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Church architecture and history

Lyndn church towerLyndon Church is for the most part 13th and early 14th century. There is evidence of an earlier church and of very considerable restoration in 1865.

The Church Tower

The Tower was built in three stages. From the outside you can see the string courses, the moulded plinth at the base and the battlemented parapet above. It is 14th century with the upper part being rebuilt in the 15th century.  The thin coat of original mortar on the upper part especially on the South face of the tower should be noted: many churches particularly those built of small soft stone were rendered in this way.

scratch dialSouth Porch

The South Porch was restored in 1924 but the doorway is 13th century. There is a scratch dial on the east jam of the main doorway which is a very simple form of sun dial, usually in a circular shape. Scratch dials were scratched or carved into the exterior church wall and used to tell the time of church services when clocks were unknown or exceptionally rare.

Cross

The broken cross displayed in the west window was found when part of a house in the village was demolished. According to one account it is part of the Village Cross which stood at the crossroads and to another it is the head of a finial cross from above some chancel arch and dates back to about 1130.

The Nave

stepsThe Nave with its arcades and the chancel arch are from the early 14th century. The double chamfered arcading and the clerestory were the subject of much restoration in 1865. On the North arcading, the aperture in the eastern pillar indicates the earlier existence of a rood loft: see the remaining stairs on the north side of the pillar.

Opposite, high on the corresponding pillar on the south side is a plaque which records Thomas Barker's gift to the poor of Lyndon in 1708. This Thomas Barker died without direct heirs and the Hall passed to Samuel Barker of South Luffenham, the father of Thomas Barker the meteorologist.

There is a variety of carved heads on each pillar of the tower arch, in the spandrils of the centre pillars of the nave and at the springs of the roof arches. Most of these appear original but one or the two are probably more recent. The clerestory windows are in the style of the 14th century architecture of the rest of the church but are part of the 1865 restoration, only the hood moulds being original. The glass itself and also that in the aisles may be 18th century. The pews were installed in 1865. The chest by the south door is Jacobean.

fontFont

The Font is 12th century; the square stone bowl with its rudely carved animals, scroll and ornamental features stands on a more recent base. It was found buried in the churchyard in 1865.

Aisles

The south aisle dates from the early 13th century church. The empty stone bracket for a statue at the east end below the brass memorial plaque to members of the Conant family is intriguing. The 1914–1918 War Memorial is on the south wall at the west end. The north aisle was widened in the 1865 restoration. At the east end is an early window, with tracery and mullions removed, and the remains of the staircase to the rood loft. The pointed three light windows are from the 1865 restoration built in the 14th century architectural style. The glass may well be 18th-century

Chancel

The Chancel dates from the 14th century. The west window, the arch to the organ chamber and the doorway on the south side are all built in that style but are part of the 1865 restoration which included the alabaster pulpit and the reredos: the altarpiece behind the altar, depicts religious iconography including the Passover in Egypt.

The Organ chamber added in 1865 contains a Henry Willis organ of that period.

Roofs

The nave and the aisles roofs are copper. The chancel, organ chamber and porch are Collyweston slate.   Look for the four gargoyles on either side of the knave roof but, be ready for a rude surprise on the north side?  It is nice to know our predecessors had a sense of humour!  We even have our own graffiti, look for it scratched on one of the north windows of the nave.

The Floor has been repaired and replaced several times over the last 150 years. In 2005 a new Clipsham stone floor was laid and an easy entry wheelchair ramp added at that time.

Bells

The four Bells: treble 26 inch from 1597, second 28 inch 1624, third 30 inch 1716 and tenor 34 inches 1687 ring out on various occasions throughout the year, with the help of visiting bell ringers.  The treble and second bells were recast by Taylor & Co. Loughborough in 1889.