North Cerney, Gloucestershire - part 2
Photo copyright Archidave.
One of the most delightful elements of North Cerney church is the rood loft and rood group introduced in 1929 by F. C. Eden. The rood loft was erected independently of a screen and was placed above the narrow Norman chancel arch. A light screen was subsequently erected within the arch five years later.
The detailing of the loft is derived from motifs found on late medieval screens in the west country, with panels of lightly pierced tracery set above heavily carved mouldings. The rood group is corbelled out from the beam supporting the loft, rather than resting on the top rail. So the front of the loft creates an effective ground against which the figures of Our Lady and St John are placed. The plain oak of the loft creates a foil for the brightly polychromed figures.
The figure of the crucified Christ is an antique piece dating from around 1600 and was collected by Croome on his travels. It was recoloured and gilded by Eden and applied to a very Bodleyesque cross.
Photo copyright archidave.
This sumptuous loft and rood is set below a stunning fifteenth century ceiling. The ceiling, in common with many in the Cotswolds becomes richer as you go east, with the increased use of painted bosses over the eastern bay. Thus creating, in effect, a canopy of honour over the rood.
Photo copyright Eric Hardy
At the west end of the church is an early nineteenth century west gallery, which Eden had marbelled.