You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘St Nicholas’ category.

Today, taking off from where we left, in our last post in this series, we now enter the church, which was very important in Jane Austen’s early life until she left Steventon for Bath in 1801. This simple church was the site of her baptism, where she and her family worshipped,and where for many years, members of her family were rectors.

This is the view from the rear of the Nave toward the Chancel and the East window. We will talk about the Nave and its contents in our next post in this series, and so today we shall concentrate on the Chancel, which you can see, below:

The East Window is decorated with some Victorian Stained glass, which was  designed by Meyer and Co of Munich and was installed in 1883.

Jane Austen would not have known this window. Nor would she have known the altar, below, which again is Victorian.

But in the Chancel are some very important Austen family memorials. The first, next to the organ on the south wall…

is dedicated to James Austen, Jane’s oldest brother . He was the Rector at Steventon from 1805 until his death in 1819, having taken over the family living on the death of his father in 1805. Please do note that you can enlarge all these photographs by clicking on them to see the details.

It is surmounted with the Austen family crest and motto, which you can see in the photograph below:

The inscription reads:

To the Memory of 

The Revd. James Austen,

who succeeded his father, the Revd George Austen

as Rector of this Parish

and died Dec  13th 1819 aged 53 years,

this monument and the Stone which covers his grave in the churchyard

were erected by his widow and children

There midst the flock his fond attention fed

Teh village pastor rests his weary head

Till called to join, from sin and suffering freed

That Heavenly flock which Christ himself shall feed:

For long and well he bore the chastening rod

Long, marked for death the vale of life he trod;

For talents honoured, though to fees displayed,

And virtues brightening through dejections shade

Simple yet wise, most free from guile or pride,

He daily lived to God and daily died.

Best earliest friend for thee whose cares are o’re

Dear as thy presence was, we grieve no more;

Well taught by thee, our heart scan heavenward rise;

We dare not sorrow where a Christian lies

Also in the Chancel is this elegant monument dedicated to James first wife, Anne Mathew, who was the granddaughter of the 2nd  Duke of Ancaster of Grimsthorpe.

The beautiful and elegant  inscription reads:

Sacred to the Memory of

Anne Austen

Wife of the Revd. James Austen Vicar of Sherbourne St John in this County

Daughter to Lt General Mathew Governor of Grenada

who exchanged this life for a far better on the 3rd May 1795

in the 37th year of her Age.

as the Innocency of her Heart,

Simplicity of her Manners

And amiable unspotted Tenour of her Life, in every Relation,

Will render her Memory ever dear to her surviving Friends;

So the humble and pious Resignation

Eminently manifested at that trying Period

When parting with what was most dear on Earth

Will always be considered by them

As an Example

of

Christian Fortitude

which, though they can scarcely hope to Equal

They will yet endeavour 

to imitate

The memorial is decorated with her coat of arms. James’ second wife, Mary, who was the sister to Jane Austen’s great friend, Martha Lloyd, also has her memorial here.

Her inscription reads:

Mary

Wife of the Revd. Jame Austen

Late Rector of this Parish

and Daughter of

The Revd . Noyes Lloyd

formerly

Rector of Enbourne near Newbury 

Died at Speen Berks

3rd August 1843

aged 73

and was buried here in the adjoining churchyard

her son and Daughter with sorrow 

inscribe this stone

To the honoured Memory of

Their Good and affectionate Mother

Whose loss they will Long lament

together with two verse from the Bible.

Also in the Chancel is the memorial to the Reverend William Knight, Edward Knight’s son who was also Rector at Steventon,

but who lived in the new Rectory now known as Steventon House, built for him by his father, and not the in one in which Jane Austen was born, which has now been demolished. There is also a very moving memorial, affixed to the wall underneath it, dedicated to his three daughters who died in June 1848 of scarlet fever, aged 3,  4 and 5 years respectively  :

And on that rather somber note, we shall leave the Chancel to look, next time, at the Nave.

On this, the last Sunday in Advent and the week before Christmas, I thought it might be appropriate to begin a small series of posts about the church which has so many associations with Jane Austen, St Nicholas’s Parish Church, Steventon.

