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Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire
by Peter Kessler & Aidan MacRae Thomson, 12
North Warwickshire Part 3: Churches of
Hurley, Middleton & Baxterley
The Church of the Resurrection, Hurley,
is on the western side of Heanley Lane, just above the junction with
Atherstone Road. Hurley became a village in 1861 with the opening of
the church. It was built as a wooden missionary church, and a graveyard
was opened for it a short distance away. In 1947 Hurley Methodist
Chapel was in use, but the location has since been lost. Hurley
Hamlet has three or four old buildings but the site of its former chapel
has also been lost.
St John the Baptist, Middleton, lies on
the north-east corner of Church Lane and Coppice Lane, to the west
of the village. A Saxon church probably existed here, but no trace
of it has been discovered. The present church is Norman, built
probably towards the end of the twelfth century. The lower part of
the nave and the walls of the chancel are part of the original Norman
building but at this time it would have had a lower, more steeply
pitched roof, and no north aisle or tower.
The church was enlarged towards the end of the
thirteenth century with the addition of the north aisle which replaced
the stone wall with an arcade. The original north door, opposite the
present porch, was transferred to the new north wall. It was blocked
up in 1875. In the fifteenth century the west tower was added. The
pitched roof was probably replaced by a flatter version supported by
higher walls. The porch was added in the eighteenth century.
The Church, Baxterley, stands on the southern
side of Hipsley Lane where it meets Main Road, well to the west of the
modern village of Baxterley itself and much closer to Wood End. The
church has no known dedication, and stands in a beautifully rural setting.
The oldest part of the building, the chancel, was put up about 1200, but
additions were made throughout its life, including extensions in the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, with the nave added at the latter point.
The earl of Derby is thought to have given the church
to Merevale Abbey in the twelfth century. The crumbling red sandstone west
front and the diminutive tower seem to date from about 1600, although the
tower's base was put in place about 1540. The present nave and north aisle
appear to be part of the Victorian rebuilding and extension work that was
carried out about 1875 by Paull and Bickerdike. The vestry and porch were
also added at this time.
All photos on this page kindly contributed by Aidan