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Rothwell, Holy Trinity

Rothwell, Holy Trinity

Rothwell, Holy Trinity

There are two reasons for visiting Rothwell - The Church of the Holy Trinity and the Market House. The church was large, even in Norman times and grew from the 14th century onwards. It is now the longest parish church in the county. It was originally topped with a spire but this succumbed to lightening in 1660. Pevsner, who hardly ever rises to a note of admiration describes it as singularly beautiful. The building underwent a period of refurbishment in the early 18th century, presumably at the same time as the (old) rectory was built in the adjacent road. In the church this meant new communion rails and a splendid two tier brass chandelier dated 1733. The Market House lies to the north east of the church in the square. It was designed for Thomas Tresham by his architect/builder William Grumbold. It is cruciform in shape with extruded angles. It is therefore typical of Tresham’s love for harmonious classical architecture with Catholic overtones. It is of two storeys, originally the base arcades would have been open and only the upper part glazed. It is decorated with trefoils, a play on the work Tresham, and with 90 coats of arms of landowners in the Rothwell Hundred and other local families. It was incomplete at the time of Tresham’s death and had to wait until the end of the 19th century for J.A. Gotch to finish it off. Directions & Parking Rothwell is off the A14 (Junction 3). Follow the signs to the centre of the town and park in the Market Square, adjacent to the Market Hall. The church is at the bottom of the square on the right, just follow the path round to the west door. Monuments The main reason for visiting is to see the ossuary lying in the crypt beneath the south aisle. Access is from the south porch. This late medieval room measures 30 ft x 15 ft, two bays with ribbed vaulting. It contains over 4,000 bones gathered from the churchyard piled up in the centre, a rare if rather gruesome sight. In the church itself there is a scattering of early brasses – William de Williamsthorpe (d.1309) vicar, William de Rothwell (d.1361) archdeacon, Edward Saunders and his wife Joanna (d.1514) presumably relatives of the Saunders of Harrington, and Owen Ragsdale (d.1591) who founded the nearby Jesus Hospital. Andrew Lane (d.1694) of Glendon Hall has an architectural memorial with columns, cherubs and garlands, whereas his daughter Margaret Lane (d.1694) has an elaborate hanging cartouche with symbols of the Resurrection beneath. Both are attributed to William Woodman, the elder, (circa 1650-1731) who became an assistant in the Mason’s Company in 1689 and eventually Master in 1708. For those who visited Lowick last year you will have seen his fine tomb to Lady Mordaunt there.

Please refer to the Glossary for any terms in the text that you are unfamiliar with.

Contact & Opening Times

Holy Trinity
High St
NN14 6BQ

Opening Times


The church is normally locked, see below for contact details.


Contact Details

Keyholder / church warden Mary Willars 01536 713837 

[email protected]

Vicar Revd. John Westwood [email protected] 

Curate Revd. Ruth Colby [email protected]

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