St Botolph's Church, Wardley, Rutland
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White-washed serenity in a charming hamlet
Wardley’s early medieval church, dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon Saint Botolph, stands up on its raised churchyard above this tiny, picturesque hamlet on the border of Rutland and Leicestershire. The manor is not mentioned in Domesday Book, but was probably among the unnamed ‘berewicks’ attached to nearby Ridlington. By the early 12th century it was in the hands of Richard Bassett, who granted it to the priory of Launde in Leicestershire with whom it remained until the Dissolution.
The oldest features of the church are the doorways, with the moulded south doorway dating c.1175 and enclosed in a 14th century porch. The tower and spire date from the 14th century, whilst the chancel was entirely rebuilt in 1871.
Inside, clear glazing and whitewashed walls give an atmosphere of muted calm. The pointed tower arch to the west, with its carved mask corbels, is likely to be 14th century, while the simple oak nave roof is 15th century. Stone flags in the nave give way to colourful ceramic tiles in the Victorian chancel.
The church was closed for regular worship in June 2010 and vested into our care in April 2016. Since then we have undertaken a significant programme of conservation work, including the re-roofing of the chancel with distinctive Collyweston slates, timber repairs and re-glazing. The church remains closed while these works are on-going, but is due to re-open in the summer of 2017 when it will be available once again for the community to enjoy.
There are steps up into the churchyard and into the church.
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic and rural nature of St Botolph's, there are no heating, lighting or toilet facilities at this church.
Wardley is found ¼ mile south of the A47 between Leicester and Peterborough.