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The first thing you notice as you approach St. Mary’s is it’s spire – at 210 feet it is one of the tallest in the county - stressing the greatness of God and raising the thoughts of our worshippers (and hopefully visitors) heavenwards.
The church is located on the outskirts of the village in a quiet spot, next to the river Devon, and allows visitors to experience peace and tranquillity as they begin their visit. The interior of our church is unusual as there are a number of tombs and effigies of the past Dukes and Duchesses of Rutland situated in the chancel.
The Parish church today is a magnificent reminder of that intensely religious feeling of Bottesford people.
It was built and rebuilt over 300 years – traces of Norman ironstone work survive in the chancel walls, from around 1150 and the final glory of the Church, the limestone tower and spire, date from the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th century Fuller described it as ‘one of the primest churches, very fair and large with a high steeple spire’. Nichols was more ecstatic: ‘one of the most beautiful ornaments of the Vale of Belvoir’. The pleasant name of the Lady of the Vale properly indicates the love Bottesford people have always felt for their glorious church.
The Earls famous tombs in the Church were started in the 16th century. Thomas the first earl was buried with great cerermony. The plumber was paid 4s 4d for ‘putting the corps in lead’ and the alabaster man was paid £33 5s 8d’ for making a tomb of alabaster. In 1591 the then Countess paid £200 for a tomb to be made for her husband the 4th earl and his brother the 3rd earl who died a year earlier. It was made in London, sent by sea to Boston and sent by cart to Bottesford. 17 people came with the 15 carriages from Boston to Bottesford.
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