Astoft

 

Heckington,  Lincolnshire  - St Andrew's Church
14th century

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Notes in italics from Lincolnshire by Nikolaus Pevsner, John Harris, Nicholas Antram (2002)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London


A large town church in a village, in fact one of the dozen or so grandest churches in Lincolnshire.
Like Sleaford, it is a church remembered for its Dec exuberance. It is moreover all of a piece ...

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 ... and the 'clou' of the whole building, the six-light E window, one of England's greatest displays of flowing tracery. As at Sleaford, one never ceases to be amazed at the fertility of invention displayed in these windows with their ogees, reticulation units, and mouchettes in infinitely varied combination.


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Broach spire with big polygonal pinnacles, not standing on the broaches but merging oddly into them. Three tiers of lucarnes in alternating directions with gable-stop figures and finials. Tall clerestory of three-light windows, the tracery with two encircled trefoils and one reticulation unit. ... The S aisle windows have reticulated tracery. ... The S porch has buttresses with niches ... Up the gable rises a parapet with a delicious band and in the spaces two shields, then two angels, then two kneeling figures, and finally Christ ( a replacement), all against a leafy background.

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The S transept S window is a glorious piece of flowing tracery. Five lights and of daring irregularities. The transept buttresses have once more the niches with gables and figure-stops like tower and S porch. .. The transepts are strangely undetermined in that they keep well below the height of the nave clerestory and are followed by what looks like the E bay of the nave, before the chancel starts. The tracery is not reticulated here. At the E end of this bay ... the crocketed spirelet of the rood-stair turret. The E windows of the transept are the same as those of the clerestory.  On the N transept, the E windows are strange ... with trefoils in the head which have an ogee at the top of the top foil. The transept has plain buttresses and a plain parapet.


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North arcade

Looking west:
Chancel arch shafts, E bay of nave, S transept, S arcade, tower arch

Looking east 

Interior. The arcades are of four bays, the piers not really quatrefoil but a square with four demi-shafts almost covering it and no fillets. The arches are double-chamfered. The transept arches are higher and wider, but the responds are the same. Towards the W side of the transept the third pier is continued by a short piece of wall covered by a blank arch. .. The tower arch has five shafts with deep hollows and filleting (and) a triple-chamfered arch ..
The N aisle windows are reticulated but they are uncusped and look like a late, poor remodelling. The N clerestory windows are an odd mixture of reticulation and quatrefoils on quatrefoils, surprisingly ambiguous and perhaps not original.


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Altar Sedilia Piscina Tomb Recess Easter Sepulchre

In the chancel are the four fitments which have made Heckington famous in England. They are the sedilia, piscina, Easter Sepulchre, and a tomb recess. All have the most exuberant ogee and crocket work, plenty of knobbly foliation, buttress-shafts, gables and finials. ... The tomb recess, cusped and subcusped, contains the monument to Richard de Potesgrave, rector from 1308 to 1345, who became chaplain to Edward III. He founded a chantry in the church in 1328; the rebuilding of the chancel, with its furnishings, must have taken place around the same time, as the date 1333 was recorded in the E window. 
From a notice by the Easter Sepulchre: "This example of an Easter Sepulchre is one of the three finest in England. It was built to accommodate the Host during the period of fast and vigil from Good Friday to Easter morning. On either side of the aperture are the women at the tomb and below are the sleeping Roman guards ... Above is the Risen Christ, attended by censing angels."

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In the S transept are sedilia with round shafts, knobbly capitals, and arches with openwork cusps, and no ogees.
Font. Six-sided, Dec, stem and bowl in one. Much crocketing and foliage.


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