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25. Images of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

A pleasant winter afternoon in Melton Mowbray, a fascinating and compact little town in Leicestershire which retains many features of its medieval heritage, both in buildings and street layout e.g. St Mary's Way with Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in the town centre!

 

View of the Parish Church of St. Mary's, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Below the tower on the left is the chancel and on the right the north transept. It is a superb cruciform designed church - many more pictures further down the page. The smaller section just left of centre is the vestry built in 1532.

 

The stone plaque carved above the Almshouses, just across from the church, reads "Maison de Dieu 1640"

 

The almshouses known as the Bede Houses in Burton Street were founded in 1641 by Robert Hudson, a native of Melton who became a wealthy and respected merchant in London. The building was restored in Victorian times.

 

The "Anne of Cleves" pub is a very old building in Burton Street, dating back to the 1300's.

 

The house was built for the chantry priests of the Cluniac Order who served the Parish Church from the 12th to the 16th century. This Chantry Priests House was later given to Thomas Cromwell. After Cromwell's fall from grace, in 1540 it was included by Henry VIII as part of the divorce settlement to Anne of Cleves.

 

The Anne of Cleves alongside St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray.

 

St Mary's Church is one of the most magnificent ecclesiastical buildings in Leicestershire. On the right is the chancel, on the left the south transept and towering above them the great tower at the tower crossing of this great cruciform church.

 

The tower is a major architectural item in its own right - details below.

 

The top final section of the tower was built ~1500.

 

The middle section has plate tracery windows with bold dog tooth ornament - a beautifully detailed example of Early English architecture style and design - details above.

 

Looking down the nave to the chancel and south transept on the right. You can also just see on the distant right the arches and bays of a rare example of an aisled transept and above on the right, some of the 48 clerestory windows and their 15,000 panes of glass! which allow this magnificent building to be better lit than many other churches of the period. The people in front were part of the congregation attending the funeral service on Friday November 20th of Melton Mowbray's oldest resident, Eva Edith Orpah Dickings, who died aged 105! An honour to be present, through a touch of serendipity!

 

Looking from the north aisle to the south aisle at the tower crossing with the organ on the left. Hanging from the centre of the transept ceilings are huge brass chandeliers, which were first hung in the nave in 1746.

 

Incised ledger slab carving of man and women - Edward Pate, died 1597, and his wife.

 

Looking down the nave from the arches and bays of the south transept.

 

The alabaster lady figure of a women of the Burgeis family in 14th century dress.

 

The tomb of a 'crusader' knight, possibly Sir Hamon who died in 1300 (the plaque above refers to a the first Sir Hamon ~1150, but this apparently is unlikely).

 

Fragments of medieval glass collected together to make up one of the stained glass windows.

 

Looking down the nave to the chancel arch and chancel. On either side are the columns of the six bay aisles, north aisle (left) and south aisle (right).

 

Just down from the Parish Church of St Mary's, on the right, is the old Court House of 1540 in Church Street which was part of the 'Swan' complex of and one of the oldest surviving buildings in Melton Mowbray.

 

The cafe 'Caffe Italia' in Church Street.

 

The White House of ~1600 in High Street. There is some fine geometric decorative coloured brickwork on the side of the building - which in all honesty, I didn't notice until examining the photos later!

 

On Leicester Road is the fine building of Egerton Lodge built in 1829 in local ironstone by the Earl of Wilton as a hunting lodge.

 

Egerton Lodge is set in a fine grounds including the Memorial Garden on the left of the house.

 

The George Hotel in High Street, parts of which date back to the 1600s. The George Hotel was an important stage for coaches travelling to London and is one of several coaching inns in Melton Mowbray town centre.

 

The building of the 'Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe' (Dickinson & Morris) in Nottingham Street dates from the early 1600s'. The famous pork pie and the Melton Hunt cake have been made in this shop since 1851. On the left of the shop is the Corn Exchange dating from 1854.

 

Near the car park and shopping mall-centre? on St Mary's Way is a 14th century timber-framed manor house, once belonging to the powerful Mowbray family.

 

The modern Witherspoon's pub known as 'THE KETTLEBY CROSS' in Melton Mowbray boasts a vertical wind turbine for generating power - well done! I'll drink to that!


My thanks to the pamphlet "Melton Mowbray Heritage Trail" which I obtained from the Parish Church of St Mary and hope to return to Melton Mowbray soon to explore further!

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