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Gallery: Churches of Nottinghamshire
by Peter Kessler, 3 April 2011
Rushcliffe Part 1: Churches of Colston Bassett & East Bridgford
St Mary's Church, Colston Bassett, stands
on a prominent plot surrounded by open fields. It can be found on the
south-eastern side of New Road, midway between Wash Pit Lane and Hall
Lane, immediately north-west of the village. The Bassetts were a powerful
and wealthy Norman family who held large estates, including the manor of
Colston, between about 1100-1390. The village then was probably closer to
the church, and perhaps moved following the Black Death.
The Norman church was built about 1130, in rough blocks
of blue lias limestone, probably preceded by a Saxon church. It consists of
a four-bay nave with west tower, south transept and an aisled chancel. The
south porch was removed at a post-medieval date and the north aisle, possibly
along with the north transept, was demolished in 1774 and the arcade filled
in. The south arcade collapsed following the church's closure and the removal
of its roof between 1892-1899.
St Peter's Parish Church of East Bridgford stands
in the western wedge formed by the junction of Kirk Hill and Trent Lane on
the south-western side of the village. The first church on this site was
built in the seventh century for the Middle Angles. That church is mentioned
in Domesday Book. It apparently survived until the thirteenth century as there
is no architectural evidence of either the Saxon or a Norman building. In the
thirteenth century the church was entirely rebuilt.
Aid for the work was provided by the Chapter of Rouen
Cathedral, but the chancel is the only remaining feature of this rebuild.
The nave was enlarged by the Caltofts and a chantry was founded by William
Dayncourt in the fourteenth century. Further work in the nave was undertaken
by adding clerestory windows in the fifteenth century. By the later part of
the eighteenth century the church was very dilapidated, so in 1778 the tower
was rebuilt and the roof replaced.