Wednesday, 25 July 2018

St. James the Great - The Interior

A view east along the nave

When I first visited the church of St. James the Great in Norton, on the last day of March in 2017, it was locked and I only had a brief look at the exterior and the porch. A year later, taking advantage of one of their Farmers Markets, I had the opportunity to take a good look at its interior. 

A view to the west from the chancel

Unexpectedly, I found that all of the very heavy pews in the nave had been moved aside to make way for market stalls, where a wide variety of craft products were available for sale and, one time, a tiny Shetland pony was brought into the church. 

The font

With the church crowded with people, and many of the details obscured or not readily accessible – such as the unusual nine sided Early English font - I wasn’t able to closely study the details, but the principal features were still clearly visible. 

A carved impost to the south arcade

Like very many others that I saw during my extensive tour of mediaeval churches in South Yorkshire and the surrounding counties, in 2016, the Early English north arcade has transitional style columns dating to around the turn of the 13th century but those of the south arcade – which are considered to be 14th century – are octagonal in section. 

A view west along the nave to the lopsided tower arch

The narrow tower arch, which is also Early English, is quite unusual in that it is distinctly lopsided and, like All Saints church in Aston-cum-Aughton, the span of the easternmost arch to the south aisle is much wider than all of the others. 

Derbyshire crinoidal limestone

Although the time or space was not available to take a good look at the building stones, which I had easily distinguished on the exterior, I noticed the use of Derbyshire crinoidal limestone and there is a fine 16th century alabaster chest tomb, dedicated to William Blythe and his wife.

The tomb of William and Saffrey Blythe

The sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey was born in Norton and he is buried in the churchyard. He is commemorated by an obelisk in the village and, inside the church, there is a simple memorial plaque and a full sized  sculpture of him.

A sculpture of Sir Francis Chantrey

No comments:

Post a Comment