home I index I latest I glossary I introductions I e-mail I about this site
St Peter, Brooke
the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to
see them enlarged.
Going in, I was struck by the age of the south door. It has carved arcading with lions heads in, and is probably 15th century. Perhaps the church was given a makeover at this time. Although the church appears tall and narrow from the south side, you step into a wide, square, light nave, enhanced by the north aisle. It is difficult to date, because the arcade is such a mixture of architectural styles; indeed, someone at this church seems to have delighted in making life difficult for 21st century church explorers. But that, of course, is part of its charm.
Brooke's greatest treasure, and its most famous feature, is one of East Anglia's finest Seven Sacrament fonts.
The font sits on a large pedestal in front of the tower arch, with a platform at the back for the Priest to stand on. Medieval fonts were designed for the total immersion of infants, which explains their shape. This practice disappeared at the time of the puritans, as infant baptism became increasingly frowned upon, and it was never really reintroduced when the puritans shipped off to America or started their own churches after the Act of Tolerance. You can see the babe being lowered into the water on the Baptism panel here.
From the east, the panels are Mass, the Priest with his back to the viewer raising the chalice, with a missal on the altar and a server on each side; Confirmation (NE), a crowd of young people gathered about a Priest; Ordination (N), a Bishop anointing the head of a Deacon; Baptism (NW); Crucifixion (W), the eighth panel, and the most usual to find as the odd one out; Last Rites (SW), the dying man's bed at an angle; Confession (S), the Priest seated as the penitents approach; Matrimony (SE) the Priest joining the hands of a couple. Click on the panels below to enlarge them.
The Brooke font retains extensive traces of colour, and the finest feature is probably the sequence of angels underneath bowl, some holding scrolls with the painted text still visible.
Simon Knott, March 2006
Amazon commission helps cover the running costs of this site.
home I index I latest I introductions I e-mail I about this site I glossary
links I small print I www.simonknott.co.uk I www.suffolkchurches.co.uk
ruined churches I desktop backgrounds I round tower churches