The Rectory where Jane Austen was born in Steventon in 1775, was demolished circa 1823-4, by her brother, Edward Knight. He built a new Rectory for his son, William Knight, who was to be the new Rector, taking over from his uncle, Henry Austen. This was sited away from the  position of the old rectory, on the other side of the valley in order to avoid the frequent floods that so badly afflicted the old building. In November of this year a serious archaeological study of the remains of the old rectory took place, and there will be an exhibition of its findings next year in Basingstoke. Here is a link to a BBC report( only 3 minutes long) about the dig and what it hopes to resolve( i.e. exactly what the rectory looked like, given the differing version of the existing drawings of it- more on this later!). I will, hopefully, keep an eye on all developments on this story for you…but , of course, with the demolition of the Rectory, the parish church where her father and two brothers were rectors is now the only remaining building in the village that has very close associations with Jane Austen.

This, above,  is the view along the lane from the site of the old Rectory to the Church, which Jane Austen and her family must have traversed countless times, going to and from services. The village is still small, and was small when Jane Austen lived there, from 1775-1801. The houses and farms are all straggled along the winding lanes of this part of Hampshire. Here is a section from my copy of John Cary’s map of Hampshire, dating from 1797,   which shows the positions of the villages where George Austen held livings: Steventon, Deane and Ashe:

George Austen, Jane’s father, became rector of this church in 1761, thought he didn’t  “do the duty ”  at the church until he took up residence at Dene another of his parishes, which you can see is not far from Steventon, until 1764. He became rector of this church through the good graces of his cousin by marriage, Thomas Knight of Godmersham.

The church is dedicated to St Nicholas, from whom the Santa Clause legend has derived. St Nicolas was reputed to have been Nikolaos, Bishop of Myra , now known as Demre, which is to be found in modern-day Turkey. He was known for giving secret gifts to deserving people, and many miracles were associated with him. His relics were moved from Myra to Bari, in Italy,  in 1087. His fame spread through the Christian world when Crusaders learned of his story during their return form the First Crusade, circa 1096-99.

The church was built probably around 1200 by the Lords of the Manor of Steventon. At the time George Austen became Rector it was in a very dilapidated state, a condition it shared with the Rectory. The spire was in such a bad condition that it was blown down in a gale in 1764. George Austen didn’t replace it,  so the church that Jane Austen did not include the spire that we see today.

He did however, repair the roof and in 1765 wrote to the Bishop of Winchester to assure him that:

The church and chancel are in good repair and everything necessary for the celebrations of divine service and the administration of holy sacrament are provided.

The church is approached through a simple iron gate,

and the entrance to the church is through a door in the West wall, at the base of the tower:

Either side of the door are two medieval heads, one of a man, on the left

and a woman , on the right:

You can see some marks radiating from a central hole in the stone , just beneath the woman’s head in the picture above. This is a form of sundial known as a scratch dial or “Mass Clock”

The doorway dates from the 13th century, when the original door in the south wall of the nave of the church was blocked up. Next in this series we shall go inside the church to look at its rather simple but beautiful interior. But before we do you might like to see the church notice board:

which is adorned with this small carving of Jane Austen at her writing-table:

to alert anyone who is ignorant of the fact that this church has many, many strong associations with Jane and her family. We shall learn more of them in our next post.

If you are not a Wordpress member, just add your email here to subscribe to this site.

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Visit our sister site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen’s Letters

Visit our sister site: Jane Austen's Letters

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen's Letters

Join Austen Only on Twitter

Recently Tweeted

Austenonly on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Categories

Copyright Notice

Copyright: This site and all images and information complied within are copyright Austenonly.com unless otherwise stated/attributed.No permission is given/implied for any use of this site, the information and images contained therein, for any commercial use whatsoever. No material may be copied in any form without first obtaining written permission of the author, save that extracts of posts may be used on other non-commcerial sites on the internet, provided that full and clear credit is given to Austenonly.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content( that is, a link must be provided to the original post/image with full attribution ). The existence of the RSS or ATOM feeds in no way authorises wholesale or part transmission of posts or parts of posts to another site without prior permission being given and attribution stated. Any sites using RSS or ATOM feeds in this way without obtaining prior written permission of the author of this blog will be subject to legal action.

Currently Reading

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas by Rebecca Smith

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmasby Rebecca Smith

Recently Read

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

The London Square” by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear  by Serena Dyer

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear” by Serena Dyer

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

 The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 2)

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801 edited by Nancy K Shields

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography by Susanna Wade Martins

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain Edited by John Bonehill and Stephen Daniels

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

The Dress of the People by John Styles

The Dress of the People by John Styles

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

Austenonly Flickr

June 2019
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Protected by Copyscape plagiarism checker - duplicate content and unique article detection software.
Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
UK Blog Directory
wordpress counter
%d bloggers like this: