Historical description of St Swithins Church building
The porch is constructed of knapped flint. There are stone quoins and there is a fine Mass dial, which still functions. It has Arabic numbers by the rays and it is therefore believed that it may not be as old as it seems. There is a niche over the entrance.
The thicker sections of the nave walls, with the conglomerate outer and massive quoins to the North-west, mark the original dimensions of the nave. The original walls are believed to be Saxon, Saxo-Norman or perhaps, early Norman. Rounded opening show that the nave was both extended to the West and heightened, before the end of the 12th century. The round tower could have been that date also.
The present North and South doorways, inside the Norman rereaches are of Early English type and the two nave South windows have Y-tracery. The doorways and these two windows were remade around 1300.
The South and East windows to the Chancel, are decorated and from the first half of the 14th centry. The Chancel arch could belong to either around 1300 or to later in that century. The piscina is decorated style.
The South porch is perpendiculare as is the rood stair. The blocked feature in the North-east chancel wall, coupled with the blocking of the North window, which includes medieval brickwork, suggest that there may, at some time have been a sacristy, or vestry, against the North wall. There is no obvious evidence for a doorway from it into the chancel. However, the tracery of the North nave window could be of any period from the late 14th to the early 16th century.
Several 'Poppyheads' are in the nave and the chancel, one on a bench with armrests formed by a dragon and a lion, others rest to later benches. The 19th centry woodwork is heavy but one desk in the chancel is different, formed with flowering crosses.
On the back of the rearmost pew there is a carved panel depicting the five Wounds of Christ. In the upper register there are two feet, two hands and a heart. Below, in the lower register, is another line of shields with initials TB; OM and LG. perhaps the initials of the rector and churchwardens at that time.
In the South-east corner of the chancel can be seen a tomb chest and the sad epitaph to Honor Bacon, who died aged 18, in 1591, on the eve of her wedding. A pedimented shield of the Bacon family arms stands on top against the East wall. There is a long rhyming inscription of high quality, but partly illegible, which says; 'she died before her wedding night'.
The font is Vicorian. The stained glass in the East window is by William Morris & Co and was made in 1928.
Restoration to the church was carried out in 1840 to 1842; 1849; 1867 and 1921. The tower is said to have been rebuilt in the 1849 works. The nave and chancel roofs are both 19th century but the chacel gives the impression of being later than that of the nave. The internal 19th centry furnishings appear to belong to the 1840's.