For this church:
Gedling All Hallows
The earliest identifiable part of the building is the West doorway which has two waterleaf pattern capitals to former columns which stood on either side on the exterior. The arch over the door is pointed and has a pointed bowtell indicating the transition from Norman to Early English.
The chancel was built in the Early English style in about 1230 with a triple lancet window in the East wall and four single lancet windows in the South. In the North wall are two doors (one now blocked) which led to other buildings beyond. There is a piscina on the north side of the North wall.
The North aisle was built about 1275 and the south aisle, arcades and chancel arch a little later. The Western responds of the arcades are earlier than the rest and probably contemporary with the West door.
Evidence of the outline of a steep gable on the West wall indicates that the aisles must have been originally much narrower and appear to have been widened to accommodate the tower arch. The windows of the south aisle do not align with the bays of the arcade; three windows and a door are made to fit into the length of a five-bay arcade. The other window is placed in the East wall of the aisle.
The spire was built about 1320 and is positioned at the West end of the North aisle. At 180 feet it is the second highest in the county after Newark The tower arch is offset to the south to enable it to open into the aisle.
The clerestory was added to the Nave about 1425-1450 together with the flatter lead roof. At about the same time the external chapel to the north of the Chancel was replaced by one surrounded by a Parclose Screen at the east end of the North Aisle.
The porch was added in the 15th century. At about the same time the South Aisle wall was embattled and had gargoyles added. Gill suggests that the battlements on the tower were added about this time. Apart from this possible addition the spire remains unaltered from when it was built.
A major restoration took place in 1872 when the West gallery, box pews, three-decker pulpit and earlier benches were removed to make way for seating to accommodate the rapidly rising population. The Chancel roof, which was described as being low enough to cut off the top of the Chancel arch was replaced by a steeply pitched tiled roof.
The Nave roof was restored in 1892.
Core fabric C13-C14th. Major medieval village church
Restorations 1871-2, 1888-9, 1892, and 1925
Significant Interior Features
Earliest fabric is west doorway and surround; waterleaf capitals indicate a date of c.1180-90
Chancel and parts of N.aisle side walls probably c.1200, completed by c.1250
Nave and south aisle c.1280-1320
Tower and spire c.1300-20; spire has entasis (ogee curve)
Clerestory added to nave in the mid-C15th
Medieval cross slabs
(1) Slab on stone coffin, now at west end of south aisle, moved here from the east end of the north aisle in 1872, now with a modern work surface installed above it – removable, with a bit of a struggle. Tapering semi-effigial slab, very worn, with head (and tip of hands) in a sunk quatrefoil at the centre of a relief-carved foliate cross with cusping between the arms, and terminals which have lost their form; full-length cross shaft and arched base with triangular sinking which one would expect to reveal the feet of the deceased, although they are no longer apparent. 14th century.
(2) On south side of Ringing Chamber 1.2 m above floor, and partly covered by fixed board. Probable incised cross shaft.
(3) Threshold of topmost tread of tower stair, opening into belfry. Lower part of incised slab, top of stepped base and the bottom of bow, on left of shaft.
(4) Part of head of slab re-used as internal lintel of loop lighting tower stair, just above the door to the Ringing Chamber. Incised design, part of a bracelet – derivative cross head with chip-carved petals at the centre, probably 13th century.
Descriptions and drawings of the cross slabs courtesy of Peter Ryder.
Timbers and roofs
Cast-iron, low-sided frame built locally but utilizing Taylor’s side frames, dating from 1991. 8 bells
Below this frame is an earlier wooden frame, (hybrid form Elphick V and Z) containing four bells. Inscription on N. side of frame read: ‘J W & I Blatherwick, Sons 1840’. Above the wooden frame, prior to 1991, was a C20th iron gantry containing a further four bells.
Cast-iron frame - not scheduled for preservation. Grade 5.
Wooden frame of 1840 - scheduled for retention Grade 3.
Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology
There has been one recent excavation, to the ground floor of the tower in December 1993 in advance of work to form a w.c. and the installation of a new timber staircase. Evidence was revealed of a lead-working hearth dating from the period 1793-1842, and other industrial functions. Numerous fragments of disarticulated human skeletal material were discovered, and two groups of close-set graves were found towards the north and south walls respectively. The internal foundation of the tower at the southern part of the west wall was observed to lie directly upon bedrock; the remainder of the foundations were internally trench built. Finds included post-medieval pottery associated with the lead-hearth, a green glazed medieval floor tile, and a glazed ridge tile. A watching brief on the service trenches in the churchyard to the north of the tower revealed no clear archaeological stratigraphy and a small scattering of disarticulated human skeletal material.
There has been some disturbance from C19th restorations but this is not expected to have disrupted the main below-ground archaeology of the building.
The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard is considered moderate-high and below the present interior floors is considered to be high-very high. The standing fabric is largely intact medieval and the potential for standing archaeology is VERY HIGH.
Exterior:Burials expected to be prolific with post-medieval remains being generally intact with considerable earlier disarticulated material. There have been no major disturbances within the churchyard.
Interior:Extent of C19th disturbance unknown, but unlikely to be major. Whole is likely to contain a mixture of C13th-C15th building layers and floor levels with potential survival of earlier deposits beneath, punctuated by late medieval graves and possibly post-medieval vaults.