CASTLE

ASHBY

ST. MARY'S

GRENDON 

The church is built from limestone rubble with ironstone dressings. In the church are the remains, in the form of two rounded arches, of the original C12th building. The two eastern bays of the nave arcades and the chancel were rebuilt between 1368 and 1380, with the clerestory being added in the 15th century along with the four-storey tower; the tower contains a ring of five bells, dating from 1618. The church houses a wooden framed clock which was made locally in 1690. The tower now uses a replacement made in 1970, but the original is still kept in the church as an exhibit and remains in working order.

 

Inside the church, on each side of the chancel there are medieval wooden corbel carvings of the grotesque faces of a nagging wife and her leering husband - they are thought to have been a local couple.

 

The gargoyles on the four corners of the tower represent the four evangelists:

  • a man's head for St Matthew

  • a lion for St Mark

  • a bull for St Luke and

  • an eagle for St John

 

The chancel was re-roofed in around 1848. There are three hatchments relating to the Compton family - one bearing ravens represents the arms of a former Lord Lieutenant of the Tower of London.

 

Of the church, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner says, "The first three bays on both sides are late Norman. Next in order of time the late 12th-century doorway with one order of shafts carrying simple moulded capitals and an arch with a thick roll moulding. Early 13th-century the simple north doorway close to a pair of lancets. Money was left to the campanile in 1453."