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Some Churches in Leicestershire & Rutland

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St Mary, Melton Mowbray

Photo of exterior of St Mary, Melton Mowbray

St Mary is well worth a visit if you are in Melton. I was there on a day when the tower was open, so I went to the top and got a bird's eye view of the town and surrounding countryside. This slightly distracted me from the charms of the church, but there is plenty to see and enjoy, not least the many clerestory windows which, as can be seen on the left, run along the nave and the transepts allowing plenty of light in.

Photo of exterior of St Mary, Melton Mowbray

Rather like Ketton, there are some good Early English windows with dog tooth decoration on the tower. Having said this, most of the church is Decorated Gothic in style dating from around 1280 to 1330 (the 'golden age of Leicestershire church architecture' according to Pevsner - see also Gaddesby, Stoke Golding). To complete a hat trick of styles, the clerestory is Perpendicular in style and comprises 48 windows.

Photo of exterior of St Mary, Melton Mowbray

There is a small spire on the top of the tower on which the workmen who constructed it left their names and outlines of their shoes. There is also a fair amount of graffitti from the 17th century onwards.

Photo of interior of St Mary, Melton Mowbray

The interior was much restored by the Victorians. The nave has arcades of six bays, there are north and south aisles, and aisles in the north and south transepts with two arcades of three bays each. The church guide says that the only other churches in the country with aisles in the transepts are in Bristol, Faversham, Patrington (Yorkshire), and Luton.

Above the chancel arch you can just about make out the coat of arms of Charles II. There are also several monuments, brasses, etc. Sir Malcolm Sargent was choir master here from 1914 to 1924.

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