Monday, July 24, 2017

On not being able to get into St Peter and St Paul's, Exton

Pevsner says:
There are no churches in Rutland and few in England in which English sculpture from the C16 to the C18 can be studied so profitably and enjoyed so much as at Exton. The church contains nine important monuments, and several of them are of outstanding value.
And the church's webpage says it is open during daylight hours.

But when I got there today I found that, despite notices about CCTV and Church Watch, not to mention Divine Omniscience and the possibility of Eternal Damnation, it was locked.

So I enjoyed a wander round the churchyard and the views of parkland. The church was largely rebuilt after being struck by lightning in the 19th century and given a slightly eccentric tower and spire combo in the process.


David Bertram said...

Sad times. But a beautiful setting. The spire is an incongruous and squat, though attractively quirky, addition.

What can you tell us about the folly (if folly it is) in the final photograph?

Jonathan Calder said...

Exton Hall belongs to the Earls of Gainsborough. Simon Jenkins' England's Thousand Best Churches says: "The family line is Harington-Noel-Campden-Gainsborough, each hyphen adding wealth and nobility down the ages."

The folly looks like the sort of thing Lord Bonkers would erect to mark a by-election victory.

Stephen Barker said...

Many years ago I did get to see this close up. It is a dual use building either a deer or cattle shelter with a garden room in the tower. A pity that you did not get into the church as the collection of monuments are impressive especially the one by Grinling Gibbons which is almost to tall for the space it is in.

The Edwards family at Welham are connected to the Noels of Exton. Have you seen the fine marble pyramid surmounting a tomb in the mausoleum on the north side of the church erected by Mary Edwards in memory of her father Francis Edwards. Mary was an early patron of William Hogarth and his portrait of her hangs in the Frick Collection in Mew York.

The key to Welham church can be obtained from the nearby farmhouse.

Jonathan Calder said...

I have not seen monument at Welham, but someone was telling me about it only the other day. Another one for the list. Thanks.