23 August, 2008

Great Dunmow - another long way to church

Another meadieval town with a bad bus service: I had to change at Stansted Airport. My mate was also being Mr Grumpy today. After lunch in the Saracen's Head - the chefs interpretation of nouvelle cuisine for the value conscious we had a look round the town.

There is a Tudor town hall and a pond on the village green, which was used by a Mr Lionel Lukin to test lifeboats. Funnily enough the vicar of Romsey from 1860, a Mr Edward Lyon Berthon also designed lifeboats.

I saw an old house at the end of the village with gables and a cupola, but the bust of a woman that Arthur Mee mentions as being above a window has gone, or it is not that house. The church is set a long way from the village but is well worth the little walk. Well proportioned with a fine chancel arch, the church is a lovely space, although the vicar expressed regret that the church had been, as he put it, vandalised in various periods in its history.
There is a unique south gallery over the door (as you can see in the picture) which was originally a guild chapel and then a family pew. Now it is just a chapel in the church

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