Tickencote lies just 3 miles north-west of Stamford, very close to the A1. It has a special place in our hearts because Tickencote with its glorious Norman chancel arch was where Diana’s passing interest in churches became a passion. If you are haring up the A1 I can’t think of a better place to interrupt your journey and chill out for half an hour.
The chancel arch is perhaps the finest single feature in any Rutland church and its Norman chancel is one of the most perfect in England. The exterior suggests perfection throughout but much of it was sympathetically restored in 1792 - when the “terror” of the French Revolution was at its height - by one Eliza Wingfield who is commemorated above the church door. This restoration apparently saved the church from ruin and appears from contemporary documents to have preserved the general original outline of the church.
The church is known, as is so frequently the case, to have replaced a Saxon structure but no trace remains. The present church is believed to date from around 1130-1150.
The celebrated chancel arch has 6 orders of decoration and its size seems somewhat too large for the church! The decorations are elaborate and include many examples of the delightful semi-pagan imagery of bears, cats and monsters that typify this period.