Holme Pierrepont
St Edmund


Holme Pierrepont is a village lying to the west of Radcliffe-on-Trent close to the river Trent. It was formerly called Holme (Anglo-Saxon for island) but after Sir Henry Pierrepont’s (died 1292) 1280 marriage to Annora de Manvers (died 1313), and over the centuries it became Holme Pierrepont, a big landed estate, with an ancient church and house at its centre. In 1066 the land of Holme was owned by Thored but this became part of the domain of Roger of Bully (Busli) in Norman times. A mill was mentioned but no church. Adbolton about 2 miles away to the west was a separate parish at the conquest being owned by William Peverell and here a church is mentioned in 1086. On the 1st January 2006 Holme Pierrepont with Adbolton and Lady Bay were joined in a new benefice 

Although no church was mentioned in 1086 this does not mean that one did not exist. However, Holme was small and with Adbolton close by there is every possibility that the latter was used by the villagers.
The estate at Holme came to Henry de Pierrepont by marriage into the Manvers family at the end of the 13th century. The Manvers had a residence there but the current hall at Holme dates from c.1500 built by Sir William Pierrepont. The Manvers may have built the first church at Holme during the reign of Henry I and a record in 1201, when one Ralph Plucket leased his rights to the advowson to Michael Manvers, gives the first reliable date. Plucket forfeited his lands as a consequence of being up in arms against King John and by 1204, Manvers had purchased the perpetual rights to the presentation for 100s.

From the outset the church appears not to have been appropriated but instead remained in secular patronage. Thurgarton Priory however did hold meadow land in the parish.

On 27 September 1268 an inquisition was held in Bingham church as to Holme Pierrepont church and Robert Blundus, clerk, who had been presented earlier in the year by John de Rye. The issue at hand was that the benefice was not vacant as Peter de Leek was in possession, even though John de Rye believed he had legitimately presented Blundus to the living. We are not told the outcome of the inquisition, but in October the same year one Hugh de Kendale was presented to a moiety of Holme by Robert de Percy and Margery his wife.

In 1275 James de Pocklington was appointed to the living and several years later was in deep trouble. Archbishop Henry of of Newark called him to task in February 1299 and found him guilty of rape. His punishment was to pay the victim, Margery de Lambcote, 20s. and to enter into a bond of 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.) for good behaviour or otherwise to forfeit 40 marks (£26 13s. 4d.), a considerable sum. Following de Pocklington's death in 1302 or 1303 Archbishop Thomas of Corbridge issued a mandate to the dean of Bingham to obtain from his goods various sums of money owing amounting in total to £5 6s.

In the 1291 taxation records Holme church (Ecclesia de Holm) was valued at £16.

Archbishop William Greenfield granted a licence to Dame Anora de Pierrepont in October 1308 to hear divine service for three years in oratories in her manor at Holme, as well as Woodhouse Hall (Welbeck) and Weston (near Tuxford). This oratory at Holme would have been within the manor house and completely separate from the parish church.

In 1341, the Nonae Rolls record that the value of the ninth of sheaves, lambs and their fleeces was worth 16 marks (£10 13s. 4d.) a year at true value and no more, there were 3 bovates of land worth 20s annually, the tithe of hay worth 5 marks, and altar dues yielding 20s.

When a new rector, William Peek, was appointed in 1401, the patron, Edmund Pierrepont issued a petition to the archbishop to reserve a life pension out of the revenues of the church for Nicholas Daubeney, the previous rector.

In an assessment for a subsidy from unbeneficed clergy in the York province dated 1404 Holme Pierrepont is listed as a chaplaincy and assessed as liable to pay the tax in the archdeaconry.

In 1434 William Fox, parson of the 'parish church of Holme by Radclyf on Trent', was indicted for not appearing before the king's justices of the Bench to answer Roger Cosyn of Croyland touching a plea of debt of 4 marks (£2 13s. 4d.).

In the taxation returns of Henry VI in 1481, Holme was valued at 24 marks (£16) the same as in 1291, and the tenth taxation was levied at 32s. indicating that the value of the church had not changed in the intervening years.

In his will dated 1489 Sir Henry Pierrepont directed that he was to be buried in the parish church of St Edmund in Holme 'among my worshipfull auncetres' and that a tomb of alabaster be made and 'sett upon mysepulture and graven by the discressions of myne executours, If I make it not ill my lif daies'. Henry goes on to stipulate '...that an abill preste and discrete be hired by the discrecion of myne executors to rede and sing for me and myne auncetours in the churche where as my body shal be buryed, taking yerely for his saIarye viij marc, enduryng the space of xx yeres, to say Messe of Requiem wt Placebo and Dirige ij dayes in the weke'.

