St Chad, Wishaw, is on the eastern side of The
Gravel, close to Church Lane. The dedication is for St Chad, bishop of
Lichfield (669-672), suggesting the original wooden church was built
around that time or perhaps shortly afterwards. The present building was
erected at the start of the thirteenth century, standing somewhat remotely
amidst the fields. The warm red sandstone chancel is the oldest part
remaining. The nave was added at the end of the same century.
Above the sloping roof of the nave is the vertical wall
of the clerestory which was added late in the fifteenth century. The tower
was built in 1650. A general restoration took place in 1886, which is when
the vestry was added (the small extension nearest to the camera in this photo
and adjoining the porch). Buttresses were also added, as the walls no longer
seemed capable of bearing the weight of the roof. The tower contained two
bells, with a third added in 1997.
St John the Baptist, Lea Marston, stands between
Church Lane and the River Thame, to the south of the village and the
railway. The parish is a small one, four and-a-half kilometres (three
miles) long from north to south and about one and-a-half kilometres across
(one mile). The church was built in the late thirteenth century, in ashlar,
although only the south wall of the nave (featured here with the new chancel
to the right) and perhaps much of the north wall survives.
The church seems to have been lengthened westwards for
a former bell turret in the fifteenth century, when the south porch was also
added. In 1876-1877 the chancel was entirely rebuilt, the tower was added,
and a great deal of renovation work was carried out to the nave. The modern
tiled roof has a barrel-vaulted ceiling of stained deal. The tower contains
a ring of three bells. One was by J Rudhall in 1791, while the others date
to 1855 and 1873 by Taylor.
St Giles, Nether Whitacre, lies in the triangle
formed by the Coventry Road, Dog Lane, and the church's lane. There are
indications that a Saxon church existed on this site, although it seems to
be difficult to confirm. By 1280 the Norman chapel of Nether Whitacre had
been appropriated to Markyate Priory, where it remained until the
Dissolution. After 1545 it was granted to Thomas Marrow. The parish registers
date from 1439, making them some of the earliest in the region.
The first stage of the west tower was added in
the sixteenth century, perhaps replacing an earlier effort of the
fourteenth century which left traces of its existence in the carved
stones which survived it. The church was largely renovated by the
Victorians in the 1870s, removing most original features apart from
the tower, some fourteenth century glass, and some rubble walling.
The work seems to have included a great deal of rebuilding, even
down to the doors.
All photos on this page contributed by Aidan