St Peter’s Church, in the beautiful village of Tickencote, Rutland has a wow factor that any other church would envy, a superb Norman chancel arch.  The minute you come through the door you feel like you have stepped back quite a few hundred years, its almost over powering, no it is, to see it is to believe it.  The whole church has that feeling, that really you shouldn’t be there, that you are from the future.


I will do a post on the church but this splendid arch requires a post of its own.  There are technical names for all the orders, like zigzag and embattled mouldings but I would rather just look and marvel at them.  I just wonder how they carved them all.  Just one point, there are thoughts that the arch was the doorway to a single cell church, which could account for the size of it, it is massive.

12 Replies to “A Norman Beauty at Tickencote”

  1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know who carved it – the artistic skills fascinate me, it’s not as if they had access to photographs, much foreign travel or text books and yet they created these amazing pieces of art. I’d love to know how they perceived the world around them.

    1. I think they had outside help…..men from outer space….only kidding. I know it fascinates me aswell, the more you see the more you wonder 🙂

    1. Well it could be based on that, its Norman so they had to get the ideas from somewhere. I doubt that they were local stone masons, I should think that they came over from the continent and maybe they came from further a field and then once they had done one, others were copied. It is amazing when you think how old it is. 🙂

  2. I’ve heard of this church but that is something else, very nice photos. No one did chancel arches like the Normans – possibly because they were designed to put the altar underneath at this time, not right back in the chancel like it is now.

    1. Is there a reason why they put the altar underneath and would you by any chance know anything about the funny little creatures that they carved 🙂

      1. In the early days, the altar was placed among the people at the east end of the nave. By this time it had started to move eastwards as the priests got more serious about ritual. The arch has had so much attention spent on it because it may have been just in front of the most important spot in the church.
        I think if you could ask the masons at Tickencote why they were carving all these things, they would jus say they were doing what people wanted. Originally, the monsters may have been to represent all the sin of the world that the altar would overcome, but since you get them in castles and places like that you have to remember rich people just wanted to show off, and this was just the style of the time.

  3. Thank you so much, that would make sense about the arch, because someone would have paid for it wouldn’t they, all that work would not be cheap even then….is just so fascinating and just learning about the building is one thing, but then you have all the ritual and why things were placed in certain places and the list goes on….but I am learning something new all the time. I love the way that you can just walk into a church and read it like a book…thank you for your answer 🙂

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