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St Andrews Church
DVD OF CHURCH AVAILABLE FROM VILLAGE STORE                
 

 

 
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RINGSTEAD ST ANDREW      

                                                                              

St Andrews Church sits proudly on an elevated site in the village. Its fabric has obviously had many repairs over the years, including a major Victorian restoration. The chancel still shows external features of the 14C with an interesting variation of cusped intersecting tracery with nearly flat arches above its windows either side of the priest's door. To the west there is also a smaller "low-side window" with an ogee arch sometimes referred to as "leper windows".

From a lithograph of the 1820s, it is apparent that the nave roof was raised again in Victorian times, when the large perpendicular windows were also restored and new buttresses with bands of carstone were added.

On the north side in 1864 an entirely new aisle was added with its own gabled roof. At each end of the roof valley are enormous grotesque gargoyles for drainage of the central gutter. At the east end of the aisle there is accommodation for the organ and a vestry, with a prominent chimney!

The tower, with its simple Y tracery to the belfry openings, dating probably to the late 13C/earlyl4C, has been much repaired in brick on the south and west faces, following a lightning strike. The original fabric still to be seen on the north wall shows many blocked putlog holes framed with large crude blocks of chalk. These holes were to accommodate the horizontal poles of the scaffolding when the wall was built. The tower is topped with a short spire and weather cock above an X, the symbol of St Andrew. There is one bell, made by Edward Tooke in 1676.

The south porch has been much rebuilt and now has a modern Good Shepherd statue in the niche above the entrance with the legend "I am the door". The doorway into the church has many orders of moulding from the 14C.

Inside the church the north aisle is divided from the nave by a circular pier and a quatrefoil pier. At the east end of this aisle is a more elaborate Victorian arch leading to the vestry and organ chamber.

The tall tower arch gives a glimpse of the west window which was part of the repair work done on the tower. Nearby is the absolutely plain ancient octagonal font set on a new stem, and having a flat modern cover.

At the west end of the north aisle is a large striking modern painting representing man's scientific achievements and the social evils in the world, painted by Mr Roy Tuck, who taught art in Hunstanton. At the centre is the Cross, man's only hope of salvation.

The 14C chancel arch has finely carved capitals; to the north is foliage and on the south side a pattern of vines. There are also head stops either side of the arch, with a particularly fine bearded head to the north.

In the south-east nave is a massive stone Victorian pulpit, embellished with inserts of coloured marble. Hidden behind the pulpit are signs that a side altar was placed here in earlier times. There is a vaulted niche facing west and on the south wall a small piscina.

The chancel east window has Victorian tracery set in its original frame. The south east window glass, designed by Frederick Preedy as a memorial of the Rectors of both churches ( St Peters now no longer except for the remains of itís round tower in the grounds of the bury a former rectory) from 1333 - 1862, shows St Peter holding a round tower church and St Andrew holding a representation of this church. Below are scenes depicting "Feed my sheep" and "He brought him to Jesus". The low side window shows St Augustine.

The Victorian marble reredos behind the altar has roundels of the symbols of the four Evangelists, a lion (St Mark), a bull (St Luke), an angel (St Matthew) and an eagle (St John), flanking the central symbol of the Agnus Dei, representing the Risen Lord.

From the 14C remains the fine angle piscina, with its two openings surmounted by ogee arches and finials. The ends of the outer arches have carved heads, the one nearest the window being a bishop's with a mitre, and between the two arches is a lion's head. The shallow four-petal basin is surrounded by a zig-zag pattern. There is a dropped sill sedilia.

There are fine ledger slabs in the chancel, predominantly for the Fysh family. Their arms of three interlaced pike are shown in varying forms, one with the fish baring fearsome teeth! The memorial high on the north wall of the tower also recalls members of the Fysh family.

In the centre of the chancel is a Norwich made brass depicting Richard Kegell, Rector here for 17 years, who died in 1482. He is portrayed in Eucharistic vestments and his Latin inscription says he re-roofed the chancel.

Above these memorials are coloured shields, representing all the parties concerned with the 1864 restoration, on the wall posts supporting the roof: St Andrew - a cross saltire, John Pelham, Bishop of Norwich -3 pelicans, William Hussey, Rector in 1864 - cross, Hamon le Strange, Lord and Patron - 2 lions passant, Norwich Diocese - 3 mitres, St Peter -2 keys.

 

   
St Andrews tower showing repair to damage caused by a lighting strike.
3 pictures stitched to show a panoramic view of the alter.
The good shepherd statue with the legend "I AM THE DOOR"
The original main entrance door.
The modern painting representing mans scientific achievements and the social evils painted by Roy Tuck (art teacher at hunstanton secondary modern school now smithden high) located at the west end of the north aisle.
   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

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