St Botolph and St John The Baptist - Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 51.385 W 000° 45.655
30U E 650752 N 5858646
Quick Description: Medieval church in Croxton Kerrial, is dedicated to both Saint Botolph and Saint John the Baptist.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/8/2019 1:21:11 PM
Waymark Code: WM10BN2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Before the reformation the church had been dedicated to St. Botolph but later, perhaps by an order in Council of Henry VIII, was changed to that of John the Baptist. A carved statue of the saint can be seen as you enter the church, which replaces a much earlier one.

No traces of an early building survive, but it is likely that the earliest part of the present building – the early English arches under the tower – were built around 1186-1200, during the Bishopric of St. Hugh.

There are stone seats inside the porch which are a reminder of the time when stone seating ran round the inside of churches for the relief of the old and infirm. Everyone else had to stand or kneel.

The south porch features a 'humility door', forcing visitors to bow their heads before entering.

The inner door of the south porch is 15th century with a fine humility door, ensuring that all who entered had to bow their heads in reverence. The figure of the Virgin and Child above the door had been badly burned and was restored in the 19th century.

The windows in the south aisle (right side) are 14th and 15th century. At the eastern (far) end of the south aisle are two beautiful windows, and a piscina, used for the washing of sacred vessels.

The nave is 46 feet long and 18 feet wide and is one of the oldest parts of the building. The large west window is 14th century and three-panelled).

There is a 15th century wooden door above the pulpit which, in recent centuries, led on to a musician’s gallery. This would have been taken down when music was provided by the organ in 1868. Higher still there is a carved cherub under which is a wooden trefoil. This marks the bottom of the bell chamber and the congregation can be spied on from up there.

There are six bells at present. In 1553 there were four and a sanctus bell and were rung from the bottom of the tower. In 1876 the four large bells were restored, a broken one recast and a new one added. The bells were restored and re-hung in 1958. It is not certain when the new ringing chamber was made.

The present chancel was rebuilt when the three-panelled east window was inserted. Unfortunately, this is now hidden by the stone reredos from 1873. The sanctuary lamp dates from 1921.

The present north aisle was rebuilt and reroofed in 1868 as it had been in a very dilapidated state. The rest of the roof was also done, and it is interesting to note that musket balls fired by Cromwell’s soldiers were found embedded in the lead."

SOURCE - (visit link)

"The Medieval Pews

The eagle predominated on the bench ends, which was the symbol of St. John the Evangelist, the Patron Saint of the Abbey. Also on the bench ends are the symbols of the families who had endowed the abbey in the days of its greatness. These gave a kind of medieval insurance policy. The more one gave, the more the likelihood of entry into heaven, and the more masses said for one’s soul.

Some oak boards which made up the back rests were dated by the Tree-Ring Dating Laboratory at the University of Nottingham and were dated as mid-15? century. The pew ends themselves have not yet been done, but are probably earlier. The dating also shows that the wood was probably from the Baltic, which is not surprising since the east of England is well placed to trade with the Baltic over the North Sea.

Row 1: Carved on the first row at the choir end of the nave are busts of monks with their medieval choir books.

Row 2: The pew end on the north side portrays a nobleman in late medieval dress with his walking stick and two dogs. This could possibly be a depiction of Nicholas de Crioll, a patron of the abbey who gave his name to the village. On the south side is a shield with a displayed eagle.

Row 3: Has four eagles carved on the north side and two eagles on the south side.

Row 4: On the north side is displayed a lion rampant surmounted by a military cap on the north side and monks with their choir books on the south side.

Row 5: In the main aisle the ends have dragons on both sides, but on the south side aisle end is a shield with two chevrons. Again, this shows affinity with the Crioll family whose coat of arms it is.

Row 6: The south side shows a Maltese cross. On the north side is depicted a pagan green man with the tongue coming out on both sides of his mouth. Just below this carving is depicted what looks remarkably like a set of teeth.

Row 7: The north side end has a cross of St. Andrew. On the south side there are eagles facing east and west – the symbol of St. John the Evangelist, the patron saint of Croxton Abbey.

Row 8: This interesting end has carved faces of women. The one showing faces side by side are thought to be of twin sisters who lived in Waltham, and were generous benefactors of the abbey. The two women’s faces on the south side end could also be depicting these sisters."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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