Travelling through the tiny village of Luddington in the Brook, one could be forgiven for not even knowing that there was a church here. The church of St Margaret is set back from the main road, hidden by trees. Access from the north is via a small track which appears to lead in to someones front driveway, access from the south is via a field which will test out a car's suspension.
If anyone ever asks me why I photograph churches I could point them in the direction of the church here and it would answer the question. A beautiful little church on the most gorgeous Sunday that could be wished for. It was very warm and there was little sound here apart from the birds and insect life. This is England, and it is beautiful.
St Margaret's is a small church in a small village. It is remarkable though for the number, and quality, of some of the best gargoyles and grotesque seen in the area. A couple of strange winged creatures, with tongues stuck out in medieval gesture of insult 'welcome' the faithful entering through the south porch. Close by a ferocious dog with fangs exposed, looks on menacingly. A human form in torment sits below a depressed looking monk with an owl like thing with feathers close by. Some really lovely carvings here with repair evident on several, especially the monk, if that is what he is, half way down the page on the left. Close inspection shows that his entire bottom half has been replaced at some time in the past.
The church of St Margaret is for the most part 15th century, replacing an earlier church which dated from the 13th century. Much restoration here was undertaken in 1874. The spire dates from this time, and is a copy of a spire destroyed many years before. The chancel was restored by the eminent Victorian architect Richard Herbert Carpenter (1841–1893).
There are two bells in the tower, both dated 1710, and made by prolific Peterborough bell founder Henry Penn.
Inside, the church is very simple and uncluttered, and that is a good thing. What I did feel here on entering was a real sense of peace inside. This is a place that I could worship.
Walls are limewashed and there are several rows of lovely old box pews. Beautiful to look at but probably not the most comfortable things to spend an hour sitting on. There are few fragments of medieval stained glass to be found here, late 15th century according to the internet research that I did. The font is 15th century, with plain octagonal bowl and stem. There is a very nicely carved oak chest in the nave, possibly dating from the 16th century. In the chancel Christ sits with hand raised in benediction, whilst holding a globe in the other, St Peter kneeling next to him, holding the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Church grounds are beautifully kept on the south side. In Spring, with the bushes in bloom, the grounds are a delight. On the north side the grass is longer and there is more of a natural element to things. There is little of any great age or interest in the church grounds, which are an absolte delight in the Spring time when the daffodils are in full bloom. It is rare that you see any people when visiting here, but there are generally plenty of sheep about.
David and myself paid a return visit to St Margaret in the Summer of 2013 in order to take in an evening prayer service. Sadly, it all went belly up again and we found that there was no service on that evening. David had not visited here before and his reaction was pretty much the same as mine was when first visiting here.....wow!! We had a good look around and then heard church bells calling the faithful from across the fields. This turned out to be at Great Gidding a few miles away and we headed over there instead. An absoulte must if you are in the area.