The Great Nave Roof

The Nave roof is a rare and spectacular piece of late mediaeval  carpentry, a complex and deeply carved wooden structure decorated with carvings of figures, plants and faces.  

It was almost certainly not made for this church; tradition claims that it was brought here during the reformation from another building, possibly from Basingwerk Abbey on the banks of the Dee Estuary, but recent scholarship has cast doubts on this. The roof would not have fitted any structure in the remains. But it does the not fit the existing Arches on the north wall, cutting into the moulding and carving on the outside edges of the west end shows that it must have been made for a larger building. The scale of the the carving  and it’s moulding suggest that it was meant to be seen from a further away on a higher structure; into is almost overwhelming in its effect in our church.

The Westernmost shields and the two angles nearest the west end are copies made in the last centaury; the older angles some with attractively serene faces carry shields on which are instruments of Christ’s passion.  The shields bear traces of gilding and the angels (and probably much of the roof) would originally  have been painted.

View from Alter end of Church

Church roof details