St Peter, Ketteringham, Norfolk
In 2006, I wrote: Ketteringham is just south of the major A11 street, but intelligent planning policies have still left it sensation remote much more remote than it felt in advance of the new street was constructed, likely. The village straggles alongside a mile or so of street, and the church is about 50 percent a mile to the south. My OS map showed a street major up to it, but when we looked for this street it turned out to be the non-public generate of Ketteringham Hall, and was very firmly locked off. Alternatively, we had to go out into the place on the street to East Carleton and then occur back northwards towards the church. It sits quickly beside an additional entrance to the Hall grounds, and you can see at once that it was a park church, the major churchyard entrances pointing towards gates into the grounds, the community lychgate in the corner extra pretty much as an afterthought.
A further sign that this was a park church is that it was patently supplied a excellent going more than in the late 18th century. The antiquarian-minded squirearchy of the moments didn’t know considerably about medieval architecture, but it understood what it appreciated. Consequently, the fortress-like pinnacle to the tower stairway, and the guardian angels at the other a few corners. The people of the Hall at the time have been the Atkyns their successors have been the Boileaus, whose well-known mausoleum is to the east of the church. It was constructed under very traumatic situations, just one of the central incidents in Owen Chadwick’s masterly Victorian Miniature, a e book I only go through just after my pay a visit to below, but which will deliver me back there as shortly as possible.
There have been four major family members that have still left their perception below – the Grays, the Heveninghams, the Atkyns and the Boileaus. The atmosphere of the interior, at once rustic and grand, tells you that the Boileaus had much more say in the nineteenth century than the ecclesiologists of Oxford and Cambridge at any time did. Sir John Boileau, the hot-tempered, paternalistic Squire, was accountable for the exquisite west gallery he invested thirty years in dispute with the vain, egotistical, Calvinist Rector William Andrew, and his appalling spouse Ellen, a tale recounted in Chadwick’s e book.
The critical allows you in through the vestry, and you action into a chancel which is pretty frustrating in the amount of its memorials. There are more than 500 years truly worth of them from all four family members, and the best thing is that they are pretty much all the two intriguing and quirky – handful of of them are simply pompous or operate of the mill.
There are, broadly speaking, four teams. On the south aspect of the chancel is a large table tomb which could possibly once have formed an Easter sepulchre. Established in its recess are two late fifteenth century brasses to Sir Henry and Woman Grey. An more mature brass to Jane Grey is established on the wall to the west of it. Relocating west, the huge tomb by Robert Site for Edward Atkyns, who died in 1750, seems like absolutely nothing so considerably as a bath tub with lion’s ft.
Immediately reverse is the relatives pew of the Atkyns, afterwards that of the Boileaus – memorials of the two family members tower earlier mentioned it, most prominently the weeping girl and urn on the Richard Westmacott memorial to father and son Edward and Wright Atkyns the array of weapons stacked beside the urn recall that the son died in struggle.
This is echoed in just one of the afterwards brass inscriptions established down below to Charles Augustus Penryn Boileau, youngest son of Sir John Boileau. Something of a rake, he went to the Crimean War as a way of escaping his money owed, and died in Malta on his way property as a result of accidents suffered at the 1855 seige of Sebastapol a tangle of musket, sword, bugle and so on, is starkly carved from stone beneath.
A memorial of very similar sizing to John, Charles’ eldest brother, matches it much more successful in community daily life than his brother, he was a parliamentary non-public secretary to Lord John Russell. Russell’s retirement coincided with the conclude of the Crimean War John rushed out to see it conclude, but caught a fever in Austro-Hungary. He arrived property, but was sent to the south of France to recuperate. He acquired as significantly as Dieppe, and died there in 1861.
In between the two brasses is a central, much larger just one to their mom and dad SIr John Boileau, his movements, abilities and feelings recognized to us currently from Chadwick’s e book, a bull-headed however sympathetic character who could possibly have stepped out of the webpages of Trollope, and his spouse Catherine.
Catherine should have been remembered by a memorial window depicting the Saint that gave her identify but there was such an uproar in the parish, fanned by the Rector, about acquiring an graphic of a Saint in the church that Sir John relented. The Rector, who was not unkind, claimed to Sir John that his finest fear was that the straightforward men and women of the parish could possibly feel it was the Virgin Mary.
Maybe the most curious memorial is the most westerly just one of this team. It is a 1910 memorial to Charlotte Atkyns, who died in Paris in 1836, and is buried in an unmarked grave born a Walpole, she observed herself caught up in the activities of the French Revolution, and the inscription further more remembers that she was the friend of Marie Antoinette, and designed quite a few courageous makes an attempt to rescue her from prison and just after that Queen’s dying strove to rescue the Dauphin of France. She bankrupted the relatives fortunes in her quest, mortgaging the Ketteringham estate and boasting to have invested an extraordinary eighty thousand lbs ., about fifteen million in today’s cash.
