|Tour of All Saints' Church, Little Staughton, Bedfordshire, part 2
|Taking a couple of steps further into the Church, one is struck by its complete simplicity. There are no stained glass windows, no large tombs or ostentatious memorials to great men of the past - just plain white washed walls and clear glass windows. The font at the west end of the church, which dates back to 15th century, is also made from plain undecorated stone. The font cover was made in 1916 from oak taken from the spire when it was restored in 1910.
Closer examination however reveals slight traces of the
Church's medieval past. The base of the two pillars at
the rear of the south side of nave show evidence of the
rich paintwork which would have adorned all the pillars
in medieval times. If one looks towards the chancel, on
either side of the chancel arch are two protruding pieces
of stone called "corbels". These would have supported
the "rood" beam upon which would have been a large crucifix
and other Easter symbols. Below the beam would have been
a screen which separated the nave from the chancel. Next to the sepulchre is the pipe organ made by the Yorkshire firm of Conacher & Co and installed in 1925. The choir stalls were also acquired in that year.
The lower parts of the nave are probably 13th century.
The nave is lit by six windows high up the wall, known
as clerestory windows. These may have been added in the
15th century. If one looks carefully at the top of those
on the north wall, one can see remnants of the stained
glass which would have filled them. The window at the
chancel end of the north wall was added later and was
probably inserted to give light to the pulpit.
The Church's original chancel was rebuilt in 15th century.
Some parts of the original chancel remain. On the south
side of the sanctuary is a stone basin and drain, known
as a piscina, which would have been used by the priest
for washing the holy vessels during mass. The piscina
has small pillars in semi relief on three of its corners.
The fourth pillar, which stood alone, has long been lost.
On the north side of the chancel is a canopied recess
with quatrefoils on the wall below. This dates from the
14th century and, until the latter part of 16th century,
this would have been an Easter sepulchre where the consecrated
bread and wine were kept between Good Friday and Easter
Sunday. To hide its true origins, the recess purports
to be the tomb of William Lake, rector of the parish from
1644 to 1679.
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