Sunday, 13 August 2017

Ryhall and Uffington II

After lunch we headed east along the north bank of the Welland to Uffington.  This is a small estate village that now has to contend with a main road running through it.  There are a number of beautiful Victorian estate workers cottages scattered through out the village.  Alas the great house, which was the seat of the Berties, the Earls of Lindsey, burnt down in 1904; it was of the same type as Belton, but smaller, more compact.  Its loss is a great pity.  There is a small park also that sits between the village and the river.  What does survive however are two pairs of elaborate wrought iron gates facing each other across the road, one giving access to the house and its demesne, and the other, smaller, the church.  Erected in 1679, by the Hon. Charles Bertie, Pevsener suggests they may be the work of John Lumley. The whole assembly of house and village and park, though damaged by time and late Modernity, has still more than a hint of the seigneurial.

And so to the church. It sits in the midst of everything at the back of what is a large churchyard.  The path from the house is lined grandly with yew trees.  There is an elegant west tower and spire, aisled nave and chancel with a north chapel - the Casewick chapel.  Uffington is a large parish and contains a second stately home: Casewick Hall the seat of the Trollope-Bellews.  This late gothic chapel was their place of burial and worship.  I can't think, off hand, of another church that was shared by two landed families.  Anyway, from the outside the church appears wholly Perendicular, there is particular a fine west door in the base of the tower.  Worth searching for if you ever visit.  However the inside is completely different; whereas Ryhall church is bathed in light Uffington is dark: church as cave.  More of a schatzkammer too.  This is the result of a thorough going and lavish restoration in 1866 by the local architect Edward Browning, son of Bryan Browning favourite of this blog.  There are encaustic tiles, and mounds of sculpture; the huge corbels in the nave seem almost Arts and Crafts in style rather than Gothic revival.  The nave arcades are early 13th century, a little earlier than those at Ryhall.  There are three three monuments in the chancel, one medieval and two Jacobean.  The finest, well my favourite anyway, commemorates Roger and Olyver Manneres on the south side of the chancel.  The Casewick chapel, which is tall and narrow inside, is spoilt by being glassed-in with screens, but on the whole the clutter is kept to a manageable level.  Blue carpet in the nave though is a mistake.

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