THE PARlSH CHURCH OF
The name Cotes does not appear in any records until mention of a family bearing the name' de Cotes' in 1201.
The Achelie or Cotes manors remained separate until all three were acquired by Sir William Nottingham between 1466 and 1483. The largest of these three manors lay to the west end of the parish and the Manor House stood close to the Church, and what remains is now known as Church Farm. In the time of Sir Robert Atkyns, Lord of the Manor (c.1700) it must have been a very large house, and there is a tradition that there is an underground passage leading from it to the Church and also one to Hayley Wood.
Coming back into the Knave, the organ makes a very notable feature. This was made in 1894, and originally fitted into the Chancel Alcove before being moved to its current position in 1950. This move led to the screening off of the Chantry Chapel, which became the Vestry.
The Vestry is normally kept locked so it is unfortunate that you may not be able to see inside, however because a Piscina of about the 14th century has been disclosed in the east wall of the Vestry, it shows that this Transept was in fact a Chantry Chapel. This Chapel also contains a good 13th century Tomb Recess and an early English doorway. The Chantry is said to have been built by the Nottingham family, although the tomb itself is no longer there.
The oak lectern is a feature of the nave, having been carved in 1897, a time when much work was being done to the interior of St Matthews.
At the entrance to the Chancel the restored screen contains some elements of the 15th century woodwork and has an interesting design. A Corbel nearby may indicate the position of the Rood Loft.
The stained glass window at the east end of the Chancel was made by Lavers, Barrand and Westlake in London in 1876, and the Reredos (the tiles below the window), by James Powel!
Photo © Elaine Kemp
| Printable Version|