The church lies to the west of the village, in
a secluded site bordering the river Leen. The church is a Grade 1
listed building of great historical interest. Having said that,
it is primarily a place of worship and is maintained to the glory
of God. These notes are based on "Linby and Papplewick
Notebook" by the late Reverend L. Illingworth-Butler, a former Rector.
church is thought to have been built in the 12th century. In the
grant made by Henry II to Newstead Priory, part of the endowment
was "The Town of Papplewick with the Church of the same name
and the Mill.". Legend has it that Alan A'Dale, one of Robin
Hood's men, was married here. The present tower dates from the
14th century. The nave and chancel were rebuilt by the Hon.
Frederick Montagu in 1795 (after he had rebuilt the
Hall.). In 1855, Papplewick was united with Linby.
The Parish is now called 'the Parish of St. Michael, Linby cum
St. James, Papplewick'. The building was further restored and
repaired in 1938 in memory of John Chadburn,
son of Mr. C. W. Chadburn, the then Patron of the Parish. The
organ was moved from the west to the east of the north wall; the
staircase used to be where the organ is now. The organ claims to be a Willis, but our tuners are not too sure !
There is a constant
repair programme; In 1997, there was work on the tower and the bells were rehung. In 1999 the Westmoreland diminishing slate roof was replaced. Recently, the church has
affected by a 1.7m drop caused by mining subsidence. During the repairs the oportunity was taken to renew the lighting in the church and carry out redecoration. The path was relaid and some work carried out on the east window. It
MAIN FEATURES OF THE CHURCH
- The outstanding feature is the East Window by Francis
Eginton. It is a copy of Reynolds's famous window in the chapel of New
College Oxford - depicting only Faith and Hope! It
is signed and dated 1796.
- In the window west of the porch, there are some fragments
of really old stained glass, although obviously wrongly
- Now look at the floor ! The church is noted for its incised tomb slabs. It would
seem that in various alterations of the building, several
have been removed from their original positions, while
others have been cut to fit as floor stones. They are
varied designs, some dating as early as the 13th century.
Note should be made of the Foresters' slab marked with a
bow and arrow, horn and baldric - a reminder that this is
Robin Hood country ! Two slabs in the porch walls bear
bellows, the insignia of officials at the Forge Mills.
- Just inside the door is the old Norman tub font. It was
found in the Churchyard, and until its restoration , the
tiny marble basin at the back of the church was used.
- On the partition is painted the Royal Arms, perhaps
placed there when the Church was rebuilt.
- Another outstanding feature is the musician's gallery. At
the east end is the old "squire's pew". In it
was a private fireplace - marked now, by a
replica, sadly. It is said that the squire rattled the fire
irons to let the preacher know that his sermon was going
on too long! (Access is not possible to this area) .
- Over the door is the Hatchment of Miss Catherine Judith
Fontayne. She was the daughter of Anne Colladon (who
married John Fontayne) and succeeded to the Papplewick
estates after the death of the Hon. Frederick Montagu in
1800. She died in 1822
- In the Church are memorials to the Montagu and Colladon
families, and one to William Howitt, a benefactor of the
Parish. More recent are the War Memorials to the memory
of John Chadburn and Alan Chadburn.
- In the belfry, there are five bells, each of which
carries an inscription. One bears the trademark of the
celebrated Nottingham bell-founder , Henry Oldfield, and
also the date 1620. The inscription reads: "I
sweetly tolling men do call, to feaste on meates that
feed the soule". Another is simply marked
with a cross, and the name of ELENA inscribed in old
English. This bell may date back to the latter half of
the 15th century.
- In the porch there are carved figures above the door. The
one immediately above the door is late Saxon or early
Norman probably representing St. James. The higher figure
used to be set high up on the inner side of the archway,
but it is uncertain whom it depicts.
- The Churchyard tells a story of its own. There are
tombstones of the early 17th century which is a rarity.
One near the path bears the date 17012 which has caused
much speculation. From the registers, it is shown that
the actual date is 1712.
The Churchyard is still in use. An area for the internment of Cremated
Remains has been created at the foot of the tower and a
Book of Remembrance relating to this to be found on the chest at the back of the Church.
Churchyard stands the magnificent yew which some say date
back to the days of the royal decree that yews should be
planted in every churchyard to maintain the supply for
the famous English Longbow. The tree is about 350 years
old. The oak seat surrounding it has recently been restored.
We hope that you will visit the church. It is
located at the end of Church lane, accessible from Main Street.
The 'meadows footpath' passes the
building, and provides a pleasant stroll of about one hour. It is a fine
building in a beautiful setting, with its own special tranquility. As a place of worship it is used each Sunday; full
service details can be found on our community pages
and are posted on the notice board at the end of Church lane. A version of this description the text can be downloaded here.
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