Review: St Nicholas Church
Attraction - Castles & places of worship
West Tanfield, United Kingdom
A rather uninspiring building apart from the Marmion tomb
Set off the main road, this is a rather uninspiring building with battlemented west tower, nave and north aisle, next to the C15th Marmion Tower
The church is perpendicular in style with the nave and chancel were built in the C14th with the north aisle and tower added in the C15th. It was heavily restored by the Victorians which may explain the rather soulless interior.
The church has a solid hammer beam roof with carved corbels with foliage in the nave. An arcade of octagonal pillars and pointed arches separating nave and north aisle. The chancel is narrow with Victorian choir stalls, altar rail and reredos. This has a carving of the Nativity in the centre with angels on either side. The end pillars have a carving of St George killing the dragon.
There is a good selection of wall tombs with carved effigies on the wall of the north aisle. The tomb under the ogee arch and crocketed pinnacle may be Sir John Marmion who died about 1300. The female figure by him may be his wife Maud.
In the centre is the tomb of Sir John Marmion who died in 1387 fighting in Spain with John of Gaunt. He is with his wife Elizabeth who died in 1400. He is wearing armour and his feet rest on a lion. Her feet rest on a hound. The tomb is surrounded by a wrought iron ‘canopy’ with candles which would have been lit on certain occasions. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in England.
The church is open daily but there isn’t a lot to see apart from the Marmion tomb. It is worth a look if passing, but not worth making a special trip to visit.
There are more pictures here.
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.