Church Building

Extension: the story so far

St Botolph's church was originally a 14th century building, though it is recorded that there was a priest in Burton Hastings in 1086.Church on a sunny day

It consists of a chancel, nave, south porch and a tower with crenellation and pinnacles.

The chancel and part of the tower are considered fourteenth century. The nave was rebuilt at the beginning of the sixteenth century, followed by the rebuilding of the tower.

More recently the Church has been re-roofed and the exterior walls partly renovated. A new south porch added and the interior refitted.

Outside the ChurchThe porch and sundial

Sundial

Above the porch is a sundial. It is dated 1867 and is enscribed with the words Carpe Diem: Seize the day.

Scratch dial

Barely visible, on the exterior of the south wall, (to the right of the porch about 6 feet from the ground) is an ancient "scratch dial" or mass clock. Little is known about the primitive dial, but it is thought that its purpose was to indicate the canonical hours to the priest. The hole in the centre would have housed the gnomon, or style, as on a sundial.

The door

The shape of the stones around the top of the door give a clue that it was originally a single door.

Marks on the base of the towerMarks on the tower

The Battle of Bosworth Field was fought nearby in 1485. It is thought that the marks on the base of the tower were caused by members of an army who were sharpening their weapons.

The church, taken from the westThe Tower

In the ground floor to the tower is the vestry. In the vestry are stairs leading to the balcony where the bells are rung.

The BellsFrom the nave, looking at the bell ropes in the tower

There are five bells, of which three are ancient; two are dated 1657, one by Brian Eldridge and the other by Henry Bagly. The third is undated. The last two were added in 1937.

In the modern ringers' gallery there is a painted panel depicting the Royal arms.

The bells are usually rung before Evensong. Occasionally, teams of bellringers also visit the church and ring the bells.

The Nave

The FontThe font

The font is made out of sandstone. Text book opinions of its date seem to vary from about 1300 to the early 16th century.

Carved around the font are arches with rosettes, fleurs-de-lys and a hammer.

The Millennium WindowMillennium window and rood loft doors

To coincide with some work which needed to be done to the stonework and with the new Millennium, it was decided by the PCC that a Millennium Window be built. This was also funded by the Village, which meets regularly in the church.

The Millennium Window shows scenes reflecting places within the parish.

The Millennium Window was dedicated on 17th June 2001 - St Botolph's Day - in a special gathering of villagers and members of the church congregation.

Doors

To the right of the Millennium Window there are two doors, one above the other. Behind the lower door there are steps leading to the higher door.

The higher door originally led to a rood loft. A rood is a crucifix mounted above the entrance to the chancel. A veil would have been attached during Lent from the rood loft. In England during the Reformation, many roods were destroyed.

Ancient tree trunk chests

Situated near the organ, there are two ancient iron bound chests. Each chest is made out of a hollowed tree trunk.

In 1538, Thomas Cromwell, Vicar general to Henry VIII, ordered that registers of births, marriages and deaths should be kept. These registers date back to 1574 and would probably have been kept in the chests.

CorbelCorbel

Situated above the organ, in the corner of the nave, is a head. This is a corbel, originally used to support a beam.

Isaac Wells Bread Charity

On the North wall, between the organ and the Millenium Window, is a tablet dated 22nd July 1819. Written on this tablet is the Will of Isaac Wells.

He gave a sum of money to the Churchwardens. The annual interest from it was to be used to buy and distribute bread at the Church door on Christmas Day.

This interest amounts to approximately one pound and one wonders how much bread such a sum would have bought in 1819.

The ChancelThe chancel

The chancel's side walls are the oldest parts of this church.

At the far end of the chancel, in the east, is the altar. In the north wall, near the altar, there is a small aumbry, where vessels would probably have been stored.

In the south wall of the chancel there is a piscina, or basin.

At the base of the chancel arch is a framed medieval floor tile.

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