Rothwell is carved from the lovely orange limestone of Northamptonshire. It’s not too much to look at from the outside. It’s main claim to fame and the reason we visited is its ossuary crypt crammed with bones - of which more anon.
We found Rothwell to be a fun church. To start with two guys were meeting and greeting people in a most friendly way and doling out cups of tea to visitors. The crypt, of course is hugely entertaining for those who are not bothered by these things. Rothwell has entertainment everywhere, however.
There are misericords. They are not of the finest, but they are intact and fun. The benches in the chancel have other carvings too - and these are definitely interesting! There are corbels with - for some unfathomable reason - dog’s heads. Little faces peep down at you from columns and capitals. Altogether, this is an interesting place.
It is also a fine church - beautifully proportioned and light. It is not whitewashed so there is a lovely mellowness from the stonework.
Most of Rothwell is c12 and started in the reign of Henry I and we can see this in the 5 Norman windows high in the chancel’s south wall. This was clearly a very big church for its time. In 1133 it became part of the wealthy Augustinian house in Cirencester and this led to the church being hugely expanded, adding aisles to north and south and the tower. It suffered greatly when the Dissolution