Attenborough, Nottingham – St Mary’s

Jonathan is the Vicar of St Mary’s Attenborough, just this side of Nottingham. He is also an Ecumenical person for Southwell diocese – so I went to see him for lunch. Have a look at the church website –, and the link to . My camera died, my phone photos are not good, and it is so long since I visited (25 February 2019) I can’t remember a thing. Take these photos as a start – and I’ll go back.

The first church here was built in 964, and the oldest visible part of the church is a C12 doorway arch. The tower was begun in the C14, the spire was rebuilt in 1848 by Hall, a Nottingham stonemason. I failed to get a complete photo of the whole interior. They have the builders in and are making a new kitchen area.

Looking up there are some lovely carvings on top of the pillars. The north side is about a hundred years earlier than the south. Makes you wonder what held the roof up for that century!

The medieval door on display dates to about 1100 – I still bear the scars of a displayed medieval door in one of my first churches.

I think the other wood carvings are Jacobean – “let’s carve a mermaid” – and the lectern is a very severe angel.

On the wall of the north aisle are the Warren arms, a hatchment measuring about 5 foot square. Apparently it is associated with Admiral Sir John Borlace Warren, who was created a baronet in 1775. A lovely memorial to Miss Day. Her family had been parish clerks for 300 years – it’s a shame the plaque doesn’t recognise that.

There is an interesting mixture of glass. The first is St John, St James and the Blessed Virgin Mary. A window given by the Charlton family and installed by Alexander Gascoigne.

A window given by the Charlton family and installed by Alexander Gascoigne. He is also behind the War Memorial window portraying St Nicholas, and St George – I like the soldiers and the biblical family in clogs.

The East Window, the Resurrection, is in memory of John Royston Pearson 1819-1876 and his wife Elizabeth. It was installed by Pearson, Ward and Hughes of London in 1891.

There is a fragment of coloured glass from a bombed church in Sheffield.

The modern glass is The Ascension, designed by H.T. Hincks, installed by Pope and Parr of Nottingham in 1946, in memory of the Reverend J. Smaridge, curate 1894-1908 (a remarkably long time between his departure and the window being installed). Pope and Parr installed the Christopher and Cecilia window in 1960. The Children, Baptism and daily life window, in memory of Miss Day, is 1986.

In the church is a War Memorial to those who served and died, and there is another memorial in the churchyard to those who died in the explosion at the Chilwell Armaments Works in 1 July 1918. Have a look at this site for more information.

In an earlier conflict, the Civil War, it is believed that Cromwell’s troops stabled their horses in the church. Ireton House, which borders the church, was once home to Henry Ireton, a general in Cromwell’s army and a signatory to the execution warrant for Charles I – He later married Cromwell’s daughter. When he died he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but his body was exhumed at the restoration of the monarchy and hung at Tyburn. His parents and three of his siblings are buried in the churchyard. I am glad we live in more peaceful times.

Jonathan and I went for a walk through the nature reserve beside the Trent, and got some nice photos. 

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One Response to Attenborough, Nottingham – St Mary’s

  1. Rosemary says:

    This is the most interestingly written history outline I’ve seen of St. Mary’s. Pity it can’t be published with the photos. Thank you Jonathan.

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