Ludlow Palmers
helping to conserve the fabric and treasures of St Laurence's
Chancel Architecture

The Chancel is the liturgical focus of the Church. As you enter under the Rood Screen the vertical emphasis of the windows gives a feeling of great space and calm.

It was built in three phases. The western part as far as the end of the choir stalls was within the volume of the church of 1199. The next part to the altar rail was added in the thirteenth century. In the 1440s the chancel was extended by one further bay with the earlier parts being completely remodelled in the Perpendicular style to create a magnificent and unified whole.

The upper walls are dominated by the seven windows with their slender Perpendicular tracery. The six north and south windows are five lights wide but the enormous great east window is nine lights wide in three groups of three. At the west end of the Chancel four windows are smaller and higher to be above the roofs of the side chapels.

There has been much dispersal of the medieval glass in the Church. Five of the north and south windows in the Chancel have had six of their fifteen panels replaced with plain glass. It is not clear when this occurred, whether it was necessitated by the need to consolidate surviving glass in a restoration, or merely to let in more light.

Although the rhythm of the 15th Century eastern bays is repeated westward into the volume of the earlier Church, it had to be curtailed by a quarter of a bay to fit the space available.

The lower walls beneath the windows have traceried panels that echo the pattern of the windows above although much of this is now hidden by the choir stalls and monuments.

Most of the stonework uses a red sandstone ashlar but in places you can still see occasional whiter stones from work of earlier periods.

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