A few months ago, when Man and I went on a church hunt and nearly accidentally kidnapped a pensioner (read about Rosemary here), the one church we were too late to get to see was St Wilfrid’s at Low Marnham. We found it, but it was closed.
So last weekend we decided to return and see if we could get inside.
For a little hamlet, St Wilfrid’s is a fair sized church. It is at the centre of the tiny village of Low Marnham and there are houses and a farm or two set all round it, like it’s sitting on a village green. It’s a lovely little place and you can see that it would have been quite self-sufficient and self contained in times gone by. Now it’s really what you would call ‘in the sticks’.
Low Marnham is mentioned in the Doomsday Book as belonging to one Roger de Busli who, despite no one knowing very much about him, seemed to own half of Nottingham, half of Yorkshire and many holdings in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and further afield at the time.
St Wilfrid, to whom the church is dedicated, was a Northumbrian nobleman who took Holy Orders. He trained at Lindisfarne and was a bishop. He is famous, apparently, for a speech in 664 at the Synod of Whitby where he advocated using the Roman system for calculating the date of Easter. So it’s his fault Easter hops about on different dates each year.
It has a lovely collection of grotesques and gargoyles around its roofline.
Some of them are really quite irreverent :) . Incidentally, I saw on a website the other day some of ‘mooning men’ – grotesques literally pointing their bare bums at you from the church walls, with their heads between their legs … I HAVE to track some of those down!
I think I probably enjoyed the location of this church more than the church itself but there are several things of interest to commend it.
The Royal Arms above the chancel arch are those of George II (1727-1760) and are in great condition considering the age.
I suppose it was built on to the original corner which has then been replastered round it. But I couldn’t find any information about it in the information pamphlet.
These attractive souls live at the bottom of a memorial to a William Wilson dated 1698 and, as usual, I searched out the memorial to those who lost their lives in the First World War and found a tribute to three villagers.
The main door of the church is lovely.
And another door amused me.
I have another new book. Simon Jenkin’s England’s Thousand Best Churches. Wherever I am in the country I shall be sure to be able to find an interesting church to visit now :) (Man is so pleased!).
However, in my defence, I have also purchased a new book for him. The Good Pub Guide. So, at least when I drag him off to visit these churches we can find a nice pub to have lunch in as well. Everybody’s happy.