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METHWOLD HISTORY GROUP

Crown Street, Methwold

HISTORY

St. George`s Church is a Grade One Listed Building, situated in the middle of a conservation area.

The first church was built on the site in the 1200`s. It was a Gothic “Decorated” church. Within the first 100 years the body of the church was destroyed by fire and the present nave, with its enlarged aisles was built. The original east walls of the “Decorated” aisles are incorporated in the present ones. The only parts of the original church to survive are the chancel, the chancel arch and the tower. The east window still displays the original tracery.

During the rebuilding of the nave in the 1400s, Gothic “perpendicular” windows were inserted in the side walls of the chancel and the ground floor of the tower. At the same time, an octagonal corona and a long, thin spire were built on the tower. The design was probably inspired by the belfry of Bruges . When the Bruges spire burned down, it left the spire and corona of Methwold unique in the world. English Heritage recently contributed 60% to the cost of extensive repairs to the stonework of the tower, corona and spire.

FEATURES

The church contains many carved works on the stonework and the opinion is that half were carved by a conventional, ecclesiastic carver, the others by an irreverent joker. A lot of fun can be had when studying the carvings carefully.

The tower used to contain six bells, four of which date back to 1630 and the other two from 1778. The tenor bell weighs over 12 cwt. In 1999 these bells and two new ones were rehung and dedicated in time for the Millennium celebrations and are now rung regularly after forty years of silence.

The church clock is a fine example of 17th century workmanship and has an unusual continental style pin-wheel escapement. An interesting feature of the clock is the spring which supports the pendulum — this is an ordinary kitchen knife (complete with handle) which was fitted by Mr Fred Merrick in about 1934 and still works perfectly.

The clock has ticked away contentedly to itself virtually undisturbed for over three hundred years, but sadly in 1999 the clock had its weights and most of its winding gear removed and replaced by two electric motors. In doing this the clock has been robbed of much of its unique character.

In the north aisle is a brass of Sir Adam de Clifton which has a sad history. Legend has it that in 1680 a rogue sexton sold Sir Adam`s brass to a passing tinker. Eventually the tinker was found and the parts of the brass which had not been sold were recovered, only to rest in the parish chest for two centuries. In 1860 the new incumbent John Denny Gedge, with some help, remounted the brass on the wall where he now stands minus various parts.

ACCESS

Due to sporadic vandalism the church is presently locked except at weekends and bank holidays. A notice is displayed on the church notice board giving details of how access may be obtained at other times.


SERVICES

Sundays. 9.15AM

CHURCHWARDENS

Mr N Guyer

Dr I Nisbet

PRIEST IN CHARGE:

Revd Joan Horan

email  01842 828034

CURATE:

Ken Waters 

email    01366 727220

In the heart of the village stands the beautiful building that is St. George’s Church

ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH