St Gregory's Church
A little walk through our parish church
The historians tell us that the present church is maybe the third one to be built on this site, the first being in Saxon times, when Gregory Stoke, or East Curry, was part of the Manor of North Curry, which also included West Hatch. The present church was built in the early 14th Century, modelled on its mother church in North Curry - cruciform with a squat octagonal central tower. New windows and the upper part of the tower were added in the 15th Century (the figures in the niches were not added until the 19th Century).
The church is entered through the single storey diagonally buttressed porch, which has a sundial above the outer doorway. The quatrefoil pierced parapet is matched around the whole building.
The impressive inner door is an early example with the hinges stretching across the whole door.
Above the door is the figure of St (Pope) Gregory, writing in a book with a dove beside him. He was well known for his learning when he was Pope.
The clerestory windows were put in when the church was enlarged in the 15th Century. The original line of the roof can be seen on the west wall of the tower.
The two types of wagon roof: the roof in the Nave with moulded ribs, and the ribbed wagon roof of the Chancel. The modern roof is in the South Transept and dates from the restoration in the 1880s. Also here is one of the carved wooden bosses on the Chancel roof
The tower was also strengthened in the 19th Century restoration, carried out by Houghton Spencer. The blocked arch between the north aisle and the Transept was also opened up, and the West Gallery, which would originally housed the choir or band of musicians, was removed. The picture here shows two of the 'squinches' supporting the tower.
The font, made of Ham limestone is from the mid 14th Century. The pulpit is Jacobean with carved figures on five of its panels. These represent Time, Faith, Hope , Charity, and a fifth figure which is thought to be an Angel receiving the soul of Adam. The corresponding panels below hold the symbols of an hour glass, a spear, an anchor [is that where we get the pub name 'Hope & Anchor'?], dove, and apple.
Before you go, don't forget to check out the bench ends. When the pews were renewed to 'modern' standards, many of the original Elizabethan bench ends were saved and reused. Here are a few examples.