Tour of St. Simon & St. Jude Church

The Nave

In about 1350 the Nave was widened towards the south. Note the remains of a rood-loft stairway in the north-east wall, which is entered by a pointed doorway in the north aisle [vestry]. In the fourteenth century there was obviously, as in many churches, either a rood loft or screen across the archway into the chancel. It was from here that instrumentalist accompanied the worship. The loft or screen would have been surmounted by a rood, a representation of Christ on the Cross with Our Lady and St. John at the foot. Below this archway is a low panelled screen of the early 17th century with round-headed, carved panels, carved strapwork uprights, and moulded rails. There are clerestory windows, three in number, on the south side only.
The oak pulpit is of the late 18th century. The font, with its plain octagonal bowl with carved heads of a man and a woman on the west side, dates from the late 14th century.

There is evidence that, at one time, at the west end of the chancel, there was a gallery which was described as “ of modern erection”, and on the front of which, in large capitals, were the names of “ JOSEPH KITELEE, THOMAS KITELEE, WILLIAM SOMON, BENJAMIN CHURCHILL, THE PRINCIPAL INHABITANTS OF THE PARISH AT WHOSE EXPENCE IT WAS BUILT”. This gallery was apparently removed during the Victorian restoration. [ During the latter part of the 19th century it was humorously referred to as ‘the Fishes Gallery’ because the families who sat in it, being some of the leading families, were the Pikes, the Whitings and the Eels!]

Interior of Castlethorpe Chuch c.1891
Church interior c.1892.
The conclusion for this date is because the photograph of the choir dated 1891,
is by the same photographer and mounted in a similar style.
The east window was replaced sometime after 1899. Caroline Walpole died in 1899 and her children had new window made and dedicated to her.

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