Minster Lovell

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This is a small cruciform church with central battlemented tower next to the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall (separate review). It was built by William Lovell at the same time as the Hall and has remained virtually unchanged since 1450 apart from some refurbishment by the Victorians. This included the altar and organ.

Steps lead down into the church. The nave is quite short compared with the rest of the church. At the back is a large 15thC carved font with carved base and quatrefoils round the base. There are traces of 15thC glass in some of the windows.

There are pointed arches at the transept crossing with smaller arches on either side. Under the crossing is a lierne vaulted ceiling.

The north transept was once set apart for use by the people of Crawley who had no church of their own. Now it contains the organ. At the back is a wooden screen with painted shields in front of the vestry. On the wall is a memorial to the dead of the 1914-18 war.

The south transept contains the magnificent alabaster tomb of William Lovell in armour with his head resting on a helmet and feet on a lion. Round the base are painted shields with weeping figures (mourners), St Christopher, Virgin and Child and St Margaret.

This is also the Lady chapel and at the east end is a a simple stone altar with a blue wall hanging behind. Above the roof is painted blue. There is a squint to give a view of the high altar.

The reredos behind the high altar is late 19thC and was erected in memory of Lady Taunton and wife of the then owner of Minster Lovell Hall. It has five carvings set under elborate pinnacle with representations of the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, Rising from the Dead and the Ascension.

The church is open daylight hours and is worth visiting if visiting Minster Lovell Hall. It is to the east of the village. There is a small wooden sign to the church at a road junction where there is parking space. The road is signed as unsuitable for motors. It isn’t. What they really mean is there is little parking at the end by the church and turning may be a problem.

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