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St Mary, Rockland St Mary
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Rockland St Mary
The hooped iron fences that line the path make this rather a municipal place, but the Tudor windows in the south wall are grand, and the tapering tower is pleasing of proportion.
Inside is well kept, rather urban, wholly Victorianised. And yet, there are survivals, an interesting 15th century brass for example, and the woodwork of the late medieval screen built into the reredos. Amazingly, this appears to bear its original paintwork. The madonna and child in the glass above is a mite odd - not to put too fine a point on it, the Christ child is very wriggly, and Mary is a little, well, butch. On the north side there are two female heads reset in clear glass, the right hand one of which is probably Mary Magdalene, the other perhaps Mary the Mother of God. The church leaflet suggests that they are 'old', 'foreign' and 'found after a V2 rocket landed nearby'. "Perhaps the V2 rocket dropped them", observed DD drily. I must say, they look Victorian to me.
The font is refurbished in a rather eccentric way, some of the niches in the stem filled with garishly coloured statues, but in general I liked this place for just being open and friendly and reasonably sure of itself.
Simon Knott, February 2005
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