Willoughby – St. Nicholas.

   Posted by: churches   in Rugby District, Warwickshire

St. Nicholas. Willoughby Nave - St. Nicholas. Willoughby

St. Nicholas parish church has a Decorated style (C14) west tower, the remainder of the church is in the Perpendicular style of the mid C15. The chancel was rebuilt in the early C19 and is of brick rendered in cement to imitate limestone ashlar blocks.

Font - St. Nicholas. Willoughby Font - St. Nicholas. Willoughby

The red sandstone font is from the early C13, cauldron shaped with carvings of two green men and foilage.

Tower arch - St. Nicholas. Willoughby Memorial window - St. Nicholas. Willoughby


The tower arch has inner half-round shafts and half-octagon capitals. The electric clock in the tower was installed in 1947 as a memorial to those that died in the second world war. The south east aisle window was installed in 1919 by the village at a cost of £100. It is a first world war memorial and “Thanksgiving for Victory”, dedicated to the memory of Howard Drinkwater and William Hakesley.


Detail east window - St. Nicholas. Willoughby East window - St. Nicholas. Willoughby Detail east window - St. Nicholas. Willoughby

The three light Arts and Crafts east window, by Caroline Townshend, contains an image of St. Nicholas, the central light is a “Salvator Mundi”. The other light has an image of Mary Magdalene, the village previously being owned by Magdalen College Oxford.

Memorial - St. Nicholas. Willoughby Memorial - St. Nicholas. Willoughby

The north aisle has two memorials the first is to to George Watson (d1674). The inscription reads:

In the coast of Guiney George Watson son of Thomas Watson of Willoughby (and one of his Majesstes Captains at sea) departed this life July ye 15 anno D. 1674 aetatis suae 45 and gave to ye poor of Willoughby ye profit of £50 for ever to be distributed as by a decree in Chancery is sett forth.

Death hath contrould a Captain bold Yet loss of life is gain Especially when charity For ever doth remaine.

The Willoughby charity was founded in 1437 by Margaret Hayward by a grant of land worth £20. In addition the charity was endowed by William Flavell (1496) and John Brooke (1536). This bequests were added to by George Watson (1647) and Bridget Freemantle (1773). By 1812 the income from the charity was £515 a year.

The second memorial is to Thomas Clerke (d1687), and his wife(d1669). Behind the organ is a table tomb dedicated to another Thomas Clerke (d1663). The tomb itself is mostly obscured by the organ works.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 10:14 pm and is filed under Rugby District, Warwickshire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 comments so far


William Boyes HAKESLEY is on my tree so it is wonderful to see his memorial window. My ancesters from Willoughby are decendents of William who died there in 1787 and his wife Mary ELLARD and Thomas CROFTSwho died there in 1736 and his wife Janet Newett. eventually you get to Thomas ELLARD b 1801 who married Tabitha Hakesley(by then the widdow SAMMON) His brother William married her sister Maachah, William was the parish clerkfor 50 years you can see their “tree” at http://www.mcmullin.plus.com

August 19th, 2010 at 8:59 am

Glad you found the photos interesting. Much of the information inside these churches is unrecorded.

August 19th, 2010 at 10:14 pm