Monday, 2 January 2017

St. Nicholas Thorne - The Interior

A general view of the nave and chancel arch at the church of St. Nicholas

Entering the porch, the masonry surrounding the round arched south doorway is very similar to the rubble stone seen in the external walls of the aisles and clerestory and, walking very quickly around the interior of the church of St. Nicholas, the bulk of the walling appears to have been built in the same style.

The south doorway to the church of St. Nicholas in Thorne

In the nave, the change in masonry from rubble walling to limestone ashlar can be clearly seen high in the raised clerestory and - above the chancel arch - the rubble walling rises to the roof, providing further evidence of the extent of the structure before it was extended in the 15th century.

A general view of the chancel arch 

The current dimensions of the aisled nave and chancel had been established by c.1200 and, although there is no evidence of ancient masonry in the exterior of the chancel, the two bay north arcade and the north wall shows the same pattern of rebuilding as in the nave and they are assumed to be of the same date.

A general view of the interior of the church of St. Nicholas in Thorne

When visiting Thorne I hadn't expected to find the church open and, with a full schedule for planned for the day, I only had time to take a few photographs of the chancel and its various arches and I didn't see the remains of 12th century details, which are mentioned in the English Heritage description of the church, or any other evidence of older masonry.

A general view of the north arcade and clerestory

Although I am by no means an architectural historian or archaeologist, and I am still continuing to go through a steep learning curve in my understanding of the various Gothic styles, I was particularly impressed by the original arcades, whose finely finished profiles – carved in best quality dolomitic limestone – contrast so strongly against the rubble walling of the same age.

An example of roughly squared walling in the interior of the north aisle

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