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Author Topic: St Leonards Church, Hythe.  (Read 10065 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 23:50:46 »
Not a lot has changed!  Thank you for hunting it out for us :)

Offline conan

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 19:10:40 »
Here we go,I knew I had it somwhere,it's stuck in an old scrapbook so please excuse the purple surround :)

To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline conan

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 00:25:11 »
I do remember visiting this as a youngun' in the 50s-early 60s with my parents and being very impressed,somewhere in my postcard collection I have a card purchased at the time,I'll have a look and post it up.
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline kyn

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 19:48:15 »
A couple from the crypt

Offline conan

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 20:56:27 »
Regarding the Armada chest,this might be of interest

http://www.oldlocks.com/johnc_oldchest/medieval_chest.htm
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline kyn

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 16:47:43 »


This church was built sometime around 1080, it isn’t mentioned in the Domesday Book, but it is listed in the Domesday Monachorum which lists the ecclesiastical estates of the Archbishop of Canterbury.






High Altar






It is thought that the north transept is on the site of an earlier church due to the Saxon arch sited here.




The church was enlarged in c.1120 and c.1220, and it is believed that the masons working at Canterbury Cathedral were used for this.  Additions at this time were the aisles and transepts and new and elaborate choir was added with a small apse.


Evidence of the churches earlier features include a Norman arch inside the vestry, two windows above the north aisle and a Norman arch in the south aisle.


By c.1220 the church was receiving many visits from Pilgrims heading to Canterbury, there is evidence of this by the numerous inscriptions on the columns inside the church.  These include crosses, boats (to give thanks to a safe passage) and also various symbols, the ‘M’ standing for Mary.




























Ship






During this time the Pilgrims offerings allowed the church to enlarge the chancel to the impressive three storey chancel you see today.  Also added were the side chapels, a rood screen and an ambulatory (side aisles to allow a procession to travel around the chancel.  The extra money didn’t last long as can be seen by the westernmost arches which grew smaller as they were being built.  Part of the reason for reduced offering was the plague; the population decreased greatly during this period, another problem were particularly bad storms making channel crossings difficult, if not impossible.


Looking west through the procession arch on the south side




South side chapel


North side chapel




In the early years the church would have been brightly painted and some of this paint still remains in the south aisle.  These paintings would have been destroyed, along with decoration of the church, during the Reformation.  This was also the time pews were added to the church for the first time.










This was also a period of celebratory processions through the church and an ambulatory was constructed beneath the church, this is now known as a crypt but the open ends show that its original purpose is more likely to be for use during procession.

Rear entrance to the Crypt


There is evidence of a Rood Loft in the church with access being gained through a round tower to the north of the chancel steps.  The Rood loft, screen, and Rood were removed during the Reformation.






Other medieval features are the piscina’s and carved Easter Sepulchre.





The church tower was built about 1480, it features some interesting gargoyles.  The tower was rebuilt in 1750 due to it collapsing 11 years previously, there were 10 people waiting in the porch of the church when it collapsed.  They were extremely lucky as they were there waiting for the church keys so they could go up the tower to see the views amid the storm.  It is thought that the tower was weakened by an earthquake which happened in 1580.


The former reredos to the high altar designed by George Street and sculptured by Henry Armstead in 1881.



The pulpit is from 1875 and the Venetian mosaic work is made up 20,000 pieces.


The organ was built in 1936 by Harrison & Harrison.


The Royal Coat of Arms (looks to be William IV)


Font


The ‘Armada Chest’, note the keyholes for the three keys held by three separate people.


Mass Dial, by putting a stick in the central mark it becomes a sundial to ensure mass is celebrated at the correct time.
















Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 21:48:08 »
A surprising number of Kent churches contain battlefield wooden crosses. Very moving they are too.

Offline ann

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 11:44:20 »
Yes indeed. The soldier was Robert Aubrey Hildyard who died 20th December 1916 aged 19. He was the son of Maj. and Mrs Hildyard of Hythe.  There is a similar cross at Igtham Mote of Thomas Colyer Ferguson VC.
A very interesting church, but photos were already posted here.

petermilly

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Re: St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2013, 19:19:49 »
Most moving for me was not the bones.
Inside the church, beneath the stained glass window depicting a fallen WW1 soldier are the remains of the original wooden cross erected over the solders grave at Maricourt.

Offline ann

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St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 18:33:02 »
More

Offline ann

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St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 18:31:30 »
Photos taken in crypt

Offline ann

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St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 18:17:33 »
The bones and skulls in the crypt of St Leonards Church, Hythe are believed to be the largest and best preserved collection in Britain. Estimated by past historians that they are the remains of some 4000 people, but from recent work, estimates are put at nearer 2000.

The earliest reference to the collection dates from 1678 and the earliest drawings 1787. the collection consists of shelves in 4 arched bays contain over 1000 skulls and the stack of bones and skulls measures 7.5cm in length, 1.8cm in width and is just over 1.8cm in height.

The stack has been re-piled several times, the last being in 1908 when it was reassembled on its brick base and air bricks put in. however it appears that it is starting to move outwards and a careful eye is being kept on it and measured annually to gauge this.

Many theories have been put forward over the years but it is now generally thought that the bones and skulls were those of Hythe residents who died over a long period of time and had been buried in the churchyard. When the church was extended in the 13th century and a new chancel built over the churchyard they were moved.

What looks at first glance as graffiti on some of the skulls, is in fact ink symbols made in a study over 50 years ago determining male and females. The symbol of Mars  being male, and Venus  female. However recent studies using forensic analysis are showing these to be incorrect.

Will try and post some pics.

Offline Riding With The Angels

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St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 18:14:44 »
The stair turret that serviced the rood loft also goes up to the Triforium (unusual in a parish church) in the chancel and visible in my pics. The door was locked on Saturday.

marmalade

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St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 08:30:47 »
Yes, I've been, though far more years ago than I can quite remember! When I went it was a huge pile of bones, far more than I had expected - a wall of them with the thickness one would associate with castle ruins. Fascinating for those who like to study bones, esp for disease etc! The one thing that really struck me was that there was hair in a case, a faded brown colour, and this hair was some 500 years old, I remember. It was an odd feeling, looking at something from so far back that would have been present and viewable in life.

I seem to remember also that when I went into the church, there was a way around the top windows - little archways cut in the walls between them, so people could go from sill to sill. Very high up, it was far too dangerous to be open, and certainly if it had been I wouldn't even have attempted it. Stuff of nightmares, that!

Offline Riding With The Angels

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St Leonards Church, Hythe.
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 19:06:45 »
Few Pics from inside the church












 

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