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Church Post Code LE16 8TY

Open to visitors


Visited March 2022

It was a bright, sunny day in March 2022 and a rare day out in Leicestershire. We had crossed the Rutland border and started the day ay Hallaton; the busy A47 which works its way towards Leicester was to our north and Rutland was off to the east.

    The Northamptonshire border was not a million miles away either, with Corby a few miles distant to the south west. It was to be a day of small attractive villages, set in glorious countryside, with a few early spring lambs thrown in as well. The churches visited, were for the most part, open.

I would like to say that there is always a great deal of planning going in to these trips, but not on this day. Basically, we saw a sign with Hallaton on it and went for it, needing to waste a little time before Medbourne church was due to open for the day.

Hallaton was one of the bigger villages, visited that day, with a population if just under 600 at the time of the 2011 census. It is big enough to support two public houses and its own village museum. Uppingham is seven miles or so off to the north east.


The church of St Michael & All Angels stands on slightly raised ground in the centre of the village; surrounded by some glorious old buildings, with the top of the churchyard wall coming up to ground level, giving an uninterrupted view across the church grounds.

I approached the church from the east, with imposing east end and even more imposing east end of north aisle. It is evident that there was some serious wealth here over the centuries.

The welcome committee was good as well, a lovely calico cat wandering over to say hi. It’s about the churches, that is obvious; but it’s also about the cats …and the food, it is definitely also about the food, as was evidenced by the trip to Medbourne village shop later that morning!

The church here dates back to the 13th century, with much of the present structure dating from that time. The aisles date from a century later with a contrast between the plain south aisle and a much more decorated north aisle. The structure consists of west tower, which is offset to the north, with octagonal spire, nave with north and south aisles and clerestories, north and south porches and chancel. The nave and aisles are battlemented and buttressed throughout


Moving inside, it was bright and welcoming inside, which was a little surprising given the amount of stained glass here. The walls are whitewashed and there are four bay arcades to north and south which lead down to the chancel arch, which has two angels, wings unfurled, over the top.

There is some interesting stained glass here. The east window depicts the nativity and is by Kempe, this featuring his traditional wheatsheaf ‘signature’ in the bottom left hand corner of the design. A fine depiction of the four evangelists includes John holding a chalice from which evil emerges in the form of a serpent. Christian legend states that John was given poisoned wine whilst at Ephesus; when John prayed over the drink, the poison came out in the form of a serpent.


One interesting three light window has representation of three archangels, Raphael, Michael, after who this church is dedicated and Gabriel. Raphael is shown holding a fish. A little research shows that this is a reference to the book of Tobit, (which I had never heard of) in which Raphael appears to Tobit who had been attacked by a fish; telling him to take out some of the internal organs and apply them to aid healing.

Other glass includes a two light window which shows St Michael is shown defeating evil in the form of a dragon alongside St Margaret of Scotland, crowned and holding a processional cross. One further two light window shows Jesus reinstating Peter who had denied knowing him three times on the night of his arrest. The same Peter is at the forefront of worshipers on the adjoining panel which shows the ascension. Turning to the Old Testament we have a scene from Numbers Chapter 21. Here God had sent fiery serpents among the Israelites due to their distrust in him. God then instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent himself and put it on a pole. Anyone who was bitten and looked at the pole would live.

Elsewhere, there is a golden haired, golden robed celestial orchestra. The early morning sun was casting multi coloured reflections through the stained glass. It was peaceful and glorious!


Moving back outside, reluctantly to be honest as I found this a very pleasant interior, the cat was still there who came over again; very vocal and telling me a tale of woe! The church grounds are of interest but a quick look around didn't show anything of any great rarity. One gravestone which I suspect might be fairly early 18th century shows a winged hourglass, with the sands of time having run out for the deceased; be aware it says to the onlooker, they will run out for you as well so live a good Christian life, trust in God and do not be caught short when your own time comes. The light quality was excellent and it had been a very good start to what was to be a full day Leicestershire churchcrawl. On going back to the van, both Gary and myself spoke about the Hallaton Museum, which can be found in a tin tabernacle. It was closed, but one to look out for if we are back in this area again. A fine church in a fine village!



Church Post Code LE16 8DQ

Open to visitors


We headed off the short distance to Horninghold, and the church of St Peter. This is another lovely structure of Ironstone and Limestone, which dates back to the 12th century.

The church that we see today consists of west tower with spire, nave with north and south aisles and clerestories, north porch and chancel.

The crowning glory of the exterior is a beautiful 12th century Norman south doorway. This has been reset from its original position; having originally been positioned on the wall of the nave before the aisles were added during the 13th century, at which point the tower and spire were also built.

Doing a little background research on this church before this was typed out, I found mention of the incumbent priest here Humphrey Michel who was the priest here from 1676 until 1723.He was an interesting character who used to fight regularly with the congregation and the Church of England. He kept a diary, parts of which have been published. This diary was noted as being full of ‘quaint grumblings’! He also kept a record of the witch trials held in the village which are fascinating.


There are connections here with the Knights Templar’s, in as much as a Knights Templar gravestone was excavated here in 1951. The Knights Templar’s were a monastic military order, which was formed at the end of the first crusade; whose aim was to protect pilgrims who were making their way to the Holy Land.

This is now wall mounted. There doesn’t appear to be any other Knights Templar connections to the church here, and it is intriguing as to how it found its way here.

Moving inside and there is a real sense of age here! Sadly, there were signs of a few structural issues as well with an area deemed as being unsafe taped off around the chancel arch. Over the years there were concerns raised as to the overall condition of the structure.  As a result, there has been much restoration here during the 19th and 20th centuries.


There is no stained glass here, this helping to create a bright and welcoming interior.  The east window of the chancel is small, of two lights. The altar is bare, with the exception of a single cross.  There are no wall plaques or monuments in the chancel; the reredos consists of four small red curtains.

A look to the east end of the south aisle shows a piscina on the south wall, indicating that in the day, there would have been an altar here with communion given.


This had been a good start to the days churchcrawl! Two very interesting churches, with each being open to visitors. Both of these, in fairness, were visited to waste a little time before the church at Medbourne was due to open at 10am. The church there was the main reason for being in this area that day. It was towards there that we headed, four miles or so to the south.

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