Chaddleworth, St Andrew's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Norman doorway and tub font, 17th and 18th century memorials
The Dean and Chapter donated the Victorian brass eagle lectern, which was originally made for Westminster Abbey in 1862, possibly designed to drawings by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The lectern stood in the Abbey near the choir screen monument to Sir Christopher Wren, and was used for special Sunday services until the 1950s.
The final major addition to the church took place in 1853, when architect GE Street was called in to create a new chancel, higher and larger than the nave. Street used brick for the addition, rather than making any attempt to integrate the new chancel with the older nave, and as a result the exterior of the building looks like a bit of a hotch-potch, though to be fair the interior is a much more pleasing whole. Street's patron was Bartholomew Wroughton of Woolley Park, who probably intended the new chancel to be the first stage of a complete rebuilding of the medieval church.
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you don't like the idea of tearing down medieval buildings) Wroughton died in 1858, and no further work was done on Chaddleworth's church. A few miles away at Fawley, Bartholomew's stepdaughter, Blanche, had the medieval church torn down completely and replaced it with a completely new church in Continental style, so perhaps Chaddleworth had a lucky escape.
The 12th century tub font is very plain, and stands upon a 19th century base. The font stands near the tower arch, which is a very unusual ogee shape. This is 14th century, and though not unique, it is not a design you find very ofte within parish churches; I did a bit of a double-take when I saw it. On the south side of the arch is a very interesting corbel, carved in the shape of a primitive face. We do not know how old this carving is, but the church guidebook suggests that it may be pre-Christian, and given the style of the carving I find this quire plausible.
Much more ornate than the font is the 18th century pulpit, which is a cut-down part of an original triple-decker pulpit. There seems to be some doubt if this is original, as the guidebook calls it 'imitation Georgian'.
The main interior feature, however, are the collection of memorials. These are almost all of four local families, the Wroughtons and the Tippings of Woolley Park, the Blandys, and the Nelsons of Chaddleworth House. To my eye the most interesting of these memorials appears on the wall above the pulpit, where the figures of Dorothy Nelson (d. 1619) and her sister Mary Nelson (d. 1618) are incised on black marble, above figures of their numerous children.
Above the south door is a royal coat of arms bearing the date 1722 and the monogram GR, though it seems that the date and royal initials were aded to an existing coat of arms, probably created dring the earlier reign of Queen Anne.
In the churchyard is one final item worth noting; a truncated medieval preaching cross upon a stepped base. This rather stumpy cross is now completely bereft of its head.
Summing up St Andrews Church
A simple country church with a very attractive Norman doorway, not replete with historic interest, but with some very nice furnishings, good family chapels, and a striking collection of Georgian and Victorian memorials to local families. To the best of our knowledge St Andrews is normally open daylight hours.
Address: Tower Hill, Chaddleworth House, Chaddleworth, Berkshire, England, RG20 7EB
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Fawley, St Mary's Church - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
East Shefford, St Thomas' Church - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
Great Shefford, St Mary's Church - 2.5 miles (Historic Church)
Catmore, St Margaret's Church - 2.9 miles (Historic Church)
Welford Park - 2.9 miles (Garden)
Welford, St Gregory's Church - 3 miles (Historic Church)
Boxford, St Andrew's Church - 4 miles (Historic Church)
Wickham, St Swithun's Church - 4.1 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Chaddleworth: