All Saints, Mears Ashby




The church of ALL SAINTS, MEARS ASHBY is situated in the centre of the village just off the A4500 Northampton to Wellingborough road and has many interesting features for the visitor to look for. The church was probably here around 1100 or even earlier (a wooden building) and the magnificent Norman font greets you as you enter through the Norman south doorway. Whilst the church has been restored over the years, two other features must be seen. In the south aisle is an old Saxon 'Wheel Cross', according to historians, possibly of Viking origin, dated around AD 1000 and may have been the mark of a pre-conquest burial place. These crosses are normally found in the north of England and are a rarity so far south.
The other feature not to be missed is the 'Doom Painting’ above the chancel arch and restored in 1984. The Doom or Last Judgement as it is sometimes called was one of the most commonly painted scenes in the Medieval parish church, with it usually above the chancel arch, being the symbolic division between the nave and chancel. This division within the church separated the priest’s domain in the chancel from that of the people in the nave, but it also symbolically marked the greater divide between the church here on earth (the people) from the church triumphant in Heaven (the priest). Normally central to the painting is the Risen Christ surrounded by the Virgin Mary (present at the Crucifixion), St John the Evangelist, the Apostles, angels and saints are often found. The aftermath of the Judgement is often shown with groups of souls departing for ever to Heaven. Conversely , the damned proceed to Hell assisted by devils and the painting often showing a Hell Mouth – a Leviathan-like creature with a gaping mouth. Sadly it was only possible to restore a small section of this ‘Doom Painting’.
There are also two windows  on the south side of the church paid for by Sir Edmund Stockdale Lord Mayos of London and executed by the artist Lawrence Lee depicting the villages links with the Stockdale Family. Lawrence Lee was head of Stained Glass at the Royal College of Art

Printer Printable Version