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Description: Church of St Thomas
Date Listed: 26 May 1970
English Heritage Building ID: 187739
OS Grid Reference: SK3406114742
OS Grid Coordinates: 434061, 314742
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7293, -1.4970
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ASHBY DE LA ZOUCH
913/10/242 WILLESLEY WOOD SIDE
29-SEP-77 (Northeast side)
CHURCH OF ST THOMAS
Former parish church with the character of an estate church, C14-C16 with tower of 1845. Now redundant.
MATERIALS: Walls are roughcast, with freestone buttresses and parapets and brick plinth to tower, under a galvanised steel roof.
PLAN: Nave and chancel under a single roof, west tower.
EXTERIOR: Nave and chancel are buttressed, including diagonal east buttresses. The 3-light east window has reticulated tracery. On the south side the nave has 2 high-set square-headed windows and the chancel 2 blocked pointed windows. The south-west doorway has a panel door. On the north side is a blocked C14 nave doorway that retains its original arch and hood mould, two 2-light square-headed nave windows, one beneath the eaves, and two 2-light chancel windows. The 3-stage tower has diagonal buttresses, embattled parapet and corner pinnacles. It has a 2-light Decorated west window, small square-headed middle-stage windows and pointed belfry openings with louvres.
INTERIOR: There is no chancel arch, but a chamfered 2-centred tower arch. Walls are plastered. The floor is stone-paved, with encaustic chancel tiles. The shallow-arched plaster ceiling is late C20.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The C19 Perpendicular-style font has a prominent crocketed ogee-domed cover. Pointed boards with commandments and Lord's Prayer are on the west wall. A black and white marble chest tomb to Lt Gen Sir Charles Hastings (d 1823) is decorated with shields in quatrefoils. There are also 2 C19 memorial tablets. (C16 incised slabs and c1700 communion rails, mentioned by Pevsner in 1984, are no longer in the church). Fragments of medieval and later stained glass are in east and south windows.
HISTORY: A parish church of C14-C16 in the grounds of the former Willesley Hall. The tower was built in 1845, when the battlemented parapet was probably added to nave and chancel. New seats, pulpit and reading desk were installed in 1883, but have since been removed. The church was declared redundant in the C20 and, after a period of dereliction, it was re-roofed in 1989. The small site and the C19 alterations give this church a typically early Gothick character, not withstanding its rather late date.
G. Brandwood, Bringing them to their Knees: Church Building and Restoration in Leicestershire and Rutland 1800-1914, 2002, p 131.
N. Pevsner (revised E. Williamson), The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, 1984, p 424.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Thomas, Willesley Wood Side, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a small C14-C16 church with mid C19 tower and general remodelling in a Gothick Revival style, the whole having the character of a country house estate church;
* Retention of some C19 interior fixtures and fittings, including font, text boards and tomb, and some fragments of medieval glass.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.