Church of the Month

Categories: Church of the Month

The featured church for May 2019 is All Saints’ church, West Markham, which is located 9 km south of Retford.

The small building consists of west bell turret, nave, south porch and chancel.

There is herringbone stonework visible in the internal south nave wall and the south doorway and south chancel doorway date from the 12th century.

The font is Norman (c.1090) and, according the Pevsner, is ‘of unusual interest, with very barbaric figures under arcades.’ The figures may represent saints.

The south door is considered to be one of the oldest in the Diocese of Southwell. Built of three oak planks it has been suggested that at least part of the door is early to mid-12th century.

A worn stone medieval effigy of a clerk in holy orders lies near the altar.

Several 17th century floor stones commemorating former vicars can be found in the chancel.

There are also six 16th century benches, a 17th century panelled pulpit and a 17th century alms box on a pedestal inscribed with ‘Remember the Poor’.

The 4th Duke of Newcastle had a classical mausoleum built a short distance away as a resting place for his Duchess, Georgiana Elizabeth, who died, aged 34, giving birth to twins in 1822. The mausoleum was consecrated in 1833 and on the Duke’s orders became the parish church for West Markham (renamed Markham Clinton after the Duke’s family name). The old church was allowed to fall into disrepair until 1930 when the vicar started restoration work. Eventually in October 1949 the Consistory Court of the Southwell Diocese ruled that the old church should become the parish church.

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