A celebration for Scotland

For St Andrew's Day, we look at our top 5 churches dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland. (With 21 churches dedicated to St Andrew, of course, it was tough to whittle down...)

1. St Andrew's, Bywell, Northumberland

The tall tower of St Andrew's is a magnificent example of a late Anglo-Saxon building. Dating from about 850, it has massive walls 5 metres thick, clearly intended for defence. The main body of the church dates from the thirteenth century, and set into the walls, both inside and outside, are magnificent early medieval grave slabs. These are boldly carved with emblems denoting the status of the person they commemorate - swords, shields, a hunting horn, shears and a book.

Cross-slabs at St Andrew's, Bywell

 

2. St Andrew's, Wroxeter, Shropshire

St Andrew's is built on the Roman site of Viroconium, the fourth largest town of Roman Britain. An archaeologist's dream, the gateposts are made from Roman columns; the collosal font is made from an inverted Roman column base; the walls contain Anglo-Saxon cross shafts and Romanesque carvings. Inside, fifteenth century glass sits in tracery over pews and monuments from the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries.

Roman column-base font at St Andrew's, Wroxeter

 

3. St Andrew's, Gunton, Norfolk

This 18th century church is a rare temple style church by Robert Adam. Designed in the form of a Classical temple, it is tucked away in the landscaped parkland of Gunton Hall. The effect of suddenly coming upon a Palladian portico through the trees is dramatic.  It is Adam's only complete church in England.

Robert Adam's temple-style church at Gunton

 

4. St Andrew's, Winterborne Tomson, Dorset

This tiny chapel, built of flint and stone, with a tiny weather-boarded bell turret, has barely been altered since it was built in Norman times.

The church escaped total ruin in 1931 only when The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings sold a collection of Thomas Hardy manuscripts to pay for repairs. Hardy was once an architect's assistant in this part of Dorset, but this church does not seem to have featured in any of his novels.

 

5. St Andrew's, Walpole, Norfolk

This worn but handsome marshland church has a lovely brick-and-stone tower and typical East Anglian Perpendicular interior. In the shadow its glamorous Gothic sister, Walpole St Peter, with lead theft, decaying masonry and vandalism, this church has been down on its luck for some time.

However, in 2017 St Andrew's luck changed. With a grant from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund and a reinvigorated community, this church is being willed back to life. We still need to raise £10,000 to finish the roof repairs.

 

If you're looking for some more St Andrew's churches, head to our website and see wonders such as our churches at Cranford, Buckland, Ufford and Shotley...

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