Friday, 30 December 2016

The Tower of the Church of St. Nicholas

A general view of the tower from the south

The South Yorkshire County Archaeological Service have assigned a 14th century date to the tower of the church of St. Nicholas, as well as the aisles and clerestory, but it is dated as 13th century by both English Heritage and Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, with the latter considering the unbuttressed tower - with Y-tracery - to be typical of the later part of this century.

A detail of the east elevation of the tower

It provides another example of the difficulties of unravelling the construction history of mediaeval churches without the aid of documentary evidence but, looking closely at the tower, various changes in the style of masonry and the type of stone used can clearly be distinguished.

A view of the south elevation of the tower

The cobble masonry to the lowest stage of the west elevation is very similar to that seen in the adjacent aisles and, looking up to the top of the tower, flattish roughly squared blocks of pale yellow dolomitic limestone have been laid out in regular courses above these - with some of these containing recycled sandstone and limestone cobbles.

A general view of the west elevation of the tower

An old roofline on the east face of the tower shows the former position of the roof to the nave, which existed before the rebuilding of the clerestory and the raising of the tower in the late 15th century, using dolomitic limestone ashlar that contrasts strongly in colour and texture with the earlier parts of the church.

A general view of the north elevation of the tower and the north aisle

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