Ballidon Church Vested with the Friends
All Saints’, Ballidon is a church of puzzles. Finding the gap in the wall, which leads to a path, which leads to the church is a bit of a Platform 9¾ affair. The church itself is a small Norman-Perpendicular-Neo-norman ensemble, which is tightly-enclosed by a stepped, coped wall but sits in a vast open field of a deserted medieval village.
The Norman traces include the infilled north-doorway and the south doorway, which was recut in the 19th-century. Adjacent the north doorway is a simple stoup, reused as a building block.
The font is roughly-hewn and roughly dates to the 14th century, but the truth is, it’s so odd – with its upside-down panels – it could be earlier or later. It really is anyone’s guess!
There is an opening in the west wall at high-level with a fine stone-surround. This is believed to have been a fire-place, which served a first-floor room. The extensive restorations of the 19th century, however, have obliterated all other trace of this space.
The oak-panelled reredos has a hidden door, which when opened, reveals a miniature Romanesque arch with green and red painted zig-zags, under which is simple cross.
Other details to look out for are the cusped roof collars and incised scrolls to the base of the jambs of the south porch, and the two western corners of the church, which have visible, stepped courses at the base looking almost like exposed foundations, clearly man-made, but intended to look as they were biblical rock on which the building has been set.
Over the past number of years, we’ve been repairing this church. We have re-roofed the nave and chancel, improved drainage, upgraded rainwater goods, repaired glazing and masonry, redecorated ironwork and stabilised the churchyard wall.
The church is now open daily.
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