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Keysoe Church Architecture

Keysoe church from the south-east February 2016 
Keysoe church from the south-east February 2016

The church of Saint Mary is built from coursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings. It comprises a chancel, a north chapel, a nave, a south porch, a north aisle and a west tower.

The south doorway arch February 2016
The south doorway arch February 2016

The earliest parts of the church date from the late 12th century. These are the round-headed south doorways to chancel and nave.

Sedilia February 2016
Sedilia February 2016

A 13th century lancet window has been re-set in the south wall of the Decorated chancel. It has jambs continuing down the wall to help form sedilia.

Piscina on the south wall of the chancel February 2016
Piscina on the south wall of the chancel February 2016

The chancel arch is 13th century. There is a Decorated piscina in the chancel.

Coffin lid in the north chapel February 2016
Coffin lid in the north chapel February 2016

A 13th century coffin lid has been set in the north chapel.

Part of the inscription on the font February 2016
Part of the inscription on the font February 2016

The date of the octagonal font is uncertain. It has an inscription in French asking for prayers for the soul of a man named Warel. French remained the official language of the court until the reign of Henry IV (1399-1413). Sir Nikolaus Pevsner in the Bedfordshire section of his Buildings of England series guesses it might be 13th century.

The east window February 2016
The east window February 2016

A number of parts of the church date from the 14th century. The east window is from this century as is the chancel arch.

Piscina on the east wall of the north chapel February 2016
Piscina on the east wall of the north chapel February 2016

The nave dates from about 1340 and has a three-bay north arcade. There are also two 14th century Decorated windows in the wall of the north aisle, suggesting that this feature is the same date as the nave. The porch also dates from around the same time as the nave.

The church from the south-west February 2016
The church from the south-west February 2016

The west tower has four stages and is also 14th century. It was altered in the following century. Pevsner describes the spire as “Huntingdonshire style”.

 North arcade capital February 2016
North arcade capital February 2016

The 15th century is represented by the north chapel and the north arcade. Presumably the arcade was an alteration as the windows in the north aisle are a century earlier.

 The north arcade and north clerestory February 2016
North arcade and north clerestory February 2016

The nave has two windows with 15th century Perpendicular tracery on the south wall though one of these has the original 14th century jambs. The clerestory is 15th century and the north windows are smaller than those to the south.