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The Church of St Bartholomew, Westhide


The Church consists of a West Tower, South Porch, South Aisle, Nave, and Chancel.

The Tower is the oldest part, having been built between 1180-1220. It was probably meant to be higher but was never completed. The interior is divided into three storeys and there are three bells. The Bell-Frame is old, and the first two bells are from the Clibury Foundry dated 1674. The third cracked and was recast at the time of extensive repairs to the tower in 1880. According to the Registrars the first clock was subscribed for in the Parish in 1728, and an acre of land was given to provide money for winding it. The present clock was installed in 1897 and extensively repaired in 1986.


The South Porch seems to have been the private entrance for the owners of the Estate to their private Chapel. The general entrance for parishioners – now blocked up – was into the South Aisle near the Tower. On the right of the door is a large stoup and a coffin lid which dates from the 14th Century.


Built around 1350 the South Aisle, which is nearly as large as the Nave, was originally a private Chapel or Chantry and at one time had a separate altar and wooden screen. On the left as you enter is a fine example of an Alabaster Slab with incised figures dating from 1524. In the South wall is a deep recess under a two-centred arch, within which is an effigy of a man dating from 1350 and there are still some remains of colour. In the South-east corner, laid on their side, are the figures of a man in armour and a woman in full-pleated skirt and stomacher, dating from the mid-16th century. On the East wall are two interesting moulded stone brackets or corbels, with the head of a Bishop and a Queen. The Font in the North-West corner of the Aisle is on grey sandstone and probably dates from the 13th century. In the 18th century it was declared that the roof of the South Aisle was painted – there are traces of medieval painting in this aisle in the apex of the East window, and on the wall of the arch on the North side are the remains of an inscription on a scroll, probably 14th century.


Although the Tower arch has scalloped capitals of the 12th century, the Nave as a whole has been the object of more modern renovations; the North wall having been rebuilt in the 19th century. There is a 14th century Arcade on the south side of the Nave. The roof dates in part from the 14th or 15th century. The pulpit was "improved" in 1801.


The Chancel was rebuilt and extended in 1865-1867 but it retains 14th century windows in the North and South walls. The North window contains fragments of class including some lettering dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. On either side of the Altar are 14th century stone brackets. In the Chancel Screen there is an encaustic tile of the 15th century which was found during renovation work in 1867.


In the Church Yard to the South-West of the Church is the shaft of the Churchyard Cross dating from the 14th or 15th century and now terminating in a 12th century scalloped capital with a sundial of 1739.


A more detailed history is available from the Parocial Church Council.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 March 2010 12:12
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