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Sunday, February 18, 2018

A tale of two Churches - Chickney and Thaxted

When I bought Simon Jenkins England's 1000 Best Parish Churches back in the 90's!! I started by visiting all of the local churches but one was a mystery to me.

Where for goodness sake was Chickney? You see it was situated in a part of the county I had driven through a lot (near Thaxted) but I had NEVER heard of it..... I went out for a ride...tick tick tick..... and then where is Chickney? I knew the road it must be on but could I find it? There was not a single sign for Chickney. Eventually I noticed a sign to Chickney gun club down a narrow road. I drove slowly down and soon saw a spire poke through the trees. It was a lovely discovery.

Chickney was then, and is today, in the care of the very wonderful Churches Conservation Trust. Totally understandable as there is no settlement. According to Wikipedia in 2001 the population was 38!

Anyway the church! St Mary's..... is a saxon nave and chancel (extended during Henry III reign in the  13th century) with a small 14th century tower capped by a spire. It is very simple and atmospheric. Don't expect lots of fine furnishings, glass and tomb.... this is a church for its antiquity, setting and atmosphere.

Oh and I've never found it shut.... the CCT website says it is open 10-4 daily. Oh and now the turn off is very well signposted!

This was the original altar (buried at the reformaton and later restored). It has 5 crosses carved into it.

So on to Thaxted.

Slightly grander....


Ragged Robin said...

A lovely series of photos. Both churches are beautiful in their own way. Have you got the new CCT book "Beautiful Churches" by Matthew Byrne? One day I will visit the church they look after near Stratford.

Pete Duxon said...

No.... I'll have a look!