Church of the Month

Categories: Church of the Month

The featured church for September 2018 is the former church of St Leonard, Ragnall, 12 km south-east of Retford.

The building consists of a nave and integral south aisle (there is no arcade dividing the two), a chancel with south aisle, and a west tower. The chancel, vestry, and the south aisle were rebuilt in 1864, possibly by the architect Ewan Christian, at which time the rest of the building was restored. The nave has some 14th and 15th century windows and the west tower is constructed of two phases, the uppermost having plain, rectangular belfry windows that appear to be of the 17th century with a single trefoil window lower on the south side, probably re-used from another part of the building.

There were formerly two 17th century monuments on the north chancel wall. The memorial to William Reason (died 1627) was decorated on the crown with a broken pediment and decorative cartouche, and on the apron with skulls and crossbones. The monument to William Mellish (died 1690), was decorated ‘with stiff swags, the apron with cherubs’ heads and the crown with an arch surmounted by two urns and a central decorative cartouche’.

A memorial on the north nave wall commemorates the six young men of the parish who were killed in the First World War.

The octagonal font, wooden pulpit, pews and prayer desks all dated to the 1864 restoration.

In 1993 the church was formally declared redundant and is now privately owned. There is no public access, although the churchyard remains open.

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