Centrally placed at the top of the case is a large figure of the Virgin and Child with a radiating sunburst behind. A similar figure stands on the north wall of the chancel to provide a focus of the Marian shrine.

Of note in the interior are the Norman font, dating from around 1075. The south chancel has a semi-elliptic tomb recess of the 14th century, alongside which is a small piscina of similar date. The figure of a medieval knight in the recess is however a rather crude 20th century addition.The responds of the chancel arch have carved faces, with that on the north side having delicate foliage carving above the face. The tower arch responds have finely carved tracery work. The columns of the north aisle have foliate capitals style showing Norman influence. The roof of the nave contains original 15th century timber work from the date of the addition of the clerestory.

The tradition of pilgrimage was reintroduced in the 1920s and the church continues in the Anglo-Catholic forms of worship.

The church is Listed Grade I. For information see LinkExternal link
by Alan Murray-Rust
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SK7368 : Bench mark, Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : St.Mary's church by Richard Croft
SK7368 : Memorial to William Cardinall, St Mary's church, Egmanton by J.Hannan-Briggs
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Our Lady of Egmanton parish church by Chris Morgan
SK7368 : Our Lady of Egmanton church by Graham Hogg
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust
SK7368 : Church of Our Lady of Egmanton, Egmanton by Alan Murray-Rust

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Created: Tue, 5 Aug 2014, Updated: Wed, 6 Aug 2014

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