Image of the feature "III. Exterior Features: 3. Exterior Decoration: b. Arcading: W wall" at Earl's Croome.
by Ben Read.
In the church is a copy of a 19thc. pencil sketch in the Prattinton collection, which shows the old W wall of the church, then standing in the vicarage grounds. Above the W doorway, which is clearly of later medieval date, are two superimposed blind arcades, the lower of seven bays with a window in the central bay, the upper of four bays. The lower arcade, round-headed and of one order, is carried on eight shafts, all except the responds on moulded bases. The capital of the N respond is plain, the others are apparently carved with symmetrical scrolls on the face or with angle volutes. The sill of the window is lower than the flanking string course; the latter includes stones with a carved lower edge, and some of the stones bear saltires on the face. In the centre of each of the blind bays, at a level corresponding to the mid-height of the shafts, is a carved panel, square or rectangular in shape except for the outermost bay on the R, where it is circular, possibly decorated with beading. The upper arcade, round-headed and of a single continuous order, has a row of centrifugal lateral chevron or zigzag on the label. There is some indistinct decoration on the string course below; there may also be a carved cornice above.