Great Orton – St Giles’ Church
The church of St Giles at Great Orton was built in 1098, when William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror was on the English throne. Much of the original Norman architecture has been retained, with some restoration taking place in Victorian times, and again the 1980’s.
St Giles is the patron saint of cripples, and his church in Cripplegate, London, is well known. A local legend tells how a white deer fled to his protection while being hunted by a king. An arrow, intended for the doe, pierced the saint’s head, for which the king later apologized.
A stained glass window in the South wall shows St Giles sheltering the Doe, who provided him with milk to drink, from hunters led by King Flavius (by Millican, Baguley and Atkinson 1955). At some time the church was dedicated to St Kentigern, which may explain why there is a window in the North wall depicting St Kentigern (by Clayton and Bell). The East window is of the Crucifixion, by Powell Bros of Leeds.
As you look down the ailse from the entrance, the walls appear to lean out. The font has an ornately carved cover with a Greek inscription that reads the same forwards and backwards.
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