Heckington, St Andrews Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The superb Decorated Gothic church of St Andrew, Heckington, was built in the early 14th century. The builder of the nave was probably Henry de Beaumont, Earl of Buchan. The man responsible for the chancel was Richard de Potesgrave, chaplain to both Edward II and Edward III, rector of Heckington in 1309.
The tower is topped by an octagon, itself surmounted by a slender spire. The tower boasts over 35 beautifully carved statues. More fancifully carved figures peer from the south front, and the interior and exterior of the south porch.
A Decorated Gothic font stands at the west end, but the best of Heckington is at the opposite, east end. On the north side of the chancel is a beautifully carved Easter Sepulchre, arguably one of the finest in England. The sepulchre is composed of a central recess flanked by niches depicting the three Marys and angels.
Beneath the canopy of the Sepulchre are figures of sleeping Roman soldiers, almost hidden by a profusion of carved foliage. A figure of Christ rises above the central recess, and above that are strange beats and monsters, as well as a mermaid figure. The detail of the carving is quite simply stunning.
Opposite the sepulchre is an equally compelling sedilla, adorned with intriguing carvings. One of the most interesting depicts a couple arguing; she grips his beard, while he has a firm grip on her tongue. A priest tries, with apparent lack of success, to mediate between them.
Also in the chancel is the recessed tomb of Richard de Potesgrave, builder of the chancel. The combination of the sepulchre, sedilla, and contemporary piscina has been reckoned to be the finest such Decorated grouping in existence.
About Heckington, St Andrews
Address: Church Street, Heckington, Lincolnshire, England, NG34 9RJ
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: In the centre of the village
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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