Monday, 20 April 2015
St Mary, Stratford St Mary
Back to our jaunt into Essex the other week. I was struck by the church of St Mary, at Stratford St Mary. It is a genuine Late Medieval church but given a thorough restoration at the end of the 19th century like an illegal steroid injection. Just look at the tracery in the north porch windows, like something out of the Medieval Holy Roman Empire. The inscriptions in the flushwork are genuine, and like that at Long Melford hint at contemporary high levels of literacy - otherwise why bother if nobody could read? Inside wasn't at all unpleasant; lofty Late Perpendicular Gothic, although everything as been given a thorough re-tooling. However the nave roof looked pretty, and pretty genuine, and there were some equally pretty patterned glass in the south chancel chapel and painted screens. I suspect who ever painted the screens also painted the mural on the north wall of the chancel. The south side is blank. Pity.
Beside the church were a couple of very old and very attractive houses, but life in them must be difficult with the A12 thundering along behind them and the village street in front a busy sliproad.