North Transept

Steps in column

In the North Transept it can be seen how the eastern pier was mined through to make a stairway to the rood loft, and later to the ringer’s gallery, which was built in the crossing. Near the foot of the western pier is a cinder from the pre-Conquest fire, with its misleading brass plate.


To the right is a typical and very fine Saxon archway with single stones right through the wall. The left side of the archway has the Saxon long and short arrangement of the stones. The arch stones are not set along the radii of the arch – another typical Saxon feature. The archway is part of Aelfnoth’s church and originally led into an aisle or chapel. It now opens into the Victorian and modern vestry.

On the east wall is another bracket supported by musicians playing a double pipe and perhaps a harp or psaltery.


Behind the altar are the remains of a painting of Saint Thomas a Becket dating from the twelfth or early thirteenth century, about a generation after his murder.

Mural sketch

Though much has been lost even since its rediscovery in 1865 (as can be seen from the engraving of the mural at that time – right) enough remains to show the high quality of the workmanship.

On the north wall the Saxon window has lost its head to the late Norman roundel above.

On the west wall, part of a Saxon window remains with some early decorative plaster work.

In this transept hang a set of rhyming bell-ringers’ rules, dating from 1770:

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