The story as I was told it, is about a local couple, George Parnell and Mary Newton, who fell in love but the match was not considered a good one by Mary’s family and friends.
St Peter and St Paul church at Church Warsop, Nottinghamshire
The sweethearts were forbidden from marrying; heartbroken George fell ill and died at the age of 38. Mary lived on for another twenty years, but finally, when she died, remained true to her love and was buried in the same tomb as George.
Memory of George Parnell who departed his life the 2nd of March 1806 Aged 38 years old.
Sacred, to the memory of Mary Newton who died 30th January 1826
The church has continued to change over the years. Surprises have come to light as builders have worked on the church over the years. A pair of medieval shoes which were deliberately placed in the structure were found in 1979. Admittedly I would love to know what happened to them after they were found. Still to this day, you can see an imprint of the shoes in the wall near to the doorway of the bell tower.
Above the doorway of the bell tower in the Norman West face, you can make out a triangular pattern in the stonework, reminiscent of the late Roman wall facings.
The church has many interesting features in the stonework, such as the Gargoyles, carved by the stonemasons as decorative waterspouts. They look down protectively from the church roof, their demonic faces traditionally warding off evil spirits.
The Bell Tower
From the distance, the Norman bell tower is just the same as any other bell tower, but this tower has some of the most interesting historical features. Near the top is a remnant of the original Norman period decoration, just below the south facing clock is a lancet window. In the lintel of the lancet window, you can just make out a cross which could have been a grave marker used in the original churchyard dating back to around AD 1000 and reused to build the Norman tower.
The clock faces are positioned on the two sides of the tower, unfortunately, these are not the original faces. The original clock faces form the central feature of the welcome, to Warsop flowerbeds, which is located adjacent to St Teresa’s Church on the A60.
I had come past this church on my way home one day and I was drawn to it like a burger is to a bun, I had no idea it had so many histories behind it. What fascinated me more than anything is the idea of adding features to ward off evil spirits with the Gargoyles facing you on each corner of the church and importantly the find of the medieval shoes found in the stonework. Traditionally shoes were deliberately placed in structures of buildings such as chimney stacks and in dry stone walls to ward off evil spirits.
I wonder why the stone mason found the need to ward off evil spirits at this church. Unfortunately, this story might be lost unless those who are reading this have some research about this and in this case please, kindly contact me.