St Peter's church, Ropsley :: Shared Description

The present church derives its character from the timber-framed buildings of Anglo-Saxon times; Saxon long and short work is clearly visible in the North East and North West angles of the nave; on one of the Saxons quoins at the West end of the North aisle a crucifix can be seen, and the church contains fragments of the earliest stonework in existence in the country. Exactly when it was first built no one can say, but it is a living example of the architectural styles of the Saxon, Norman, Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular periods.
Who was responsible for the building we do not know, but an arched recess in the South wall of the chancel, sometimes mistaken for an Easter sepulchre, once housed his effigy, long since destroyed most probably by Puritan soldiers during the time of the civil war. During the twelfth century, the church was made larger by extending the North side. A Norman window still remains in the South wall of the chancel. Also in this wall, adjacent to the arched recess for the figure of the founder, is a double sedilia.
In the fourteenth century the chancel wall was pierced with a single arch, leading to a chapel added to the East end of the South aisle. In the arched recess near this chapel is an effigy of an unknown lady, clad in a gown, hood and chin-cloth of that period, with her head resting upon two small cushions beneath a rounded canopy.In this south chapel is an aumbrey and a piscina. A second aumbrey is found in this same wall of the south aisle and another piscina where the small hole can be seen.
In 1350 the south aisle was widened and shortly after this time the third column of the south arcade was discovered to be unsafe and taken down. A new octagonal pillar was built in its place by one Thomas Bate of Corby, as the inscription scratched on its surface and clearly visible is “Ista columna facta fuit ad festum Sancta Michelis Anno Domini MCCCLXXX et nomen factoris thomas bate de corby”. This can be translated as “That column was made for the feast of St Michael in the year of our Lord 1380 and the name of the maker Thomas Bate of Corby”.
In the thirteenth century the fine western tower of good plain English structure was erected. On the north east corner about 20 ft above the ground can be seen an unusual crucifix carved on the face of the stone. Above the tower rises a heavy, decorated broach spire, completed about 1320.
The curiously decorated South Porch with panelled parapet and pinnacles was built in Perpendicular style in 1483, as the inscription above the South door records. It was the work of Richard Fox, a son of Ropsley, who became the greatest statesman and bishop of his age. The entrance to the porch bears the Latin Legend “Hoc nec vade via, nisi dicas Ave Maria” which can be translated “Go not away unless ye pray an Ave Maria”. It is quite likely that the empty niche above the outside doorway once housed a statue of the Virgin Mary. The circular marking of the scratch dial or Mass clock can be seen on the left hand side of this entrance.
In the south wall of the church close by the porch and near the font is a small oblong window with wide internal splay, which has given rise to the conjecture that it may have been a form of “lepers squint” enabling the leper to take part in the service without mingling with the worshippers inside.
(Information taken from guide book in church).
by Julian P Guffogg
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SK9934 : St Peter's Church: information board by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : Trees near the churchyard by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : Church on a mound by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: the nave by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: nave roof and chancel arch by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: Tower Base by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: north arcade by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: Another plague by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: Weathervane by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: signboard by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's church: war memorial plaque by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: Porch by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: stone graffiti by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's church: south aisle and font by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: church notices by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's church: Sedilia and tomb recess by Bob Harvey
SK9934 :  St Peter's Church: Churchyard wall by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: the nave from the chancel by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : Poppy head bench end by Richard Croft
SK9934 : Str Peter's Church: chancel and chapel by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: List of incumbents by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's Church: effigy by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : Interior, St Peter's church, Ropsley by J.Hannan-Briggs
SK9934 : St Peter's church: stone graffiti by Bob Harvey
SK9934 : St Peter's church, Ropsley by J.Hannan-Briggs

... and 24 more images.

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Created: Wed, 18 Apr 2012, Updated: Wed, 18 Apr 2012

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