9
Dec

Ryton-on-Dunsmore – St. Leonard.

   Posted by: churches   in Rugby District, Warwickshire

St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore

Built of red sandstone in the 11th century, the tower was added in the 15th. St Leonard’s is one of the counties oldest Norman churches in Warwickshire. The land was given to the Coventry Priory in 1043 by Lord Leofric (him of Lady Godiva fame) mainly woodland from what I can gather it was worth at that time 100s, but by 1086 the monks had chopped a good part of it down and it was only worth 60s. A small part of the ancient woodland it still survives though.

St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Chancel St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Chancel and nave St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore

An 11th century Norman semi-circular arched doorway remains as the south entrance. The east wall was rebuilt possible in the 15th century of red sandstone.

Chancel rails St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Carved panels St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore

The turned oak balustrade altar rails are 17th century and the front of the benches has late 15th century carved tracery-headed panels.

 

Memorial window St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Memorial window St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Memorial window St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore

The church contains a modern window celebrating the 100th birthday of Florence Mabel Such, and the lives of Brian Frank Howkins, Katherine Mary Mann, Sally Ann Parke, and Dorothy Clarice Smith. And a Victorian memorial window to Anna Latty, the wife of a previous curate, which is set into a 12th century lancet window.

 

Font St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Pulpit St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Tower St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore

The octagonal font is 12th century, whilst the pulpit is made of 17th century carved panels. The tower is a 15th century addition and its size indicates that the intent was to enlarge the body of the church at that time too.
Brass engraving St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore Brass engraving St Leonard - Ryton on Dunsmore

The south wall of the chancel features a small brass plaque with an inscription to Moses Macham, minister of Ryton. who died 29th June 1712.

Lo here doth ly a shining light
wrapped up in the shades of night
the sheppard is took from his sheep
but O would they his doctrine keep
and practice the rules that he did give
So shall ye Pastor and ye People live.

to the right of the inscription is an engraving showing a lantern standing on a coffin and a skeleton holding on to a tree.

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