Moving along the Aisle, on our left,
half-way along the wall, are the remains of a Norman doorway, blocked
up in 1840. At the side of this door and level
with the top of the pew is an ancient Stoup for holy water. It is
in an unusual position, as stoups are usually in the porch outside
the West or South-west door. A little further
Eastwards, hanging on the wall, is a very fine piece of Flemish
carving, depicting St. Martin of Tours dividing his cloak with the
beggar. The story of St. Martin is briefly given at the end of this
book. This carving was bought by the Lady Alwyne Compton in an antique
shop in Worcester in 1884. The date on the carving is 1583. The
coats of arms at the top are those of Phillip II. [This carving
was stolen some twenty years ago, I understand.]
The roof of the Nave is worth looking
up at. It dates from the 14th century. Certain beams have had to
be renewed and can quite easily be picked out.
Roof of the Nave
The chancel roof is quite modern. The
entire roof was treated against Death Watch Beetle under the direction
of Professor Lefroy in 1924.
In pre-Reformation days St. Martin's
had three altars - the High Altar dedicated to St. Martin, the Altar
of the Blessed Virgin, standing where the pulpit is now, and the
Altar of St. Nicholas, in the South-cast corner opposite.
In the South wall at the side of where this Altar stood is a beautiful
Norman Piscina. This was used by the Priest for the emptying of
the water after the ceremonial washing of the sacred vessels at
the Mass. It is very small but one of the best preserved Norman
ones remaining in England to-day. It still has the hole, for the
water, and also the original tool marks on the face and sides. The
back has been restored.
The piscina, with the hole for water.
For view of the wall with piscina see below
No record or traces have been found
of a Rood-screen or loft, and it is assumed that the Rood took the
form of a plain oak beam spanning the Chancel Arch. On the beam
were the Crucifix, together with images of St. Mary and St. Nicholas.
Hanging in front would be the Holy Cross Light, perpetually burning.
One of the holes for the end of the beam can be seen in the corner
near the Piscina and about ten feet from the ground. The corresponding
one near the Pulpit was filled in when the window opening was cut.
[This is not true - or else it has been oncovered again! See the
photos below.] The Rood and Altars were destroyed at the Reformation.
Left (north) wall showing rood
beam hole above the pulpit.
Hole of Rood beam on left (north wall) above the pulpit.
Right (south) wall of nave, showing right rood hole and piscina
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