Thursday, 20 June 2013

My childhood Church... Mavesyn Ridware

                          St Nicholas' Church, Mavesyn Ridware.

This church holds a special place in my heart as it’s where I worshipped all through my formative years and was a member of it’s church choir. I was confirmed and married here, and both my parents lie in it’s churchyard – The newer part of the churchyard is kept immaculate by volunteers.
I wouldn’t say it’s the prettiest of churches but it’s full of history, having been founded in 1140 by Hugo de Mavesyn and is grade 1 listed. It’s setting is idyllic. It is situated on the curve of a horseshoe shaped narrow lane in a secluded hamlet with just the Hall, a farm and a handful of cottages for company. The peace and tranquillity in this hamlet is wonderful while the river Trent meanders close by.


   Rear view of church, taken from old part of churchyard.        ...combination of old and new merged in 1782

The original medieval C12 church was extended over it’s first three hundred years. The north aisle was built in the C13 and contains lancet windows, and the tower at the West end was added in the C15 and is in Gothic style with gargoyles projecting from it’s corners.
………During the mid/late C18 the nave, south aisle, chancel and porch were demolished, leaving just the medieval north aisle and the tower remaining in situ
This north aisle is now known as the Mavesyn Chapel, although I always knew it as the Crypt. It holds the tomb of Hugo de Mavesyn and effigies of Knights and subsequent Lords of the Manor.

…In 1782 the present red brick church was merged into the side of this medieval crypt, but built at a higher level This new church was given a large square nave and a polygonal apsed chancel., and has coats of arms and shields embracing it’s nave walls.

                                                                                                                                                                                   Four of the church bells date from C17 with a further two added early in     the C20            
I know from experience how heavy these bells are to ring….I attempted on a few occasions (under supervision) to help ring the bells for Mattins on a Sunday morning,. The only one I could manage was the smallest of the six - Evidently I needed to eat more of Popeye’s spinach!! 
They make a beautiful sound when all their changes are rung correctly.

I was told the font dates back to the Norman period – I intend to verify this, as I have reservations about it’s age, I think it’s more likely to be C14

Secluded corner in new churchyard for people to sit and reflect.

One day soon I hope to travel to revisit this charming church which holds so many memories for me.

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