One Sunday after Mass my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of some good weather and visit some of the churches in the Warwickshire countryside that operate an open door policy. Below are a few photographs and a little history about what we found:
St Leonard's Church (Charlecote)
This church sits just outside the grounds of Charlecote Park. A Gothic style church conceived by and paid for by the Lucy family, owners of Charlecote Park who are all grandly entombed and depicted in the family chapel, mainly in alabaster. Mary Lucy, a woman before her time, was the force behind the building of the church which contains excellent examples of church craftsmanship including some wonder stained glass.
St Peter Ad Vincula (Hampton Lucy)
This church stands on the site of an ancient Mercian minster dating from the eighth century. The present Gothic-style building dates from 1826 and replaces an older church on the same site. Some of the floor tiles still date from the 14th century, this church contains some very impressive features. For example the tops of the choir stalls are replicates of those in Ely Cathedral's Lady Chapel. They are actually in better condition than those in the Cathedral due to the devastation it faced during the reformation.
St Nicholas' Church (Loxley)
This church is one of the oldest in England; it has been a place of worship since the 8th century and contains Saxon and Norman features. The tower is 13th century. The organ is the only one of its kind in use and was made in Birmingham. The pulpit was added during restoration work in 1740 and a little unusual in that you have to quickly slip through the sacristy to reach it. The only stained glass window in the church is to the right of the altar which is of St Peter and was also added during the restoration work. A Saxon wall uncovered in 1983 when a damp course was being installed and is thought to have been Built around 950AD. (All these features can be seen in the photographs in the slide show above).
St Nicholas' church although not as heavily decorated had the most special feel about it having been a place of worship since the 8th century and the only church we visited in which Mass would have been said.