All Saints - Narborough, Leicestershire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 34.381 W 001° 12.219
30U E 621734 N 5826288
Quick Description: Parish Church dedicated to ALL SAINTS is to be found in Church Lane, Narborough and serves both villages Narborough & Littlethorpe and is often referred to as the "Ancient Parish Church" of All Saints - Narborough.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/29/2014 9:51:20 AM
Waymark Code: WMN5D8
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 3

Long Description:
"The first mention of a church in Narborough is in 1142 which had a Saxon Priests door on the south side wall but but was omitted by the Victorians when the church was re-ordered as part of the re-building between 1856 - 1883. A Saxon Tombstone known as a hogback was found in the gardens of Narborough House whose walls are the boundary of the Churchyard,and can now been seen in the Jewry Wall Museum, Leicester City. The first firm ecclesiastical evidence we have of the church in Narborough is with the founding of the Augustinian Canonry of St.Mary Meadows, Leicester in 1143. The Canons built up its estates piecemeal, and also obtained 22 churches in Leicestershire including Narborough, and Croft.

Few medieval records survive, and we get only scarce snippets of information with which to form a picture of what the church might have looked like at the time. Several times the church is recorded as being "void" meaning there was no current incumbent of the benefice. In 1314 the Sheriff came to Northborough in order to settle a land dispute with the then parson John de Cave over his right to a third part of the manor of Thorpe Juxta Northborough [Littlethorpe.] In 1528 we are told that the rectory was in ruins. This was probably the building which stood on the site of a later rectory which was later sold and is now the Blaby District Council Offices. Often mentioned as being "the old rectory."

In the 16th Century most country parsons were also farmers, which allowed them to be self-sufficient and having little need for money. Thomas Glover Rector of Narborough until 1555, was one of the rarer breed of prosperous parsons and also one of the few pluralists, ie holding more than one living. He held Narborough and Peatling Parva and drew an annual income from these two of £35.8.3d which when compared with the normal common income of a parson at the time of £6-8 clear of all outgoings.

The Church is a Grade II listed building and is now regarded as a fine example of being heavily restored in the Perpendicular style architecture category of listings, with a fine south doorway formerly Norman but removed by the later Victorians and having a chancel dating to 1865 in the 13th century style. The building of local granite with a limestone dressing, lead roofs to nave and aisles and with Swithland slated roofs to chancel, vestry, organ chamber,the North vestry and South organ chamber came about as a result of the further restoration in 1883. The West Tower is in 3 stages with its diagonal buttress roof and battlements; a moulded plinth with a restored battlemented parapet and is complimented by carved gargoyles at the corners.

The bell chamber openings are arched with 2 terraced lights. The middle stage has small rectangular windows and the West frontage has two windows with ogee tracery with a good doorway. The tracery in the spandrels with an arcade of six bays, the East one was added in 1883. There are also a 3 light clerestory. The fine chancel is by F.Bacon and has work of very varied detail. The South windows and the sedilia together with the bold external treatment on the North side.The font has simple tracery panels of various kinds.

The Church Exterior

Some interesting features on the outside are the stonework faces on either side of the windows [also on the inside of the porch either side of the door one of which appears to be of a king.] Over the South door can be found some Tudor quatrefoil ornamentation work. The outside Porch was built in 1860 and cost £70. [The internal Porch was erected in 1899 and cost £50.]Stonework faces are also to be found on either side of the archway leading to the chancel.

A piscina [a small niche into which water used for washing sacred vessels was emptied] can be seen on the South wall in the Lady Chapel. The two larger niches [Sedilia] were the seats for the priest and his assistants. These ancient piscina and sedilia were originally at the East end of the aisle are are from the earlier church which at a later date, when a further bay was added were moved to their present position.
The Font has been moved twice as far as is known. Originally it was placed near the North aisle facing the South door but during the re-ordering of the church in 1883 it was moved to a position under the Tower. In 1947, when the Baptistry was added it was moved again to its present position. The font is 12th Century Sunken stone panelling with quatrefoil tracery, originally it had armorial emblazonment.

The Church Interior

The Nave In 1931 a faculty was granted to move pews in the South aisle to form the War Memorial Chapeltogether with an altar to be used for weekday and other services when the congregations were small. The box pews, installed in 1774 were removed in 1883/4 and the War Memorial Chapel was changed to a Lady Chapel in the 1950s.

The Stained Glass

Most of the stained glass windows are 19th Century, many of which have been donated by families of the parish in memory of loved ones. The East window is by Heaton, Butler & Bayne 1883 and in the North isle is a rare example - the Ascension Window by Theodora Salusbury - 1929 in memory of the Everard Family, the well known Leicestershire brewers. The plain glass window in the West end of the North aisle has some rather interesting coloured glass in the tracery lights. The glass is from the late 15th Century, but is not in its original position and depicts an important female Saint. The glass to the left of the head is not part of the original glass, but was included to fill up the space.

The Chancel was rebuilt in 1883/4 and the only remaining piece of the old masonry is in the arch forming the top of the aumbry. Set in the north wall within the altar rails. Other fragments discovered at the time of the restoration can be found in the vestry. 3 embossed tiles, probably dating from the 15/16th Century, and impressed with floriated circle with the initials [SVM Sancta Virgo Maria have been laid at the base of the pillar behind the pulpit. Then tiles were originally in groups of 4.

The Monuments in the Churchyard now officially "closed" to further burials has some of note. Those of the Kirk family c18 to c19 and others with Neo-Classical motifs by Samuel Hall of Leicester, 1854.

The Bells and Clock

One of the interesting features in the belfry is an old beam, which goes across the roof but has had to be supported and bears an inscription (part now covered by the supports)and some indistinct. The letters RB 1630 IO T R I C C H ROBERD BIGS I P C H D E R can clearly be seen. The RB is almost certain to relate to Robert Bigs 1630.

The bells were originally hung in an oak frame but in 1974 extensive restoration work took place to the tower and the bells were removed. They were returned and re-hung in a new steel frame by the famous bell founders Taylors of Loughborough. The Church records show that in 1623 a bell weighing 8 cwt was cast by Watts of Leicester which has a Latin inscription "Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews on it. Another bell weighing 13cwt was cast by Watts of Leicester and is dated 1640 with the old English alphabet engraved around the edge.

Two further bells were cast in 1678, one weighing 16cwt and inscribed "Swetely tolling men doe call to taste the meat that feeds the souls"by the bellfounders Oldfields of Nottingham. In 1882 our own Taylors of Loughborough cast the heaviest bell in the tower, weighing 20cwt. This bell was cast in the memory of Joseph Simpkin, Churchwarden.

From the entries in the Churchwardens Accounts is shown that in 1774 bellropes were bought for 5/- [25p]whilst in 1775 two bellropes cost 8.1/2d [6p.] In 1777 oil for the bells cost 2/- [20p.] For tolling the bell to commemmorate the deat of his majesty King George III on 16th February, 1820, the Bellringers of Narborough were paid 2/6d [25p] and on All Saints Day 1823 the Ringers were also paid 2/6d for ringing.

There are two peal boards in the ringing chamber which record the peals rung on 1st April 1907, 21st March 1908 and 23rd April 1977- Easter Mondays.

The present public clock was installed in the tower in 1899, as a memorial to Joseph Simpkin by his family."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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