Church of the Month

Categories: Church of the Month

The featured church for December 2018 is the church of St Edmund, Mansfield Woodhouse.

The church comprises a west tower with broach spire, nave, north and south aisles, chancel, vestry, chantry chapel,and north and south porches.

In 1304 a disastrous fire swept the entire village and destroyed much of the church. King Edward I granted Sherwood Forest timber for the rebuilding of the village and church to be rebuilt.

There were major restorations of the building in 1848-53 (by W. B. Moffat) and 1877-78 (by T.C. Hine).

The tower dates from the 13th century and has a well proportioned broach spire. At the top of the spire is a most unusual second tier of small dormer windows. Pevsner commented that they are ‘so close to the tip and so tiny that they look from a distance like a spiky finial.’

The four-bay nave arcades date from the 14th century and were heavily restored in the mid-19th century. Each arcade has ‘3 filleted clustered piers and 2 matching responds, with water holding bases and moulded capitals.’ The tower arch also dates from the 14th century and is double-chamfered and rebated, with hood mould and filleted responds.

Features of historical interest inside the church include the 17th century Digby Memorial, an octagonal stone pulpit (featuring a corbel with a carving depicting Eve eating the apple, with a serpent entwined around her), a 14th century double semi-effigial slab featuring an knight and his lady, 17th century stained glass showing the arms of Roland Dand in a south aisle window, and individually carved poppy-heads on the pew ends dating from the early 1850s.

By the 1980s the church suffered mining subsidence. It was sympathetically refurbished between 1986 and 1988.

Further information on the church is available from the Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project website.