Saturday, 7 January 2017

St Guthlac, Market Deeping

Yesterday, the Feast of the Epiphany, I braved the cold and damp to visit the small market town of Market Deeping and the parish church of St Guthlac.  It was my first look inside.  It is a small, low slung building; the nave (Early English arcades and Perp clearstorey) darkened with late Victorian and early 20th century stained and painted glass.  The chancel in contrast is light filled, where the best glass is to be found in two of the south windows. The walls of both nave and chancel have been scraped down to the bare stone, probably when the church underwent restoration in 1872 under the hand of James Fowler of Louth who we have encountered before at Gunby. The Wake chapel on the north of the chancel is now the organ loft.  Perhaps then, a bit of a disappointment. Exterior is however graced by a strong Late Medieval west tower, which with its crisp ashlar stands in immaculate contrast to the humble rubble built walls of the rest of the church.  I suspect that the tower was built under the patronage of that remarkable woman Lady Margaret Beaufort, Lady of the Deepings, mother of Henry VII, grandmother of Henry VIII and descendant of the Wakes.
The porch contains a really quite beautiful set of nineteenth cast iron gates by Colemans the local iron founders, and the churchyard gates too are quite fine,though not quite so nice.

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