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Castle Hedington

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Main Misericords Text

History of St Nicholas, Castle Hedington, Essex.

The current church dates from the 12th century, however there was almost certainly an earlier foundation on this site. It appears that every generation has modified the church, which could have led to an almighty mess, but actually, St Nicholas has a wonderful character reflecting the history of both Castle Heington and the de Vere family (the Earls of Oxford).  

Unusually, the church has retained 3 Norman doors, the south door is known as a “skin door” - Essex tradition has it that the skin of a church robber should be nailed to the the door to dissuade further criminals - not such a bad idea for modern times(?)  During the 19th century restoration traces of, reportedly human skin were found on this door, which also has some very interesting ironwork showing what appears to be a boar.

There must have been a tower at some point previous to the 17th century as one of the bells is dated 1430, however the current tower, which uses 15th century brick was built in the 17th century - the brick is probably reused from some 15th century buildings which were demolished at that time.

The misericords date from the 15th century, although it is uncertain which part, however, as John de Vere, 12th earl of Oxford and his eldest son were executed in 1461 by the Yorkists, during the Wars of the Roses, it is likely that the misericords were installed so that masses could be sung for them.  Unusually there are 7 conjoined misericord stalls on the south side of the choir, whilst on the north side  there are 3 conjoined stalls and one separate misericord stall.  There are, however, some inconsistencies, S-02 has branched supporters, whilst the others do not and S-03 has five ball flowers at the rear of the misericord.

Major restoration work was carried out in the 19th century and three more bells were added in the early 20th century.


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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n1.1.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n1.4.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n1.6.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n1.8.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n1.10.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n2.1.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n2.6.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n2.9.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n2.10.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n3.1.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n3.5.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n3.8.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n3.9.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n4.1.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n4.4.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats n4.5.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s1.2.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s1.3.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s1.8.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s2.2.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s2.4.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s2.5.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s2.8.jpg
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St Nicholas Church Castle Hedington Essex 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork pity seats s6.9.jpg
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