Church of St Mary Magdelene, Stapleford, Leicestershire

Address:
Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2EF
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Opening times:
Open daily
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A tasteful church with fabulous family tombs

The best time to visit this elegant, eighteenth-century Gothic Revival church is in the spring, when the path to the church winds through a carpet of flowers and the blossom on the trees creates a magical setting. But at any time of year, the setting in the fine landscape of Stapleford Park is memorable.

The church was built by the fourth Earl of Harborough. It has a tall, gracious tower, and above its entrance is a carving in the shape of a peacock's tail, the family crest. Its cool, spacious, light interior has pretty plasterwork and oak pews that face each other across the aisle.

Across the west end is an oak gallery which served as the Earl's family pew, with a private fireplace for their comfort. The monuments are magnificent - the finest, by famous Flemish-born sculptor Rysbrack, shows the first Earl in a Roman toga with his wife and young son. Opposite is a seventeenth-century tomb chest to Lord Sherrard, showing his eight children at prayer.

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