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St Leonard's Church and local Places Leverington Cambridgeshire
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With most churches, it's often driving miles, but with this one, I can see it from our garden. St Leonard's is just 300 m also from our house and is a beautiful view from the back upper windows of the house. Leverington has been our home village for some 40 years. The village has almost changed beyond recognition, with far too many homes being built and with the number of trees that have been cut down over the years, and at the rate, it's going the church will be the only place here to see trees.
The surrounding areas are 99% agricultural fields, and Wisbech, the so-called heart of the Fens and I have no idea why it is my local town, and I point blank refuse to set foot in that town.
The church is one of the finest in the area and sits on a slight rise in the landscape. This large church with its tall spire dates back to the 13th Century with only a small 12th-century cap preserved in the parvise from the previous church. St Leonard's has been restored a few times, in the early 14th century the east end of the chancel, the south chapel, and the south aisle was rebuilt and the porch and spire added. The second half of the 15th century a greater reconstruction began, this includes, rebuilding of the chancel arch and the west arch of the chapel, new windows in the walls of the chancel and south aisle, a vestry on the north of the chancel, now destroyed and rebuilding of the nave arcades and the north aisle. includes the rebuilding of the chancel arch and the west arch of the chapel, the insertion of new windows in the lateral walls of the chancel and south aisle, a vestry on the north of the chancel, since destroyed, and the rebuilding of the nave arcades and the north aisle. The work didn't stop there with the spire being rebuilt in 1901.
The Stunning 14th Century South Porch
The porch, a splendid design of the first quarter of the 14th century, is of two bays with sexpartite vaulting springing from shafts with embattled caps and moulded bases. The outer arch is two-centred and of two orders with moulded caps and bases and an ogee hood-mould with flanking pinnacles; there are two windows of two lights on each side and stone benches within. Above is a parvise, which has a narrow rectangular opening on the east and west, and a two-light window with an ogee hood and flanking pinnacles on the south and over all an empty niche.
The East Window
The East chancel window of four lights with a massive forked central mullion and geometrical tracery is rather stunning, and on my trip, it was lit with beautiful lighting with the sun shining through the south chancel window. Under the window is a beautiful altar and this part of the church feels nicely lit and roomy, almost homely unlike some that feel cold and unwelcoming.
The nave arcades are made up of six bays with tall two-centred aches, and the clerestory windows are three cinquefolied lights with square-headed tops. the nave and both aisles contain wooden benches and feels dimly lit even on a sunny day due to the tall old trees in the south grounds.
15th Century Octagonal Font
The 15th-century font, standing on risers, has an octagonal bowl and shaft; round the former are seated figures of saints under crocketed canopies and resting on foliated brackets, the panels being separated by pinnacled buttresses; the shaft has niches occupied by standing figures with folded hands with spreading foliage above, and the base is ornamented by paterae.
In the north churchyard, you will find the war monument for the fallen of the great war. The memorial is well kept, and you can find more information at the Roll of Honour website HERE Compiled and Copyright © Cliff Brown - 2000.
Once upon a time, way back in 1980 this church held fates, the churchyard would have been full of stalls, games and I can still remember a small red bus that gave rides to us kids, but the good old days died out long ago. The grass field near to the school once helt fireworks displays but they too were were stoped siting no money and a danger to the public.
As for community sprite, well that also died, I feel this village has turned from a place where things once went on to one where people never speak to one another. Even a local who has tried to start a nature group has had no luck. Will it get worse here? You bet it will. Fenland is one of the most deprived areas in the UK with no funding from the government, our NHS local hospital can't even afford to run the blood test unit so now its ran from the hospital GYM. The towns are dying fast; shops are closing. Due to our isolated locations, we have been forgotten. This church has no money and fundraising for the repairs to the windows thanks to locals smahing them are not going well. Offers of help seem to pass by, and I too have offered support but no replies. Leverington is one of those places you only want to visit just once in your lifetime and mostly for the church, it has nothing else to offer unless endless fields are your thing. I can't wait to leave here, those 40 years of my life have always felt wasted, well a beautiful church in one of the most depressing places in the UK.
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