Elizabethan Restoration Work

Step InsideAngel RoofElizabethan Restoration WorkAltar ScreenNorth AisleFontOrganSouth AisleSt Benedict’s

The abbey itself had not been in state of disrepair at the Dissolution, however, the church did need a lot of work to be carried out. The north side of the chancel was in ruins to ground level for about 27 feet (8m), to 54 feet (16.5m) high and about 5.5 feet (1.5m) wide. It was after all some four hundred years old at this point. The maintenance of the chancel was the responsibility of the Crown as lay rector, which at this point was Elizabeth I (1533-1603). Two of the three windows in the clerestory were taken down and rebuilt once the rest of the work had been carried out. These works were completed in 1573, which is noted on the dating stone by the windows outside.

Between 1584 and 1586 parishioners paid for the repairs to the arcade columns in the nave, but the masons did not copy the more intricate and decorative style of those at the western end. This may have been because it was too expensive to replicate the Norman design, or perhaps because they were too ornate for Protestant sensibilities.