Eglingham, Northumberland – St Maurice

Eglingham is north of Alnwick – and I think I have always confused it with Edlingham, a church I have visited several times. Today I went in to St Maurice’s church – NU 106 194. The church has a page on the village website – http://www.eglingham.info/st-maurices-church-eglingham – and there is a tourist trail which was produced back in 2013 at https://www.glendalechurchtrail.org.uk/gct_eglingham.html  (the leaflet for this was also in church, and there is an information board too).

It’s a nice walk into the churchyard, past a rather nice lamp, and through into a plain and “much restored, but picturesque” church (to quote Pevsner). The Chancel Arch is the oldest part of this church – dating back to the C12 when the first church was built on this site. We know that Ceolwulf, the Saxon king of Northumbria granted the hamlet to the monastery of Lastingham in North Yorkshire.

The oldest feature in the church is probably the octagonal font. It is thought to be the work of William Butement, is dated 1663, with the initials C.R. (probably referring to Charles II). It bears several masons’ marks and inscriptions – I assume it is a chalice? I wonder how many children it has seen baptised, and how much we’ve lost in recent years now that baptisms are no longer the norm.

There are a good selection of memorials. Some very old ones. Others remember Vicars and their wives who served this village for decades. Some war heroes (including Oswald Carr whose money paid for the spire on the C13 tower). Nice to see that the dissenting minister is remembered here too.

Several of the pews have notices on, telling you who had paid to sit there, and the organ has a notice telling you how dangerous organs can be.

They have made the north transept into a separate room (but given no thought to disabled access) and, of course, one would expect flat access to an altar!

There is some nice Victorian stained glass, and some glass by Leonard Evetts – I miss Evetts windows. (If you’re a new reader of this blog, go back and search for him – he’s even got his own category in the search function on the right of the screen).

Outside is lovely too – one interesting stone (wonder how/if they got permission for that!). A rather nice church – imagine spending your life with just this one, and your library for company.

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