Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. Mary`s Church (Bottesford)

St. Mary`s Church is the parish church of the Leicestershire village of Bottesford, close to the Nottinghamshire border.

It is largely built in the Perpendicular style, and the earliest parts date from the early 14th century.

The West tower has an outstanding spire, rising to 210 feet, and the porch is unusually tall.

Above the chancel arch is a faded doom painting.

There are a number of excellent monuments, Uniquely, there are monuments to eight Earls, consecutively the first to eighth Earls of Rutland. Two are by Grinling Gibbons.

The monument to the sixth Earl is the famous withcraft one, referring to children killed by "wicked practice and sorcery". The alleged perpetrators were Joan Flower of Langham and her two daughters, Margaret and Phillipa. On the way to prison, Joan asked for some bread, saying that if she were guilty God would strike her down. Having taken a mouthful she did indeed drop dead, although she may well have taken poison to avoid execution. Her daughters were hanged at Lincoln prison.

The 16th century Flemings Bridge leads into the churchyard across the River Devon. It was provided by a Rector, who had earlier almost drowned when falling in.

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