May 20 – Inside East Harptree church

St Laurence's church

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Today wasn’t so busy at the exhibition in the south cloister as there are three services on a Sunday so some of the Cathedral was closed at various times during the day. People could only visit the whole cathedral between 12 and 2. We did have three New Zealanders in today. The son now lives in Hastings, the UK with his wife and children so we had a nice chat with them. It was a lovely day and we had our packed lunch out in the Camery Gardens off the east cloister.

On our way home, we decided to drop into East Harptree church to see if it was open since it is a Sunday and sure enough it was. St Laurence’s is an original 12th-century church which was added to in the 13th-century and in the 15th-century the tower added. There was an amazing canopied tomb of Sir John Newton and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Anthony Poyntz. Sir John died in 1568 and along the front of the tomb was a frieze of his eight sons and twelve daughters. Above the east window over the altar was a late 19th-century wall painting with censing angels on either side of the seated Christ. Separating the nave and the chancel is a lovely 19th-century wooden chancel screen. The embroidery of note was the parament covering the lectern and the lovely processional banner of St Laurence. The sanctuary had some lovely tilework on the floor.

In the nave were three beautiful stained glass windows all by the same designer, two dated 1916 and the other 1917. One depicted Jesus teaching as a child and another depicted a Nativity scene with the Kings and shepherds to each side. Another stained glass window depicting St Laurence, St George and St Agnes holding the Lamb was designed by Karl Parsons and installed as a War Memorial in 1919 to the eight men from the village who died in World War I.