traditional crosses symbolising the wounds of Christ.The fabric of the church is unremarkable - one might even say higgledy-piggledy! . There is some Norman masonry within the walls but for all practical purposes it is the rather rustic-looking tower that is the oldest part. The Church Guide says it is Decorated period, and I would suggest that it was very early in that period. John Barton was responsible for the considerable rebuilding work commenced, according to the Church Guide, in about 1485 - the year when Henry VII was putting an end to Richard III and the Plantagenet dynasty at the Battle of Market Bosworth about 50 miles away. This work added the Lady Chapel and the North aisle. The aisle, in fact, is at least as wide as the nave and chancel and also as long, which is a little confusing visually!
The parvise room above the porch is known as Nan Scott’s Chamber and is viewable by visitors. Legend has it that during the Black Death of 1666 one Nan Scott locked herself away in this room for several weeks, watching her fellow parishioners buried one-by-one in the churchyard below. When she was driven from her refuge by lack of food and water she found only one other survivor. Horrified at what she found, she returned to the chamber and stayed there for the rest of her life. Well, it is easy to be sceptical but I, for one, don’t find the story totally implausible. All credit to the churchwardens here for keeping it as it might have been in Nan Scott’s day, complete with truckle bed and old bible.
Both the east windows contain mediaeval glass. As in many churches, some of it is fragmentary and has been re-assembled rather haphazardly. The chancel window, however, has three readily-distinguishable figures of saints and also (perhaps inevitably) coats of arms associated with the Barton family! Some of the glass, including four quatrefoils, were donated from the ruined church at Annesley. The Lady Chapel window also had prophets in its top lights and parts of these remain.
This is not a beautiful church: it looks a little “thrown together”, to be honest. It is special because it really does feel as if you are standing in a c16 building. This is no “single treasure” church: it is just packed with interest. And it feels loved. You will know what I mean when you visit it! As a last word I will quote Simon Jenkins from his “England’s 1000 Best Churches”: “Running my fingers over the benches at Holme is the nearest I have come to feeling time”. I know exactly what he was talking about.