Touching Place

ALL SAINTS, WING, BUCKS

 

As you pass through the lychgate, your immediate impression is of a late-medieval church, followed seconds later by the realization that the polygonal apsidal chapel is Anglo-Saxon, retaining original arcading (with inserted medieval windows) and blocked Saxon windows high up. Get closer, and you are looking at a 9th c. apse, with an earlier crypt underneath.

Yet it is not until you walk in through the south door that you catch your breath at the sight of the crude arches pierced through the Saxon nave walls, and you find that you are looking at the core of what was probably a 9thĖ10th c. Anglo-Saxon minster. The south aisle was rebuilt in the 14th c., but the north aisle may be largely original. At the east end of the nave is a wide Anglo-Saxon chancel arch with an original 2-light Saxon window above.

Beside the architecture, there are monuments not be ignored, especially a huge Renaissance tomb to Sir Robert Dormer (1552) in the north aisle. Two more big Dormer monuments (1590 & 1616) face each other across the apse, whilst there is a fine piece towards the west end of the nave by Roubiliac (1758).

Donít miss the brass in the south aisle to Honest Thomas Cotes, a porter at Ascott Hall (1648) and a lovely 14th c. Coronation of the Virgin in the east window of the south aisle. Crowning it all is a fine medieval roof; but it is the Anglo-Saxon structure that you will remember.

Pray that we may recapture the missionary zeal of the Anglo-Saxons and reconvert this country, beginning with ourselves.

Grid ref: SP8822

Simon Cotton

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