Saturday, May 13, 2006

Perlethorpe Church, Thoresby Park


 Above: Church of St John the Evangelist, Perlethorpe. The low surrounding wall pre-dates the current building.

Perlethorpe Church, the Church of St. John Evangelist, was built in 1876 by Sydney William Herbert Pierrepont, 3rd Earl Manvers, at a cost of £17,000. A memorial to the Earl can be found on the inner north wall. Designed by Anthony Salvin, the church stands across the road from Perlethorpe Church of England School (now Perlethorpe Environmental Education Centre). Some features within its grounds are said to date from the previous church, such as the "dwarf boundary wall" (1861), and gas street lamp (c.1861) by the western gate, several of which once illuminated the path leading to Thoresby Hall, the route the Duke and Dutchess's carriage would take when attending service.

As early as 1904 very extensive repairs were made necessary due to the poor construction methods used in the walls. Bonding stones had not been placed across the cavity in the walls, and the infill of rubbish there was causing serious decay. As the decades passed and mining subsidence occured, the strain caused by the six bells in the tower was also a cause for concern. In 1952 five of these bells would go to West Bridgford.
In the early 1900's the 4th Earl and Countess Manvers would arrive at the original wrought iron gates on the west end in a carriage drawn by a white horse. After the service the Countess would find out from her Estate Agent which of the village's children were missing. She herself would then visit those families in her carriage to ascertain how poorly the child was, before instructing the manager of Home Farm to send that family fresh milk, eggs and butter, whilst providing hot soup direct from Thoresby Hall.

The present entrance to St John's is the lychgate (covered gateway) on the south of its grounds. This was added in 1922 as a memorial to those men from Thoresby who fell in World War 1. (Budby village organised their own large cross). This lychgate was designed by A. Gleave, Nottingham, but the work was carried out by Thoresby Estate, and the carving by Tudsbury, Edwinstowe.


Above: Sunday School classes were held in the area to the left as one entered.

To encourage Sunday School attendance in the 1950's the children would receive attendance stamps. These richly coloured illustrations of passages from the Bible were then stuck inside small albums. Miss a week, miss a stamp!

In 1951 Reverend Barton, took over the Parish. He had been Principal of the Theological College in Newfoundland and his study was brim full of fascinating artefacts from this distant land, which engrossed the imagination of every child who stood patiently in his study awaiting his entrance so  communion classes could begin. Nicknamed "Pa", Mr Barton lived in a house by The Kennels until 1968, before retiring to move to Oban, Scotland. In 1956 Bill Langstaff (the dinner lady's husband), stoked the boilers at the church, succeeded in 1959 by Jack Kenyon, a plumber at the Woodyard who lived in the Alms Houses.

Perlethorpe Church's weather cock was removed in 1960 as a safety precaution. That same year school headmaster Mr Pierpont (no relation to Pierrepont) took a small group of the older boys from the school (including myself), across the road out onto the tower at the base of the spire to experience the view. Such was the quality of education at Perlethorpe, always enriched by unexpected little initiatives

For more about Perlethorpe Church, Thoresby, see THIS LINK  and THIS LINK.

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5 Comments:

Blogger robin hood said...

Perlethorpe Church, Thoresby Park / Thoresby Estate.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Sherwood Forest, the Dukeries, Thoresby park, history.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Pierrepont, Manvers, Dukeries, Thoresby Hall, Thoresby Hotel, Thoresby Park, Perlethorpe, Perlethorpe Village, Ollerton, Budby, Sherwood Forest.

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Anonymous ralph moxon said...

Hi... we lived on Thoresby for 9 yrs, thankyou for such a lovely site, you have done a great job. We still have contact with the estate and have many friends on there. Kind regards.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks Ralph.

I spent the first 13 years of my life in Thoresby. Long before your time there I suspect). This site was originally just a way to learn how to make a website, using a few old postcards of the major oak. But I'm glad it blossomed.

I still go there to visit the gallery and coffee shops, so definately more pictures to come over time.

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