A while back a reader (Ed) was kind enough to point me towards a few churches in my part of the world, that are of particular note. A couple of these I knew, but St Mary the Virgin, in Puddletown was not one of them. I set off with some (movie) FP4 and my Nikon F3 to explore.
One enters the church through the North Porch – directly opposite the South Porch, above which is the reasonably recently discovered Coat of Arms of James 1st. Painted over in the puritan period.
The opposite wall carries another painting, that of the Lords Prayer. The window to it’s right, has been restored to it’s original length having once had it’s sill raised to prevent a possibly bored congregation looking out of the window!
Looking up the nave, the cancel was restored to it’s original length in a 1910 restoration, apparently the wood panelling dates from that same time, although it fits in well. The pulpit on the right has a sounding board to help project the sound!
There is a South Chapel known as the Athelhampton Chapel, and houses brasses dedicated to the Martyn family, and tombs.
Looking back up the nave, is perhaps the most impressive sight. The wooden balcony dating back to the 1634-1637 restoration. The crest on it’s front records the date. Before the organ was installed a small “orchestra” was housed there.
Up in the balcony one can get a closer look at the organ and also down the length of the church. It’s worth noting the box style pews, not so common these days!
Meanwhile outside the West Tower contains most of the oldest bits of the building, 12th century.
If ever you are in this part of the world, and have even a passing interest in churches, it’s well worth popping your head in the door – it’s a lovely church with a nice feel!