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Church Roof & East Window

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 (east) end of Church

Buddicom Coat of  Arms Man & Woman Beside  pillar Modern Angel With double Fleur-de-lys Two Kneeling  Figures Beside pillar Shield with Golden pincers Grotesque Head with Teath & hair Sheild with Three golden nails Grotesque Head with Pointed  ears And  feathers Shield with Reed, cord And sponge Four leaves A Rose Parsley  Leaf Oak Leaf Mask With Open mouth A Lion Parsley leaf A naked woman Grotesque Head with teeth Buddicom Monogram & Date 1888 Two Rabbit Like animals Modern  Angel & sacred monogram Apes & Pillar Double Fleurs-de-lys Grotesque Figure With tongue Cross with Nail holes Grotesque Head in crown Hammer West End (back) of Church East (Alter) End of Church

Church roof details

The East Window

The great perpendicular (late gothic) East Window contains five panels (detailed above) of Mediaeval glass, on a much later background. In the centre, the crucified Christ, on the left, the Virgin Mary, - note the tears on her face - and on the right St. John, with his book (Gospel). St. Peter, with his keys, is on the extreme right. Though many writers identify the left hand figure as St. George, he is clearly the Archangel Michael, since he is feathered. He wields a curved sword above his head. The variable scale of the figures suggests that they come from different windows, or different tiers of an original window.

Originally these panels would have been surrounded by further designs: there is a tradition they were brought to the church in 1546, but no remaining evidence. We do not know whether the panels were made for the church and are the surviving remains of a complete window, (perhaps removed, stored and replaced when it was thought safe to do so at some point in the religious disturbances of the Reformation) or whether the panels were brought from elsewhere.