As part of the Mayflower 400 project we have been completing historical research around the UK. One of our topics has been the Reformation and its impact on local churches.
We recently went to look at 6 churches with Roger Wilson, an expert in Church history, to see how they have changed over the last 400+ years. The churches we visited were spread across Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.
The third church we went to see was St Andrew’s Church in Lyddington, Rutland. Again is shows evidence of continuous change to the fabric of the building and interior furniture.
St Andrew’s sits close to the Lyddington Bedehouse. This was a former Bishop’s Palace created in Norman times for the Bishop of Lincoln. The Palace became a Bedehouse in 1547 and remained in that use until the 1930s. It is now managed and maintained by English Heritage.
The Church size and decoration are the result of its closeness to the Bishops Palace.
The oldest parts of the present church date back to the 14th century. A medieval wall painting was discovered in the 1930’s by the current site of the pulpit near the rood screen.
The font is of an interesting and unusual design.
The Rood screen has evidence of paintings on its panels.
The altar rails are unusual as they do not ‘fence off’ the altar but rather surround it. The design dates back to 1634 when Archbishop Laud instructed that all altars should be railed off from the congregation. Bishop Williams of Lincoln disagreed. The disagreement between Laud and his followers and the Puritans would eventually lead to the English Civil War.
The two posts on the altar railings facing the Rood screen have initials carved on one and a date of 1635 on the other.