St Mary the Virgin Church (C o E)

is situated Off the A512 (Ashby Road) near Coleorton Hall. It's signposted from the A512.

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is built of stone in the Gothic style. The western tower was built in the 12th century, with later addition of a fine recessed spire. The tower contains 8 bells, two of which, together with a clock, were added in 1873 by Sir George Howland Beaumont, 9th baronet and other parishioners. The bells are still rung regularly. The stained glass of the west window was brought from Rouen circa 1500 by a former Sir George H. Beaumont. In the south aisle, above the family vault, is the tomb of Sir Henry Beaumont ob. 1607 and Lady Elizabeth. There are other windows dedicated to Mr. Merewether, Sir George H. Beaumont and to the Rev. Canon W. B. Beaumont, rector during 1864-1901.

The Church, as was the case with many Anglican churches, was much restored during the Victorian period. The chancel and the extension to the north aisle are entirely of 1854 and were designed by the Derby architect Henry Issac Stevens. Also dating from 1854 are the east window, the font, pulpit and tower screen. A new organ was installed. The church can accommodate 250 seated worshippers. St Mary's is a grade 2 listed building.

In 1906 the church tower and spire were repaired at a cost of £15 (Report of the Leicestershire Architectural Society 1906)

In 1911 an alabaster tablet in Parish Church, and stained glass window in St. John's Chapel, in memory of William Briggs, organist for 40 years, and master of Viscount Beaumont's School for 32 years; given by about 100 subscribers. Brass altar, desk, book and rails also given by parishioners. (Report of the Leicestershire Architectural Society 1911)

Originally the south door of the church could be accessed from Coleorton Hall. However, following the sale of the Hall for residential development in 1997 the public could no longer walk in the grounds of the Hall or access the church from the south door. The boundary of Coleorton Hall goes right along the church wall.

So access is only via the "lych gate" and pedestrian path, rather steep, that goes up through the churchyard to the north door.


Burials and graveyards

There are no longer any burials at St Mary's, however the cemetery at St John's is in current use.

St Mary's graveyard Audit-Transcribed by Samuel T Stewart from a graveyard audit carried out by John Crocker

Burials of members of the Beaumont family at St Mary's Church transcribed by Samuel T Stewart from information left in the archives of John Crocker.

An internal and external audit of the memorial tablets at St. Mary's Church, Coleorton transcribed from the archives of John Crocker (local historian) and John Nichols 1800 volumes.


Rectors

Pre 1954

Revd A. E. Eager: "Cole Orton and the Beaumonts" includes list of rectors up to 1954 >>

1815 - 1864: Rev Francis Merewether

Article about Revd Merewether

1864 - 1901: Rev Canon William Beresford Beaumont

Canon of Peterborough. Younger son of Sir George Howland Beaumont, 8th Baronet (of Stoughton Grange).

1901 - 1921: Revd Harold Robinson

Born on 19 June 1869, in Leicester, the son of Charles Stephen Robinson and Priscilla Robinson (née Whitmore). He studied theology at Cuddesdon College (Oxford) from 1893; was Ordained Deacon 1894 and Priest in 1895. He married Annie Arabella Williams in Priory Church of St Seriol, Penmon in Anglesey, Wales on 4 January 1899.

From Coleorton Revd. Robinson went on to become the rector, first at Downside in Somerset and then at Plumtree, Nottinghamshire. About Rev Robinson and his family at Plumtree
. He obviously cherished his time at Coleorton. He died on 4 January 1944 aged 74 and was buried in Coleorton (Leicestershire) churchyard. Revd Robinson is commemorated on a brass plate on the door to the vestry of Coleorton church:

The clock and chimes in the tower were put in motion by friends of St. Mary's in memory of Rev. HAROLD ROBINSON MA Rector of Coleorton 1901-1921

Annie Arabella died on 26 March 1957 in East Hanningfield in Essex, aged 89. She was buried in Coleorton churchyard next to her husband.

1921 - 1932: Revd John Nigel Philpott

Revd John died Feb 21st 1932. Married to Mary Florence Philpott who died Jul 1st 1929. Both buried in St Mary's graveyard.


1954-1957: Frederick Lindesay Godfrey

Revd Godfrey features in "A Childhood Memory" from Pearl Williamson >>

1957 - 1961: Eric Stanley Pycroft

1961 - 1966: Alfred Graham Burford

1966 - 1975: Stanley Gordon Sheppard

1975 - : Philip Edgar Hunt


2015 - 2022: Revd Mary Gregory

Revd Mary GregoryMary Gregory at Coleorton >>


Aerial view of St Mary's and Coleorton Hall
taken by David Merriman, December 2020