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Church of the Month (August 2023)

The church of St Mary, Car Colston, is the featured church for August 2023. The village of Car Colston is 14 km (8.5 miles) south-west of Newark.

It consists of a west tower, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and chancel.

The church was repaired at various times during the 1840s and 1850s and a major restoration was carried out in 1882 by the Louth architect, James Fowler, at a cost of £900. The work involved the raising of the nave roof to its original pitch, the re-roofing of the south porch and rebuilding of the clerestory.

The west tower is of two stages: the lower one dates from the 13th century, the upper stage is Perpendicular and the crenellated parapet and ‘squat setback octagonal spire with crocketed finial and weather-vane’ were added in 1857. The tower was further restored in 1911.

The mid-14th century chancel is higher than the nave and is distinguished by large three-light north and south windows with ogee reticulations; the superb five-light east window has ‘graceful flowing tracery.’ The aisles clearly overlap the chancel, proving that they were enlarged after it was built.

The arcades date from the 14th century and have tall, slim octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches.

The sedilia has been described as ‘magnificent’ and was created c1325-1350. The piscina has a nodding ogee arch. They are both heavily crocketed and finialled.

The font is a plain Norman one and the pulpit Jacobean. The communion rails were given in 1732 is unusual in that it has a semi-circular projection in the centre probably to allow room for the celebrant to stand when facing a bride and groom.

The middle window in the south chancel wall contains stained glass by C E Kempe and depicts SS Raphael, Michael and Gabriel. The window dates from 1875 and commemorates two sons of the rector, the Rev John C. Giradot.

The Nottinghamshire historian, Dr Robert Thoroton, is buried here. His stone coffin, designed by him several years before his death in 1678, is decorated with Latin inscriptions and shields of arms. Thoroton’s grave marker has also been moved from the churchyard to the inside the church.

Further information is available on the Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project.