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St Mary, Hillington
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A tall, polite church on the edge of the Sandringham estate, the crisp walls and neatly mown churchyard all of a piece on this bright July day. The construction is in a curious mixture of blue carstone, clunch and flint, as if it couldn't quite decide which geological region to be built in. Even more curious are the windows in the south aisle, because their tracery is made of cast iron.
the church from the west, beneath the tower, and the
first impression is of how deliciously full of light it
is. Apart from the bright west window of 1840 by
Wilmshurst & Oliphant, depicting Christ flanked by St
Peter and St Paul, under which you enter, and another
rather decaying window by Hardman & Co of 1860
depicting the adoration of the Shepherd and the Magi,
which is in any case hidden behind the organ, this
church's glass is entirely clear. Above, the ceiling
creates a lovely acoustic. I wonder what it conceals?
Another substantial memorial in the chancel is to Sir William Browne, President of the Royal College of Physicians. The most interesting of the Ffolkes memorials are in the form of encaustic tiles down parts of the north and south walls, remembering themselves and their workers and servants in democratic fashion. One is to Harold Ffolkes, son of the Rector here, who drowned at King's Weir in Oxford in a brave attempt to save his Friend. It is worth noting in passing that these tiles are more than a century old, but they look as fresh and clear today as they did when they were first erected. It seems a shame that the fashion did not catch on, although you do come across such things from time to time in various places.
Simon Knott, July 2016
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