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Stapleford Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

St Helen's Church
Stapleford Parish Office,The Old Lace Mill,
Frederick Road, Stapleford,
Nottingham NG9 8FN.
Tel. 0115 939 9958

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St Helen’s Parish Church
was built in the early English style of architecture and was consecrated around 1220.

Additions and alterations were made in later centuries and the memorial chapel and fine wrought iron gates were added in the 1920s.

The church contains tombs of The Teverey Family from the 17th century.  


Stapleford Church

By Mr G. Fellows, Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 10 (1906)


St Helen's church, Stapleford
(© A. Nicholson, 2002)

This church of St. Helen appears to have been altered and enlarged at various times, and little regard has beenpaid to the old work. The lower portion of the tower belongs to the Early English period. The much mutilated west doorway and the tower arch, with the “keeled” columns and plain chamfers, point to a date about 1250, whilst the belfry stage, parapets, and stone spire were evidently added in the fifteenth century.

The spire has no spire lights, or ribs, but it has a considerable entasis in the upper portion. The wall inside the south porch is also apparently a remnant of Early English work; the doorway has a pointed arch on the outer side and a semi-circular arch within. Next in point of time is the chancel, with a large east window of five lights of intersecting geometrical tracery, with shallow cuspings in the top of the central division only. This, and the cross on the east gable, would date from about 1300.

There is a double aumbry in the north wall of the chancel, the doors of which are missing, but the iron hooks that carried them may still be seen. The nave arcades of three bays and the south aisle belong to the Decorated period, as does also the window at the east end of the same aisle; there is a clerestory on the south side only, consisting of square-headed windows without cuspings; the north arcade is at a lower level, and the westernmost arch has a lower spring than the others.

In the vestry is a description of the bells, two of which are pre-reformation, and the inscriptions are recorded as :—i. + Ave Maria gratia plena dominus tecum. “The angelus bell, so called from having the salutation of the angel Gabriel upon it . . .” ii. + I.H.S. naserenus rex judeoru fili dei. iii. John Streets jr and John Smedley, Church wardens MDCCCLIII.

The church is in the deanery of Bulwell, and has been much restored. The last time it underwent this process was in 1876-7, when £2,000 was spent upon it, the Revd. Dr. Scott being the vicar. There is seating accommodation for 440. The church yard was closed for interments in 1883. The last lord of the manor was Mr. John Jackson, who resided at the manor house. He died intestate, and his estate was admin­istered in chancery. Mrs. Sherwin-Gregory, of Bramcote, eventually bought this property in 1885. As lord of the manor Mr. Jackson laid claim to a pew in the chancel, and at the present time two sittings on the south side of the nave are acknowledged as belonging to the manor farm.

In the churchyard is the tomb (surrounded by iron palis­ades) of Captain William Sleigh, who died in 1842, aged 62. A large portion of the stone side, which carried the inscription, has shaled off, but sufficient is left to show that he saw much service with the British army in the beginning of the nine­teenth century :—

In memory of Captain William Sleigh / who died Ap…. 1842 aged 62 /
He first served with …..t Egypt A.D. 1801 / and afterwards as…….. in Canada /
He shared the glory ….t actions against / the enemy, espec………WA July 5,
1814- where be was sl………/…….having r…….. service,
be spent / the evening……….. his place in / hospitable……..
friends and/in well…….tim……….NS to the /………

There seems to have been a priest and a church here in the Confessor’s time. William Peveril held land in demesne here, and his feudatory was Robert de Heriz. Civicia (or Avicia) wife of Richard Cazmera, “the Lady of Stapleford,” gave the church to Newstead Priory. In 1338 the head of this family thought he was dying, and gave the estate to found a charity at Newstead, but, getting better, he revoked his deed and gave it to his sister, who gave a part only to Newstead and the remainder to her heirs; they seem to have adopted the name of the village as their surname.

The tombs in the church are to members of the Teverey family. This family became identified with the place in the time of Edward III., by the marriage of Johannes Teverey, of Long Eaton, in Derbyshire near by, with Margareta de Staple­ford, an only child and heiress, whose dower was a considerable property here.

The oldest of these memorials is an incised slab in front of the chancel step, bearing the figures of Robert Teverey and his wife, Katherine Chaworth, with a shield bearing their respective arms impaled, the Tevereys having apparently adopted the arms of the Staplefords, viz: Argent on two bars azure, three tin quefoils or. He died “circa festum Pentecosti a° salutis 1553,” and she in 1571.Their eldest son, John, married Anna, daughter and heir of John de Crevequeur, of Twyford, Leicestershire. This couple’s mural monument, with a Latin inscription, recorded in Thoroton, and their impaled arms, is affixed to the south wall.

The most imposing tomb was sadly maltreated at the time of the 1877 restoration, when the lower part became divorced from its superstructure with a view of gaining some two or three extra seats. The superstructure remains in its original situation against the south wall, and the slab which carries the effigies, with the quaint group of figures beneath, was transferred to the north of the chancel arch.

The effigies are those of Gervase Teverey and his wife, Anna Ashby, of Quenby, in Leicestershire, on which traces of paint are still visible, He died in 1639, and the florid Latin inscription in his memory is said to have been written by Dr. Huntington Plumptre. Gervase was the last of the Tevereys; his only son died an infant, and the property passed by the marriage of his daughter, Maria, to Sir Brian Palmes, of Harburn Yorkshire, whose posterity sold it to Arthur Warren, of Toton. On this monument the arms of Teverey, viz: Azure, a lion rampant argent, within a bordure engrailed or, are reverted to. The heraldic stained glass referred to by Dr. Thoroton has entirely disappeared, probably in one of the numerous restorations.

Mr. Arthur Warren married the wealthy heiress of Sir John Borlase; their grandson was the distinguished admiral, Sir John Borlase Warren, who was created Baronet on 20th May, 1775, and received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament for his services. The property subsequently belonged to the Wright family, the bankers. It is now being rapidly sold off in building lots.

By Mr G. Fellows, Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 10 (1906)


Thanks to A. Nicholson for the use of text and pictures:

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