St Giles

Features and Fittings

Many of the fittings date from the restoration of 1873, or from the years following. A few have been retained from earlier periods. Inventories and terriers from the 18th and 19th centuries provide some comprehensive lists of furniture and plate.


20th century stone altar with a small shelf or gradine at the back. A curtained tabernacle was installed in the gradine in 1912-13. The altar is raised up by four steps from the floor of the chancel, itself a step above the nave.


13th century small chamfered piscina and restored 14th century piscina with moulded surround and bowl, S side

Lady altar

A wooden table, panelled on three sides and painted in light blue. In was installed at the east end of the south aisle in 1913.

Sanctuary rail and gates

Wrought iron with scrolling and gates with two realistic roses serving as the communion rail. They were installed in 1967 as a memorial to the Revd William Dolman (Rector 1918-1956), and a plaque reads:


Choir stalls

Two wooden stalls on each side, installed at the restoration. A clergy desk is incorporated on the south side, and a reading desk on the north side. The stalls have carved ends and a seven-arched front.

Sanctuary chairs

Two 19th century wooden chairs.

Credence table

Small wooden table

Chancel screen

Scrolled wrought iron. It was made by the village blacksmith, J Paling, in 1888 and installed in 1890.

On the east side of south pillar of chancel arch is a plaque reading:

This screen is erected
To the Glory of God
In memory of
William Charles ffynes Webber
35 years Vicar of St Botolph’s, Aldersgate,
And Subdean of St Paul’s Cathedral, London
Born 1st Jany. 1815. Died 27th July 1881
At Lausanne, Switzerland,
The lectern (The
chancel screen is
visible behind)


The main lectern is 19th century; elaborate wrought iron. The sanctuary book rest is solid wood, probably late 19th century or early 20th century.


Attached to the north wall of the nave is a large wooden late 19th century or early 20th century crucifix, some 3m in height, with a plaster figure of Christ crucified, with wire crown.


The square stone font was installed at the restoration (1873/4), replacing a primitive stone basin. It is inscribed One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism with a cross and IHS in roundels. It has a hemispherical lead lining and a wooden cover with an urn shaped finial. It stands on a square base, itself standing on an octagonal base with a coloured-tile surround. On the base of the font is a brass plate inscribed:

A. M. D. G.
In Memory of Mary
Wife of General Thomas Knox R.A.
only daughter of the late C. J. Fynes-Clinton M.P.
and only sister of the Rector Henry Fiennes Clinton
This Font is placed by her friends
She died Feb 15th 1873 Aged 42
South door Chancel aisle
First floor
tower door

Church doors

The main south door is wooden with wrought iron hinges, installed in 1873; the lock is held in a wooden setting; there is a small window, closed on the inside by a wooden shutter. The door in the south chancel aisle and the west side of the tower have wrought iron hinges of the same design. The vestry door dates from 1912-13.

The door from the stair opening into the first floor of the tower is of simple, two vertical plank construction and appears to be contemporary with the tower, ie first half of the 15th century. The ground floor door to the tower stair appears to be 19th century.


Wooden pews in the nave and south aisle were installed at the restoration. There are 10 on the north side, 7 on the south and 6 in the south aisle. They were made by Henry Clipsham of Norwell and a very similar in design to the pews in St Laurence, Norwell, also made by Clipsham.

Table for Remembrance Book

Wooden; a brass plaque records that it was presented to St Giles Church, Cromwell by P and M Childs, 14 March 1993.

Coffin stool

There is one coffin stool in the sanctuary. Two were recorded in 1873. The terrier of 1936 records that one was badly damaged by woodworm.

Offertory plates

Three wooden offertory plates; one inscribed ‘In Memory of Samuel & Constance Grainger, devoted church workers, presented by St Giles Church and Friends’, and another ‘In memory of Samuel Grainger, Warden of Cromwell Church 1929-64. Presented by his family’.

Framed photograph

Attached to the wall at the south east end of the nave a late 19th century photograph in a wooden and glass frame of Frances Smith with the label:

(nee Foottit)
1840 - 1905
Wife of Benjamin John Smith
Appointed Vicar’s Warden of
St Giles Church Cromwell in 1879
The first Lady Churchwarden in England

Despite the claim, there are earlier female churchwardens in other parts of the country.

Incumbents’ board

Glass-framed in board listing incumbents from 1276 to 1990 on the south aisle wall west end by the font.

Lost fittings

Sketch dated 1872

A sketch of August 1872 showing the interior of the church just before the restoration records a number of now-lost features and fittings.


There is no pulpit in the church. There was one in 1862 at the north east end of the nave, with a large reading desk adjacent to it. It was probably not in a good state as it was mentioned as being repaired. It is shown clearly in the sketch of 1872. The pulpit was removed at the restoration and not replaced.


At some point after 1817 a gallery, with a timber stair behind, was built across the arch between the nave and the tower. It was used by the choir. In 1873 it was described as ‘huge’ and was then removed. A very similar gallery was removed from St Helen’s Church, Brant Broughton.

Chancel Screen

Prior to 1864 an ‘open frame or screen’ filled the chancel arch along with the pulpit and the large reading desk.

Box pews

The surviving 1872 sketch of the interior on the eve of the restoration shows a number of box pews on the south side of the nave, probably 16th or 17th century which were removed in 1873. Some early oak poppy-headed bench seats, probably early 16th century, at least four on the north side of the nave, and another on the south side, were also removed.


The 1872 sketch shows a large iron stove, with a chimney pipe leading out through the roof, on the north side of the nave aisle, close to the chancel arch. This stove had been installed in 1865. It was replaced in 1873 by an underground stove for heating the church. This in turn was replaced in 1918.


The 1872 sketch shows a hatchment on the south side of the chancel, on the wall which was later demolished to reveal the arcade of the south chancel aisle.