For this church:
Three contemporary references from the 1844-1851 period comment on the stone used in the new church. The 4th Duke of Newcastle speaks of local stone he will use, a Nottinghamshire directory claims it was principally stone removed from Worksop Manor on its partial demolition and the Rev Fiennes-Clinton observed that it was rebuilt using much of the old material.
The church sits on Triassic rocks of the lower part of the Mercia Mudstone Group. However it is built principally of Permian magnesian limestone (Cadeby Formation).
Therefore the best ashlar and dressed limestone throughout probably was recycled from Worksop Manor as this is the principal stone used in the Worksop area. The blocks used on the upper tower and parapets generally look like “best quality” pale coloured magnesian limestone. The moulded and carved work is of the same stone, where not repaired.
Interspersed on a smaller scale is a much paler grey weathering local skerry sandstone – the most likely stone to be from the older building, if any is.
The chancel wall is of a third type being local Triassic sandstone from the Waterstone-Green Beds to the north of the church. This is a fine grained greenish grey. Quite possibly this would be from the fine bed of stone discovered at the time of the 1844-5 build as the Duke records. It is located around the brickyard the Duke opened in the area to the north of the church. (Its opening is referred to in the Duke’s diary entry of 9th August 1844. Brick is, surprisingly, in evidence at the ground level of the tower and may have been a part of the foundations as well as stone.) A geological survey source of 1910 alludes to the Waterstone-Green Beds and evidence of its use in earlier days “in excavations around some of the buildings in Bothamsall village.” It should be pointed out, however, that there was apparently a rebuild of the chancel walls in 1929-30 but this may have entailed re-use of the existing stone rather than new stone being introduced.
Inside the church around some windows on the south side of the chancel there is definite evidence of weathering which leads to the supposition that these stones have been turned round – evidence of reuse of old stone at the 1844-5 rebuild.
On the exterior of the building are several grotesques which are very weathered and give the church a distinctively ‘gothic’ appearance. A tribute to the skill of the Victorian carvers - or remnants of the old church? Although the carved stone is identified as from the Worksop area it should not be assumed that they must be from the Worksop Manor stone. The old church would have been built presumably by, or with permission of, the Premonstratensians monks who had been gifted a quarry at Whitwell early in their time at Welbeck Abbey which could account for the stone used on some of the carvings here.
Thanks to Dr Graham Lott for his help with this entry.