The church at Thornton is set on the side of a hill overlooking the reservoir, it is a very pretty location but before 1854 the reservoir did not exist. The village is 8 miles north-west of Leicester and its nearest neighbour is Bagworth with its interesting 1960's built church. The village name means a settlement walled by strong hedges - thorn hedges, hence the name. There was probably an earlier church on the site, but the earliest parts of the present church date from the 13th century, these are the aisles and nave. The tower is 15th century in the perpendicular style with recessed spire and two tiers of lucarnes (small dormer windows), the clerestory windows and heightened nave also dates from this time. At the west end of the north aisle is a cusped spherical window which probably dates from the 13th century, this was hidden for many years. On entering through the porch you will be met by a 6ft by 9ft door dating from the 14th century, this is supposed to have come from Ulverscroft Priory (this was a monastic building in Charnwood Forest founded in the reign of Henry II of the Augustinian order and it survived until the dissolution). There is still the 'sanctuary ring' attached to the door by the handle, anyone grabbing this would have been given sanctuary in the Priory. The font by the door is 15th century and of octagonal design. On the base is carved tracery and on the entablature are Tudor roses of Henry VII's time. Above the chancel arch is a colourful 1820 tympanum which depicts the commandments and prayers. The pew seating dates from 1500-1560 and was made by one Robert Baken. Every bench end is carved with straight and linenfold carving which is quite exquisite. The Victorians did not restore the church apart from the chancel area, this has left the fine woodwork, plastered walls and original floors. The east window of the south aisle contains 14th century glass, in the chancel arch is the remains of the rood screen which was mostly removed in 1644. There are apertures for the rood loft on the arches either side. The church of St Peter's is special in that it has many interesting features, and due to the lack of a Victorian restoration these have survived. It is set in a beautiful location and is well worth a visit. The church is locked but you can collect the key from a local shop - details on the church-door. (This is a very good idea, perhaps more churches could be open using this method?)
Another in the Church Micro series. It is best to park in the reservoir car park and follow the main path. You will then see a footpath leading up the hill to the church, it is steep so be warned, and would not be feasible for wheelchair users. You can park in the village and walk down to the church if you feel it is too much. The cache is located on the public footpath which runs from the side of the reservoir through the church grounds and out into the village. The cache is located at the reservoir end of the footpath. Stealth will be required.
This cache can be combined with others around the reservoir. It’s a lovely walk with several other paths off the reservoir walk which will take you up into the village either to the local pub or a childrens play area. Refreshments and toilets are available either on the reservoir walk or at the nearby garden centre.
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him.
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ONLYMEUK (why did that not surprise us Ian!!),KIKIKATY AND SIMPLYSUP FOR A QUICK FTF