Sunday, 11 September 2016

Crime and Punishment in Stoke St Gregory

Off to North Curry with the parents again today, to meet up with my father's sister.  After lunch we headed for Stoke St Gregory and its eponymous church, which, although I've walked from the village before, I'd never visited. 


The information sheet about the Church has this to say: 'The general impression on entering the church is of light and space'. In fact, the church seems devoid of much of its history. We learn from the same sheet that there was a 'restoration' in 1888, so maybe the Victorians finished the process that started with Henry VIII and Edward VI and was continued by Cromwell's men.

There's a fine Jacobean pulpit, however, with carvings of Faith, Hope, Charity, Time and either the Virgin and Child or the Archangel with the soul of Adam.  

I like Time best.  

There were also several carvings on an adjacent screen of a women watering flowers with a watering can, topped by a quartet of rather prim looking angels, but no information about it on the guide sheet. 

I've since found mention of it online, where it says that until the 1960s, the carvings were part of a cupboard and of secular origin.  
Still in place were a couple of impressive 17th century memorials to members of the Court family ... 
... a mid-14th century font, and Elizabethan bench ends. 
But that's about it, really.
Oh, but what's this outside?
Why, it's the stocks under the yew tree opposite the porch. They date from the 17th century, and were 'used by the churchwardens as punishment for offenders at church services.' There's space for three sets of buttocks. 
These miscreants decided it was a pillory. Either way it was the best place for them.  

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