TF0122 : St Mary's Church: Sedilia and piscina

taken 4 years ago, near to Swinstead, Lincolnshire, Great Britain

St Mary's Church: Sedilia and piscina
St Mary's Church: Sedilia and piscina
The 3 arches are described as a Sedilia, stone seats. They are decorated with carved heads which the church guide suggests are 'those of village characters at the time they were carved', which may be the time it was created in the 14thC or may date more from when it was 'recut' in the 19thC. One such seat would be called a 'sedile', and three is the normal number, being used by the officiating priest, deacon, and sub-deacon.

To the left is a double piscina. Why double, one wonders? Piscina were used for washing liturgical implements and the hands of the clergy after the sacrament though not (as is popularly supposed) for the disposal of undrunk communion wine. This church has another piscina in the south aisle, presumably dating from when that was a separate Marian chapel.
St Mary's church, Swinstead
Grade I listed

The church dates from circa 1200 onwards, and consists of a west tower, nave plus clerestory, aisles, chancel, south porch, and vault from 1789.
The church has lead and slate roofs.
The 13th century two stage tower has an embattled parapet with pinnacles and gargoyles, and contains four bells.
The north aisle of three bays dates from the 13th century and has round pillars and rounded arches dating from 1200. There is a squint in the east wall. The south arcade is 14th century with octagonal piers. There is a piscina from this period in the south aisle. The east wall of the south aisle also has a squint although it is now obscured by the organ.
The chancel arch dates from the 13th century, the chancel was restored in 1859. It is wider than the nave on the north side, and the sedilia in the south wall has grotesque figures which may be those of village characters at the time they were carved. There is also a double piscina.
On the Eastern pier of the north nave arcade are rare armorial paintings of circa 1300 in red paint depicting coats of arms of the benefactors of the church. Painted heraldry of that date is very rare.
There is an early 14th century style font.

At the west end of the nave is a 13th century recumbent effigy of a Knight, cross legged wearing chainmail and surcoat. The style of the helmet shows that it is not later than 1272 to 1300, and traces of red pigment have been found on it which may have some connection with the painted Shields.

On the north wall of the chancel is a white marble tablet to Brownlow Bertie, fifth Duke of Ancaster who died in 1809. It depicts him and his wife on a catafalque with mourning female figure flanked by mother, children and Angel. There is also an elaborate gothic aedicule to Priscilla Bertie, Baroness Willoughby D'Eresby who died in 1828, but the memorial was erected in 1883 on the death of her daughter. The vault of 1798 contains five coffins of members of the Ancaster and Willoughby family. The vault is sealed.
The church was restored in 1854 and 1859.
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TF0122, 98 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 30 January, 2016   (more nearby)
Saturday, 13 February, 2016
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Primary Subject of Photo
Church Detail 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 0187 2244 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:47.3955N 0:29.4488W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 0186 2245
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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Other Tags
Grade I Listed  Grade I Listed Church  Sedilia & Piscina 

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