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Hagioscope

Hagioscope

This feature pierces the massive pillar separating the nave from the Bindon Chapel.  Its ancient function was to allow the congregation to observe the priest celebrating the Mass at the holy table, or altar, and at its associated medieval piscina (rediscovered in 1889), set into the adjacent wall, beneath the east Bindon window.

Hagioscope

For many centuries, it has served no function in worship, but is still greatly cherished as an unusual and a decorative piece of the church fabric.  Beneath the hagioscope, on the southern side of the column supporting the chancel arch, can be seen markings, which may indicate the position of an ancient stairway, which was perhaps used to gain access to the medieval rood screen.