St Bartholomew’s is of course a mediaeval church, with its surviving stonework being mostly from the fourteenth century. But it is the woodwork that distinguishes it. The roof was rebuilt in 1613, supported on internal wall-posts, which gives it a curious aisled-but-not-aisled feel – perhaps the work of John Abell, although nearly all the woodwork of any standard in these parts seems to be attributed to him. From the seventeenth century also date the screen, with its “caryatids” – perhaps Eve and Adam (and Adam at least looks very like a portrait) and the support-work at the west end. To those we can add a good selection of pews inscribed by ?churchwardens, and a remarkable panel telling us that, “Heare Below Ly The body Of Thomas hill ande Marg(ar)et his Wife Whose Children Made This Skryne.”
So my puzzle from this church is, how would you best translate “skryne”? It’s a variant spelling of “shrine”, but that word could mean “chest” or “screen” as well. Over to you.
The lovely old couple in the photo are the brother of Lewis Caroll and his wife: he was vicar here once, and a reminder once again just how interesting the clergy were in these somewhat remote places – and I hasten to add how interesting they still are.