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March 1899 - Architect's report at the time of Badsey Church restoration 1884

Monthly Magazine for the Parishes of S James, Badsey, with Aldington & S John Baptist, Wickhamford
Transcription of article


The following notes on the history of the Church, as given in the report of the architect (T. G. Jackson, Esq.) at the time of the restoration, are worthy of being put on record. The report is dated January 1st, 1884, and says as follows:

It may be interesting if I preface my report on the present condition of your Church by some account of its history as told by itself. Like most of our English country churches, which have escaped injudicious restoration, Badsey Church, though very small, offers examples of almost every style of our native architecture. The enriched Norman door in the north wall of the nave, now blocked up, is the sole architectural feature that has survived of the church which stood here in the 12th century, but it is not impossible that the fabric of many of the walls may date from the same period, though later windows and doors have been inserted in them. The Church of that date was probably, as usual, a small building, consisting of merely a nave and chancel, communicating by a low round arch, and entered by a door on the South exactly opposite that still remaining on the North side of the Nave. The south door has however been replaced by a later one, and no chancel arch at all now exists. Probably towards the end of the 13th century the north transept was thrown out, the architectural features of which, though rudely executed, are interesting. It is possible that the South door of the nave also belongs to this date and one of the side windows in the Chancel and the adjoining door, but they are so simple that it is difficult to assign them to this rather than to the succeeding century. To the 14th century belong the East window of the Chancel, and two, if not three, of the side windows. The very interesting font belongs to the end of this or the beginning of the next century. To the 15th century belongs the fine Tower, and its arch opening into the Church, a work altogether conceived in a more magnificent spirit than that of the earlier builders. It is possible that the oak roofs of the whole church belong also to this century, but until their plaster ceilings are removed it is difficult to speak positively. To later times still belong the fine, though lamentably defaced monument in the North Chancel wall, probably dating from about 1600-1620 and some panelling now worked up into pews of the last century. At this time the Church seems to have been repaired, and the upper part of the East gable perhaps rebuilt, as the date 1653 cut on it implies, the old 13th century gable cross being carefully reset. The church retains another very fine cross dating from the 14th century on the gable of the north transept which has the peculiarity of being set to face east and west. I will not venture to say it was so set by the original builders. There is a handsome Communion Table bearing the date 1730, which is probably that of the re-pewing of the Church in something like its present form. The modern pulpit contains some panels much mutilated of the 15th or 16th century. There is a modern porch of no character which has replaced an older one. The Church is built of lias rubble which has stood but badly, as is usually the case with this material, and has consequently been rough cast over. The dressings are of Broadway stone, a fine yellow oolite with which the whole of the Tower is faced.