Wednesday, 10 August 2011

All Saints, Cottesbrooke- The South Transept

Cottesbrooke is an estate village. It's history is bound up with that of the hall, whose changing ownership has enriched, changes, developed the village over time. The same, as is so often the case, goes for the church. Only the south transept remains of this once cruciform church. The south transept of this 13th century church with georgian fittings is given over to two impressive Jacobean monuments, and has other interesting features. Entered via a small flight of stairs, opposite the wonderful three-tiered pulpit.

Immediately to the left is a beautifully domestic marble fireplace, with a rustic timber bench

The oldest monument, that of John Rede and dated 1604 features ten curious little elizabethans, kneeling in a sort of gnome procession.

The centre of the transept is filled by the tomb of Sir John Langham, whose purchase of the estate resulted in it being passed down through the Langham family for 300 years. The family built the Hall, and endowed various local charities.

As you leave the transept, there are two other little features which are so rewarding. Mediaeval relics in an otherwise port-reformation interior, they are the few remaining steps, high up in the wall, which once must have led to a minstrel gallery, and the squint through to the chancel. Both whitewashed and looking pure and ancient.

The whole village is picture-postcard England, and the church is an often overlooked gem when the hall is such a treat.

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