Piscinas & Sedilia - St Kyneburgha - Castor, Cambridgeshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 34.372 W 000° 20.497
30U E 680144 N 5828076
Piscinas and sedilia in the chancel of St Kyneburgha's church, Castor.
Waymark Code: WMVMV0
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 05/05/2017
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Early English piscina revealing a nostalgia for Norman decoration. To the right are the large sedilia.

"The church was enlarged between 1220 and 1230 by the extension of the chancel to its present square-ended shape and by the addition of the South aisle, made by piercing three bays, still with round-top arches, on circular columns in the South nave wall. The line of the original lean-to roof of the South aisle is still visible above the entrance arch to the Lady Chapel. The chancel originally had six Early English lancet windows (three on each side) on the North and South walls, the three in the North chancel wall still existing. Two Early English windows on the South side have been replaced, one as a result of a further extension to the South transept, although part of its outline can be seen above the arch between the chancel and the South transept. The side mullions of the Early English lancet windows (probably three) in the East end can still be seen, although the windows themselves were replaced in the 15th century by the present window. When the East end window was repaired in 2001 fragments of the Early English mullions were found, having been used as in-fill in previous alterations. The double round-arched sedilia (seats) and the double piscina (for ritual washing) with its Alwalton marble columns and dog-tooth moulding on arches were installed at the same time in the sanctuary. It seems strange that these fittings, installed at the same time, should be so different in style, but one of them can hardly be earlier.

In addition to the piscina and sedilia already described there seems to be another piscina in the North wall with a flue. There can hardly have been an altar here, and it seems unlikely to have been re-located from elsewhere, although the style matches that of the North aisle screen. It has been suggested that it contained an image, and the flue was for smoke from an oil lamp. The two further recesses are in the walls either side of the high altar. The one in the North wall is probably the remains of an Easter Sepulchre."

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Approximate Age of Artefact: Not listed

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