The Essex Churches Site

 

THE ESSEX CHURCHES SITE

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St John the Baptist, Pebmarsh

Pebmarsh

 

Click on the 'play' symbol in the second image to see all my photographs of this church as a slide show, then click on any image in the slideshow to see it large in a new page.

Alternatively, if you don't have flash enabled, you can go straight to the set for this church on flickr.


By now the lanes were awash, and so at Alphamstone I decided to call it a day and take the shortest route back to Bures station, but the sun seemed insistent, and so instead I headed on to Pebmarsh for just one more church, I told myself. I could head back to Bures from there. The rain stayed off, but the amount of surface water was now a problem - I have mudguards, but some roads were flooded, and although cars were rare around here it would only take one overtaking carelessly to soak me. Without incident I entered Pebmarsh, which turned out to be a largish, long village, and in the oldest part of it I reached the church.

Open. This church is quite different from the others I had visited so far. They were all, in their way, typical small Essex churches. Pebmarsh is a typical large East Anglian church. It is BIG. It has aisles and a clerestory, and castellated walls, so would be quite at home in west Suffolk or south-east Cambridgeshire. To give it an Essex signature it has a perky wooden turret at the top of the tower as at Finchingfield and Felsted. I don't know of a church more difficult to photograph from the south; it sits within a wide bend, hard against the churchyard wall and high above the village street. The best I could do was to wander down the street opposite, but trees and a telegraph pole quickly impeded the view.

Inside, it is like the bones of a church: the considerable 19th Century restoration stripped the plaster from the walls, exposing the flints internally as at Hildersham in Cambridgeshire. It is rather striking, as you may imagine.There is good 19th and 20th Century glass, as well as some 13th century survivals including a figure of St Peter holding his keys at a jaunty angle, but the star of the show here is the 1330s brass to Sir William Fitzralph, generally considered the most important brass in Essex, and one of the earliest martial brasses in England. I'm not a great one for brasses, but it is pretty awe-inspiring.

Simon Knott, October 2012

               

 

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home - index - latest - e-mail
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Norfolk churches - Suffolk churches
www.simonknott.co.uk