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“ The porch, built in 1637…. is a startling confection with its heavily sculptured form. The twisted columns were probably influenced by the depictions of columns in Solomon’s temple in the Raphael cartoons that were purchased by Charles 1st in 1623. The pediment contains a shell niche containing a statue of the Virgin and Child, that would seem appropriate since Mary is the patron of the church. However, this particular sculpture incensed the Puritans who feared a revival of popery. In 1642 the heads of Mary and Child were shot away by a parliamentary soldier, to be restored in 1662. Bullet marks used to be seen in the area surrounding the sculptures.”
Chapter 4, page 80