For this church:
Monuments and Memorials
For its size and history Bingham Church contains relatively few monuments. However there are a couple of effigies, ten wall-mounted monuments, and a number of floor slabs and small brass plaques. There were others in the past that are now lost.
The effigy is located on the north side of the sanctuary, near the main altar. It is badly worn and carries no inscription, but it is believed to be of Sir Richard de Bingham, who was responsible for the building of the chancel. It portrays a cross-legged knight with his feet resting on a small lion, and the style would be of the correct era for it to be Sir Richard. It is also known that an effigy here once carried the coat of arms of the de Binghams, and this one seems to be the only possibility.
This is perhaps Bingham’s most unusual monument, though only part of it remains and it is not known where it was originally located.
The piece is a partial torso of an armed knight, carved in alabaster. It is almost certainly all that remains of a monument to Sir William de Bingham, who was the son of Sir Richard de Bingham, and who died in 1349. It is amongst the earliest English carved alabaster, and is also unusual in that the pose of the knight, lying on his side, is non-typical of its era.
The fragment has been without a proper home for a long time. In the late 17th Century it was ‘under a seat’; in the 1790s it was ‘in a seat near the chancel’; in the mid 20th Century it was on the floor in the north transept. It is not clear where it was originally placed. There is a stone slab in the south east corner of the church near the altar, which might well have been the base of a memorial. It is possible that the alabaster stood there, but it is more likely that that was the site of a monument to Sir Thomas de Rempstone, who was lord of the manor in around 1400.)
Click the blue numbers for details of each monument
The story of Ann Harrison is one that touched the people of Bingham. After she died the community had this wooden statuette of her made and placed here in the church. It carries the inscription:
It is also marked with the name “M Phillips”, presumably the sculptor.
Robert White was the parish schoolmaster as well as an amateur astronomer. The work he published was really an almanack of astronomical predictions, which was sold widely throughout the country and was quite famous in its day.
Before 2007 the plaque was on the north wall at the base of the tower. It must, though, have been moved previously. It was against the south wall of the church in 1797, and there is some evidence that it was still there in 1950. It has perhaps been brought back to near its original position.
4Like the monument to Robert White, this was formerly on the north wall of the base of the tower and was moved in 2007 to avoid it being hidden when the new toilets were installed. It is a fairly simple stone plaque which reads:
5This monument is fairly high up on the south wall of the base of the tower. It was thus for a time opposite the monuments to Robert and Elizabeth White and to William and Frances Needham. Clearly the families were all connected, because both Whites and Needhams are mentioned here. The name Needham can also be read on one of the floor slabs in the centre aisle, maybe over the location referred to here. The monument takes the form of an octagonal plaque, and it reads:
6On the wall of the north aisle are two 20th Century memorials to former rectors. This one, near the north door, is a carved wooden piece dedicated to John Reay, who was rector from 1933. Carved in the wood, beside a raised design of vines and ears of grain, is the text:
To the lower right is a brass insert which reads:
7The two bishops, Morris Gelsthorpe and Bertram Lasbrey, served Bingham together and were much respected in the community. This monument is to them both. Between the coats of arms of the two dioceses where they served (Niger and Sudan) it reads:
9To complement the plaque on the other side is a similar one under the right-hand side of the window reading:
In the centre aisle there are a number of incised slate floor slabs. Because of their position these have all become worn and hard to read, but some names are still legible. The name ‘Needham’ can be read on one of them, and this is perhaps the person referred to on the marble tablet under the tower. Another one carries the name ‘Ann Bass’.
Some stones were covered when the platform was installed. Three in the north transept were felt to be historically significant, so liftable panels were created above these so that they could still be viewed (though some text is hidden by supporting woodwork). These are monuments to Samuel Brunsell (rector of the parish from 1662), Henry Brunsell (rector from 1688) and Henry Stanhope (rector from 1711).
When the pews in the north west corner of the nave were removed in 2007 to accommodate the tea point, a severely damaged slate slab was uncovered. This is to Mary Lord, wife of Samuel Lord; almost all of the rest of the text is illegible, but the date June 1781 can be discerned.
There is a badly worn carved stone that forms the main doorstep of the church. The decoration on it is now almost worn away, but in the past it has been identifiable as a priest’s gravestone. If an (unidentified) former rector of the church elected to be buried here, then it was presumably an act of deliberate humility on his part, and perhaps intended as a lesson for those who came after.
There are a number of small brass plaques attached to the woodwork around the church. Most of these are in the chancel and many commemorate choristers. They may well be located at the stalls where they usually sat. Reading clockwise round the chancel they commemorate:
Frank Taylor (15 Aug 1861 - 2 Dec 1930)
Two on the churchwardens’ pews commemorate:
John Henry Brown (churchwarden; d. 11 Oct 1935, aged 78)
There are also three in the bell-ringing room in memory of:
Charles Cross (ringing captain 1961-77, steeple keeper
1961-90, d. 6 Oct 1992)
(Clearly some people served as both choristers and bellringers.)