Secrets of Rushton Church.

Rushton church has an interesting past and also some hidden secrets which I have written about on this website. A few more items of interest have come to my attention so I am including them on this page. War has left its mark on the churchyard in the past. A solitary Yew tree shelters the church door from strong winds, however many years ago there were three such trees which acted as a wind break to protect this isolated church, but two of the trees were totally destroyed by soldiers cutting their branches to fashion into longbows presumably from the threat of war.

Upon entering the church a stone font can be seen immediately on your left which is outside the vestry door. It is said to have been hewn from Caen stone and it is also said to have been brought to England by the Normans, how it ended up at this little church hundreds of years ago remains a mystery. Although the font has been repaired some time in the past it is not difficult to see where part of its edge has been worn down, this is said to have been caused by men of the village leaving for war and sharpening their arrows and spears before leaving.

Upon passing through the heavy studded oak door at the entrance of the church a small set of stairs can be found on your left hand side before you come to the font. If you climb up this narrow staircase it twists to the right before reaching a minstrels gallery which overlooks the interior of the church. What adds even more interest to this impressive sight is that hundreds of years ago people carved their names and in some cases the dates when they left their calling cards so to speak, it seems that even back then vandalism was rife!

There can be found a unique dog tooth carving in oak on the north side of the nave. This is said to date back to the time of Henry III. As far as is known there is only two other churches in the whole of the country which possess this type of carving, and where they are have not been recorded, however I have been told by a reliable source that they are located in the south of the country. Although this photograph is of the dog tooth carving it doesn’t show up very well against the dark oak beam.

I was fortunate that when I visited the church it was open due to Gift Aid day and after talking with a gentleman there he showed me where the entrance to the sealed de Trafford tomb located beneath the church was located. I have previously written about this sealed vault which was last opened over sixty years ago, the story can be found on this website under the title of Rushton Church Grave robbers. The entrance to the tomb lies beneath the steps leading up to a sealed up door in the end wall of the church.

On either side of the entrance to the church can be found a rounded stone, however I was only able to find the one, this one was on the right hand side of the doorway. They are reputed to have had their origin in a pre – Christian place of worship, they may have originated with the Druids, for it is well known that in olden times Christian altars were set up in the very places where heathenism had been overcome.

I have included a few more photographs of the interior of the church so that people can get some idea of what this unique church is like.

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2 Responses to “Secrets of Rushton Church.”

  1. I believe that the hand carved initials in the pews you mention originate to the time of Uriah Davenport and his famous Psalm singers of the 1700s who reputedly carved their initials into the woodwork.

  2. Please see the ‘Rushton Grave Robbers’ page for details of my Late father and grandfathers’ discovery of the De Trafford family burial crypt in 1956 beneath Rushton Spencer church.

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