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Church of the Month (July)

The church of St Nicholas, Tuxford, is the featured church for July 2022. Tuxford is a small town approximately 11 km (7 miles) south-east of Retford.

The church comprises a west tower with spire and rood turret on the south-east corner, a five-bay nave with north and south aisles, north and south porches, north mortuary chapel, north vestry, and chancel.

The lower section of the tower dates from the 13th century but the remaining tower fabric (including the spire) is 14th century.

The clerestory was added c.1475, probably by Sir John Stanhope, whose coat of arms was on the battlements but are now badly worn.

The chancel was rebuilt in 1495 by Thomas Gunthorpe, the Prior of Newstead Priory. It has striking carved heads above the windows, including one said to be the devil.

The 13th century north arcade has circular piers, whereas the south arcade has octagonal piers and is possibly c.1300. The carved heads above the south arcade piers are of interest, particularly one of a woman with a scold’s bridle and one showing an open-mouthed man.

The font and its imposing, ornate font cover dominate the west end of the nave. The font is dated 1662 and the cover was made by Francis Turner and dates from 1673.

The medieval chantry chapel at the east end of the north aisle was enlarged in the 18th century to form a private chapel for the White family of Tuxford. It contains an impressive alabaster monument to John White (died in 1625) and his wife Dorothea, and effigies of a cross-legged knight with his hand on his sword and an alabaster lady with a rosary. Nearby is an incised floor slab C14 floor slab with a shallow carved figure of a knight and heraldic shields.

Under the east window of the south aisle is a 14th century sculpture of St Lawrence being martyred on a gridiron.

The earliest stained glass in the church is in the east window of the White Chapel and depicts St Lawrence. It probably dates from c.1500. There are several late 19th-early 20th century windows by Heaton, Butler and Bayne.