For this church:
Upton St Peter and St Paul
Features and Fittings
The church chest dates from the early 14th century. It is made of oak with elaborate iron strapping and lifting rings. It is 6ft 3in long by 2ft wide, and 2ft 4in high and adorned with trefoils. Both in construction and details the chest resembles another at West Horsley, in Surrey.
The lid has six plain straps, four of which form hinges, and there are three new hasp straps. Between the straps are the remains of star-shaped motifs with stamped terminals and a reeded profile. The front of the chest has four vertical fluted straps with five star motifs between them, as on the lid. The ends are held by plain straps with split-curl terminals, lobes, and tendrils.
In the 1860s the chest was removed from the main body of the church and stowed in a chamber in the tower, but it was returned in 1911, and now sits to the north side of the north aisle chapel (laid out east-west, underneath the westernmost sepulchral arch). Copies of the parish burials, baptisms and marriage registers are kept on top of the chest. Near the top of the chest a slot hole, now filled up, was probably made for the admission of 'Peter’s pence,' and a small oblong till placed within the chest to hold the contributions. The chest was probably originally used for the safe keeping of priestly vestments, ornaments, service books and documents.
The wooden pulpit is modern, built of 19th century fretted panelled timber on a moulded 19th century ashlar base.
The octagonal stone font, with a moulded base and bowl, is 14th century. During the restorations of the 1860s this font was ‘unhappily discarded in the churchyard’ (as J.C. Cox wrote in 1912) and replaced with a modern one, but by the 1930s it had been brought back into the church. The Victorian font remains in the church under the lectern.
The altar and rails, the lectern, desks and the choir stalls, are made of oak.
They were made and donated by Alex Simmons of Upton Fields in 1949.
Either side of the east window of the chancel are two brackets that once held figures of St Peter and St Paul.
They now hold modern wooden figures carved by Richard Adlard.
When the chancel was rebuilt in the 1860s, six earthenware pots were found embedded in the walls of the old structure. They were placed three on each side, at intervals of six feet and 7-8 feet above the floor, with their mouths facing outwardly, but covered with plaster.
These pots are assumed to have been used to amplify sound – this technique was also employed by the Greeks and Romans, and may have been common in medieval English churches. Around the same time as the Upton pots were discovered, similar discoveries were made at around the same time in churches in Norwich.One of these was preserved, and fragments were kept in the church for a time – references and images can be found in late 19th/early 20th century descriptions of the church.