St Mary - Higham Ferrers West Porch - Higham Ferrers Pipe and Tabor Player

The church of St Mary was built between 1220-1280, and extended between 1320-1350. The west porch doorway is recessed, and the tympanum has 13th century roundels depicting biblical stories. Carved into the spandrels of the north west window is a pipe and tabor player, probably of a similar date.

Annunciation roundel medieval carving Jesus amongst the doctors roundel medieval carving

The scenes in the tympanum include the Annunciation, and Jesus amongst the doctors,

Crucifixion roundel medieval carving C13 Three Mary's at the Tomb roundel medieval carving

the crucifixion, and the three Mary’s at the tomb.

St Mary - Higham Ferrers church interior St Mary - Higham Ferrers church interior early English arches

Inside this is a spacious building that used to be a Collegiate Church, the nave arcade is four bays in the Early English style.

Misericord Chichele Arms medieval woodwork Misericord Archbishop Chichele Portrait medieval woodwork

The college in Archbishop Chichele’s time had a master, seven chaplains, four clerks, and six choristers. The misedricords in the choir stalls are carved with a number of designs including the Arms of Archbishop Henry Chichele, and a portait of him with two clerks.

Pelican misericord medieval woodwork misericord medieval woodwork

Other designs feature a Pelican feeding her young with it’s own blood, and other mythical beasts and portraits.

Brass monument c1540 Medieval brass monument Brass monument

The church also contains a number of brass monuments , including a civilian of c1540, a large monument of 4ft 3in figures c1425 to Archbishop Chichele’s brother and wife, and the Henry Denton (1498) chaplain of Chelveston wearing priest vestments.

Brass to Laurence St. Maur Brass to Laurence St. Maur

The most famous monument though, is one of the earliest English brasses and reputed to be the best in England, is that dedicated to Laurence St. Maur (d1337) dean of Hereford. Around his neck is rectangle of cloth embroidered with cinquefoils. He is wearing a liturgical vestment which is heavily embroidered. Above the main figure in the canopy is a group of figures with Abraham seated in the middle and Saint Andrew and St. Peter to the left of him and St. Paul and St. Thomas to the right. The angels on either side of Abraham hold the soul of Laurence St. Maur.

Kemp Tower Stained Glass Shrigley and Hunt stained glass Kemp Tower Stained Glass

The church also contains stained glass windows by Kemp and Tower, and the Lancaster firm of Shrigley and Hunt.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2011 at 11:59 pm and is filed under East Northamptonshire District, Northamptonshire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.