Edwalton Parish Church of the Holy Rood, Village Street, Edwalton, 1987

Image ID: 19759

Edwalton Parish Church of the Holy Rood, Village Street, Edwalton, 1987

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Village Street

Eighteenth century oak chair: a memorial to a parishoner (brass data plaque on back of chair). The following article about the church is from 'Links with old Nottingham by J Holland Walker' 1928:- 'It seems to derive its origin from a Saxon settler of the name of Eadweald, who reclaimed a parcel of waste in the midst of a boggy district. This boggy nature of the surroundings of Edwalton acted as a defence in times of difficulty, but it was also a nuisance, for it cut the settlement off from the nearest church which was at Tollerton. Edwalton had no church until 1166, about which time Robert Fitz Ranulph founded Beauchief Abbey, and endowed it with, amongst other gifts, the living of Edwalton. There was a lawsuit about Edwalton Church in 1228, which shows that it was then a chapelry to Flawford. But there is scant trace of whatever buildings stood on the site in those far-off days, and whatever is left has been altered and masked to such an extent as to be now almost unrecognisable. The tower, covered by ivy planted about 1840, stands on an ancient stone foundation, and is built of red brick diapered in black. There is, however, a tradition, which seems likely to be right, that it was built during the reign of Queen Mary, and if that is so it must brick after the fashion used in Essex during the reign of Henry VII be almost unique, for there was but little church building during her short but tumultuous reign. The original dedication of the church was to St Lawrence and Holy Rood, but Holy Rood is used by itself nowadays. It is a curious dedication of which there are only twenty-three examples in the country, and an erroneous tradition still exists that Edwalton Church was one of those built in expiation of the murder of St Thomas a Becket. Without being thrilling Edwalton Church is a delightful place, exhibiting to the full the subtle beauty of age. Nor does it lack comedy, for in the churchyard will be found the tombstone of Rebecca Freeland, who died in 1741, with its curious, though not unique epitaph : 'She drank good ale, good punch, good wine, And liv'd to th' Age of Ninety-nine.' The church itself is a patchwork of history. As you walk up the path, past the latest additions - which include a transept, vestries and Meeting Room - added in 1996-1997; you see the lighter stonework of the original chapel which measured only 18 feet by 30 feet, which now forms the lower portion of the north wall of today's structure. Above it is the yellower stone of the clerestory added at the end of the 14th century between 1377 and 1399. Like the original, this heightened church had a thatched roof. About the same time the south aisle was added and the Devil's Door pierced through the north wall. This door was left open during baptisms, so that when a child was christened any evil spirits could fly out. The bricked-up outline of the door can be seen on the outside. Around 1550 the present tower was added to replace an earlier one which had crumbled, built of brick in English bond with diagonal buttresses it is a noteworthy feature and, in all probability, one of the few church towers built in the reign of Mary 1. By the year 1600 the original simple stone chancel had fallen into ruins and for over 200 years was bricked off with only the nave being used for worship. In the late 19th century, as Nottingham prospered, the railway came to Edwalton (goods in 1879 and passengers in 1880). Successful merchants and tradesmen built their big houses outside the city, and as the population grew the Victorians rebuilt the chancel in its present form in 1894. The brick they used failed the test of time and began to crumble and in 1980 the whole of the outer brickwork was renewed and the size of the buttresses reduced. After World War II, and again in the 1990s, new housing developments increased the population in Edwalton and its environs and the little church had to grow once more to meet the needs of an expanding population. 1996 work began on an extension comprising a north transept, Vicar's and Choir Vestries, a parish office, a meeting room, toilets, storeroom and kitchen. The work was completed in February 1997 and dedicated by the Bishop of Southwell on March 2nd 1997.

Date: 1987

Organisation Reference: NCCS003148


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