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St Peters Church

The church building














There has been a church on the site since the beginning of the fourteenth century, although it is likely that it was a place of worship before that time. The Church was first mentioned in the Episcopal Register of 1303 and the tower was added during the fifteenth century.

The outer wall of the tower has a row of carved stones, one depicting arms and the other dogs.

Only the tower remains of the original church, the main body being rebuilt in 1835, although the font is believed to be fourteenth century and two of the five bells pre-date the Reformation.

The transept windows have cast iron tracery and the west gallery, cast iron columns. The cast iron tracery windows were installed in the 1834/5 rebuild and were the work of Weatherhead and Glover, Derby iron founders who later became Handysides Limited, Derby's famous iron foundry.

The fine altar tomb has alabaster figures of Sir Humphry Dethick and his wife (1599) and along the front reliefs of three sons and three daughters. It was one of the Dethicks who went to Cleves to find a fourth wife for Henry VIII and his son William laid a pall of rich velvet on the coffin of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1624 the Rev. William Dethick bequeathed £100 to the parishes of Newhall and Hartshorne.

The church had an extensive rebuild in 1835, costing £1,400. The North aisle is separated from the nave by two pointed arches supported by an octagonal pillar, the mouldings of the capitals appear to indicate 15th century work.

Halfway up the outside of the Bell Tower on the West side is a row of five sculptured stones. The first and last bear a dog or talbot passant, on the second and fourth are the usual monograms of the name of Our Lord and on the third is a shield with the maunch or sleeve of Hastings. The arms of Hastings between two talbots passant may also be seen sculptured on the Castle at Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

On the East of the Tower is a shield bearing - on a bend, between twelve fleurs-de-lis, six cross-crosslets fitchee. On a stone in the West wall, inside the bell chamber, is a shield vaire, doubtless intended for the arms of Meynell, which appears to have been removed in 1835 from the South front of the Tower and used to prop up the Tower roof!

The Bells

Ring of five, two being of pre-reformation date, the letterings being:

I - 'Stebbing Shaw, Rector, Thos Hassall, James Insley Churchwardens 1792'

II & III - 'Stebbing Shaw, Rector, Thos. Hassall, James Insley Churchwardens 1792, Edwd. Amold Leicester fecit'

IV - 'Hec Campana Beata Trinitate Sancta Fiat'

The bell founders mark is attributed to Richard Mellor and on the waist are the initials H.N., on the crown is the name, - "Hewch Royll".

Note: Hugh Royle was a churchwarden. T Royles or (Roiles) held the small manor/farm of shorthazels for several generations.

V - 'Ave Gracia Plena Dominus Fecum'

Source: Hartshorne Then and Now: A pictorial history of the village, Complied by Brian Robinson, Published by Hartshorne Parish Council, 2000, p 7


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