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Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire
by Peter Kessler & Aidan McRae Thomson,
18 April 2010
South Warwickshire Part 42: Churches of Lighthorne
St Laurence, Lighthorne, sits at the very
western end of Church Lane, to the west of the village, which itself
is close to the Roman Fosse Way. The church (which is also referred to
by some sources as St Lawrence) is built of stone in the late-thirteenth
century style and consists of a long chancel, a north chapel, an even
longer nave, north aisle, south porch, and a wide tower at the western
end of the building. An arcade of four bays divides the nave and aisle.
The tower walls are of white, coarsely tooled ashlar,
built in three diminishing stages with an embattled parapet. The advowson
has remained attached to the manor throughout its history. In 1364, John
de Blockleye, the rector, obtained leave to assign lands and tenements in
Harbury, but did nothing about it, and the proposed chantry in Harbury was
apparently not established as a result. The tower was rebuilt in 1771 and
the remainder of the church in 1875-1876.
The fittings are modern except for a seventeenth century
plain chest in the tower, and some reset ancient stained glass. There are
four bells in the tower, the oldest of which is from the fifteenth century.
This tenor was cast by the Worcester foundry. Another bell is a Henry Bagley
example of 1679, while the other two were added in 1890. In the chancel's
south-west window is a fourteenth century shield of Beauchamp of Warwick in
a white patterned roundel.
St Giles, Gaydon, lies between Church Road and
Church Lane in the centre of the village. From the time at which it was
founded, the medieval chapel at Gaydon was probably a chapelry of Chadshunt,
which was part of the prebend of the precentor of Lichfield. In 1284 the men
of Gaydon agreed to pay two marks annually to the precentor towards the support
of a priest for their chantry in the chapel of Gaydon, and the rights of the
mother church of Chadshunt were carefully safeguarded.
The mother church of Chadshunt became subordinated to
the vicarage of Bishop's Itchington at the end of the thirteenth century,
and from that time until 1879 the two chapelries were served from the vicarage.
By the early Victorian era the decision was reached to replace the chapel with
a brand new church. This was opened in 1852 as a small building of ashlar in
the fourteenth century style, giving it the look of richly-coloured toffee,
now badly weathered in places.
Built to a design by the architect Squirhill of
Leamington, the replacement church consists of a relatively small chancel,
nave, and a north aisle with a tower at its west end. It contains no ancient
features except the single bell, which came from the old chapel. On 22
February 1879 the two chapelries of Gaydon and Chadshunt were separated
from the parish of Bishops Itchington, ending an arrangement that had lasted
for almost five hundred years.
All photos on this page contributed by Aidan