Our cover photo on the Facebook page this month features the ruins of St Mary’s Church, Colston Basset.
If you fancy taking a walk around this area, the following info will definitely point you in the right direction.
Kinoulton, Colston Bassett & Cropwell Bishop
Walk Route Description
This circular walk explores the Nottinghamshire countryside visiting three villages en route. The walk also includes a section of the partly derelict Grantham Canal. The route includes some walking along roads but this does not detract from the walk’s enjoyment.
The start is a small car park (grid ref SK678324) located on the east side of the minor road from Kinoulton to Cropwell Bishop. After parking walk south along this road over the Grantham Canal and descend the to towpath. Walk south west with the canal on your right. This section of the canal has water and is under restoration. The canal turns left at the Devil’s Elbow towards Kinoulton. On your right is Vimy Ridge Farm with its avenue of Lombardy trees which were originally planted in commemoration of the death of the owner’s son during World War One. The original planting was replaced as part of the Millennium celebrations.
Reaching the next bridge (grid ref. SK675306) leave the canal towpath and walk east through the village of Kinoulton. Reaching the road junction at the heart of the village continue straight ahead on the lane leading to Hall Farm (grid ref. SK684314) where a bridleway leads across fields in a north easterly direction to join an enclosed track that leads to the attractive village of Colston Bassett where refreshments are available.
Continue straight ahead passing the church on your right. At grid ref. SK700334 take the footpath on the left. This path leads past the remains of St Mary’s Church to reach a lane. Go straight across the lane and continue on the bridleway past Home Farm on your right. This leads into Pasture Lane, a track that leads to a road on the east side of Cropwell Bishop (grid ref. SK687354). Turn right and walk through the village to a road junction (grid ref. SK679355).
Turn left here following a road heading south. After about 500 yards you are able to join the towpath alongside the Grantham Canal. This section of the canal was, at the time of writing, overgrown and dry. However there was evidence that work was in hand to restore the canal. Continue along the canal roughly south to return to the start point.
More about St Mary’s, Colston Basset
East Bingham Deanery
The ruins of St Mary’s Church stand on a low rise nearly a kilometre north east of the village of Colston Bassett. It was built on the site of an older church, probably Saxon. (A Saxon stone has been found nearby.) It was definitely in existence by 1135.
The oldest visible part, according to Pevsner, is the walled-up Norman north arcade with circular piers but pointed arches. The south arcade was partly transitional, partly 14th century. Also of the 14th century are the chancel and tower arch, although the tower is 15th century with the typical frieze of this neighbourhood.
Pevsner thought the south transept must have had ’a sumptuous window’ but it is now all gone. In the mid-18th century classical windows were inserted.
Much of the building is of blocks of blue bias limestone in thin layers. Several different stones, eg white limestone and ironstone, were used for dressing and facing. There are a number of good slate headstones in the churchyard.
The depopulation of the Wolds led to decline and by 1744 the church was in disrepair. Permission was granted to demolish the north aisle, arcade and transept and south porch. In 1892 the Diocese allowed the interior fittings and roof to be removed after Robert M Knowles of Colston Bassett Hall built the new church of St John the Divine in the village.
Two bells were transferred to the latter and the screen went to Long Whatton All Saints, Leicestershire.
However St Mary’s was never de-consecrated. In July 2005 a service of re-dedication was held in the ruins following restoration work, which began in 1994 led by John Severn. It is a scheduled Ancient Monument and is listed Grade I