Thornton, Leicestershire – St Peter

The final church was St Peter’s in Thornton – SK 468076.  It has a mention on this website and the church has a website too – interesting how Junction 22 of the M1 is seen as the unifying feature.

We parked by the Lych Gate – installed by the Reverend H. Cooper, Vicar 1904-1919, in memory of his son and the other lads of the village who died in WW1. There are some interesting stories to be told of how people coped after such a loss. There is a lovely path through the churchyard, and we enjoyed the view of the tower (about 1400). There are also some excellent posters about the finances of the Diocese of Leicester – we could do with something similar in Derby. Sadly, when we got to the porch we found that it is several feet above the level of the Nave – too many steps even for a ramp. The congregation person was very apologetic, and we can’t honestly see what they can do at reasonable cost – so Julie sat in the porch with a drink while I did a quick visit.

Please could we remove the drawing-pinned notice from the door which once stood at the entrance to the tower. It (the door not the notice) dates to 1720, made for the churchwardens Robert Jones and John Buckley. The C14 door at the porch is quite impressive. It is reputed to have come from Ulverscroft Priory in Charnwood Forest when that monastic house was dissolved. It makes me wonder how they got it here. The church itself dates to about 1300, the clerestory is about 1500. Burial vaults under the church have not helped with its stability – the crossbars keep it in place.

Also at the west end, the clock mechanism is 400 years old, the work of a blacksmith. There is no clock face on the tower, but the clock, which is wound every three days, uses rope and pulley to strike every hour, its clapper sounding on one of the three church bells above. The lead plaques may have originally certified lead roof repairs.

The Commandment, Creed and Lord’s Prayer boards were cleaned in 1998, having been installed in 1820.

The Chancel was rebuilt in 1864 at the cost of £400, and the organ probably dates to the same time. I like the painting which reminds us what it used to be like at the altar.

As we made our way back up the slope, I had a quick trot round outside. Lovely setting – a walk round the reservoir would be good. We had seen a lot today – home for a sleep!


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