Owen Chadwick remembers that, on her dying, she requested that her entire body be returned to Ketteringham and a marble slab be placed on the chancel partitions. Her relations of the time, still left destitute by her enthusiasms, not unreasonably failed to carry out both ask for. You could possibly feel that Charlotte’s Francophile adventures and the French identify of the Boileaus could possibly indicate a relatives link in fact, the Boileaus have been an outdated Huguenot relatives who arrived to Norfolk by way of Dublin, and already owned Tacolneston Hall. They bought the bankrupt Ketteringham estate just after Charlotte’s dying.
Maybe the best of all the memorials is in the north-east corner of the chancel, to Sir William Heveningham and his spouse Mary. It is curious, the way the figures and prayerdesk at the bottom, and the ascending angel earlier mentioned, seem to obscure the inscription but there may well be a cause for this. Sir William was just one of all those who sat in judgement on Charles I, and though he did not in fact sign the dying warrant, he was deprived of his inheritance, and for a lot of years his identify was under a cloud.
St Peter is clearly truly worth the pay a visit to for the memorials on your own, but there is fairly much more to it than that. The church has just one of the best collections of medieval and Flemish glass in central Norfolk. 1 of the most intriguing facets of the assortment, supplied that the Hall was in the hands of four potent family members more than the generations, is that it includes a fifteenth century Gray arms, and so we may well perhaps think that the family members that gathered the afterwards continental glass have been introducing it to English medieval glass that was already in situ.
The most important glass is an English medieval Coronation of the Queen of Heaven, an extraordinarily exceptional pair of panels. Also English are quite a few angels, a Saint Cecilia enjoying her psaltery, and a Bishop. Continental roundels involve St Barbara, and there is also a interesting St Christopher with a hermit hunting on, which I get to be fifteenth century continental.
1 of the hanging things about the east window is that this is a assortment established for show. I think that this was the perform of the late 18th century Atkyns relatives. Mary Parker tells me that the entire window was reset in 1908 by the King workshop of Norwich, and that some of it is now in reverse get to that supplied in an account of 1851. Some of the panels are in very poor condition, and I fear that this may well be mainly because they have been at first established back-to-entrance, that is to say with the portray outside, uncovered to the factors. The King restoration corrected this, but not in advance of the injury had been accomplished.
If St Peter had none of the glass, and none of the memorials both, there would continue to be considerably to suggest it. The font is interesting four of the panels function evangelistic symbols, and two other folks flowers but the ultimate two panels are very unconventional. They are the only two that seem to have suffered iconoclasm just one is obviously a crucifixion scene, anything like that which you uncover often on fonts in the seven sacraments collection. The eighth panel is harder to decode. It shows a seated figure keeping a workers – could it be Christ in judgement? Or the Mother of God enthroned? It is tricky to say. The renewed roof, with its restored angels, is established on fantastic corbels, and there is a excellent look at of them from up in the gallery. This is a tiny, narrow church, and the intimacy of the sights from aloft is considerably to be suggested. In such a tiny developing it even offers a excellent vantage stage for photographing the east window if you have a respectable zoom.
Sir John Boileau constructed the gallery as a way of furnishing lodging for the Sunday School, an interference that the Rector deeply resented. There was no way that Sir John’s liberal paternalism and the Rector’s fundamentalist intransigence have been at any time most likely to accommodate every single other. The firm safety of tenure liked by the two, and the further more resources of friction that arose among them, not least the interference of the Rector’s spouse, designed the condition explosive.
All all over are hatchments of Atkyns and Boileaus. There is no doubt that they had their say, but surprisingly adequate there is no perception of triumphalism fairly, they mark a church which is a authentic backwater, the two geographically and in phrases of English church furnishing and decoration. But if this was a backwater, it was a moneyed just one there is a authentic high quality to the way all the things was carried out below, and this remains currently. As a excellent illustration, get the late sixteenth century portray on boards of the Marriage at Canaa in use as a reredos. My goodness, what a thing to uncover in an English place church! At the time it was painted, we have been all enthusiastic protestants, stripping our church buildings and our lives of things of attractiveness. But below it is, an extraordinary Flemish survival, likely gathered in the early nineteenth century.
As I claimed at the start, Norfolk is continue to full of surprises. This is not a church you uncover by accident, and so it absolutely repays the effort and hard work of acquiring below and acquiring in. What must it have been like to go to divine provider below in the nineteenth century? I think that the entire parish, rather considerably, labored for the Hall. Whose aspect have been they on in the lengthy-running dispute among Squire and Rector? The Rector had the advantage of a a few-decker pulpit. The studying light-weight now faces north-west, but at just one time he would have confronted north-east, to handle the Hall pew. This must have supplied him anything of an advantage on a Sunday.
But currently it is the Hall family members we remember the Grays, the Heveninghams, the Atkyns and particularly the Boileaus. So, spare a look and a imagined in advance of leaving for the chilly stone memorial on the south nave wall for William Wayte Andrew, Rector through the center years of the nineteenth century. In his evangelical Calvinist zeal he confronted up to the Boileaus, but it must be with pursed lips that he is a silent witness to them now.
Simon Knott, 2006, up-to-date 2016
Tagged: , Ketterinham , Norfolk , East Anglia , church , church buildings