The inventory of the church, ordered by Edward VI, and dated September 1552 states that there was:

Inprimis a chalys of silver wl the patent also of syluer
Itm a crosse of brasse or latyn
Itm iij olde vestiments one of blew russells one of blacke chamlet and the other of white bustion wiche is rent and rotten and mete unto no good use and iij albes to the saide vestiments belonging
Itm a cope of blew saten inbrotheryd withe byrdes of gold
Itm a Crosse clothe of Sarsnet
Itm iij lynyn awter clothes
Itm a paire of small laten candylstyckes upon the alter
Itm iij bells in the steple
Itm ij paire of pewter Crewetts
Itm a holly water vatte of brasse
Itm a surples for the preste'
The churchwardens are named as Robert Cade and John Wythers and William Pierrepont was the parson.

In 1597 the churchwardens presented that: 'the fast commanded by Her Majesty's letters is diligently and dutifully observed by all our parishioners on the days appointed; no man absents himself from his own house in this time of dearth; our minister reads public prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays and the people orderly and reverently frequent the same; the collectors for the poor gather every week from Mr Speed our parson 4d, from Henrye Coldecott 4d, from Walter Caunte 2d, from William Danks 2d and from Nicolas Rolston 2d, and bestow the same on such poor people who have need in our parish'.

The churchwardens reported in 1621 that: 'our church leads are somewhat in decay, and we desire to have time to mend them, until next Lammas'.

In the 17th century the 1st Earl of Kingston created a vault under the then chancel (now the vestry).  He was the first to be interred there and since then all the Pierrepont family were buried there up to the 3rd Earl Manvers.  Some of their monuments are, however, in the church.
In 1633 the Pierrepont family bought the Thoresby estate and Holme became a secondary residence.  Later the family again adopted the title of the Earls Manvers. In the same year the church goods were again recorded by the churchwardens and enumerated in their account book as follows:

First the Church bible.
Itm. 2 books for com [mon] prayer.
Itm, 1 booke of homileys.
Itm. the parfrases of Arasmus [Paraphrase of Erasmus].
The ordar for prayer on Wednsdays and Fridays.
A prayer booke for the time of warr.
Itm. 1 serplese, 1 owlde surplice.
Itm. 1 pulpitt cloth and coosion.
Itm. I bucoram tablecloth 1 linnin ta [ble] cloth.
Itm. I putar flagin, 1 siluer cop [cup] with cov [er].

During the Civil War, the Pierrepont family was divided between the Royalists and the Commonwealth.

The Parliamentary Commissioners of 1650 reported: '...Alsoe the Rectory or Parsonage of Holme which is worth fiftie pounds per Annum The Earle of Kingston the now Patron thereof Thomas Leeke Clerke the present Incumbent who hath the Cure of soules there and receives the proffittes thereof to his owne use and diligently supplies the cure hee being an able preachinge Minister.'

The 1st Earl retired to the Hall in 1665 to avoid the plague and occupied his time in rebuilding the church. This lasted into 1666. The rebuild involved Henry Gyles of York who undertook to stain the window glass some of which still survives (see under Glass).

During the visitation of Archbishop Herring in 1743 it was recorded that Adbolton had been annexed to Holme Pierrepont in 1707 and that the church there was still in existence but ruinous. There were 25 families resident in the village and one papist. The church at Adbolton was pulled down in 1746 and the stones used to repair Holme Pierrepont.

When Archbishop Drummond conducted his visitation in 1764 the number of families had fallen to 22 of which one family was described as 'Independents'. There were no schools, alms houses, hospitals, or other charitable endowments in the parish. Scrope Berdmore was the rector, but lived in the vicarage of Nottingham St Mary where he was also rector; he had Francis Simes as curate who supplied the cure of Holme Pierrepont but also lived in Nottingham.

Writing in 1790 the historian John Throsby wrote of the church 'Rather a religious sanctuary of gloom than of delight'.

Following the collapse of the steeple at Radcliffe on Trent in November 1792 the tower at Holme Pierrepont was inspected and found to be unstable. It was demolished in July 1794 and subsequently rebuilt. Additional work at the church included repairing the exterior walls and roof, blocking the north door, replacing four windows in the chancel and cleaning and restoring the Pierrepont family monuments. Around £900 was spent on the church over the period 1794-96.

The 3rd Earl and Countess Manvers lived at the Hall when married in 1852. It was the Countess that commissioned T C Hine to redesign the chancel and vestry. It was during this rebuilding that the roof of the nave was raised and the pulpit installed.

The tithe was £700 with glebe £60 and the population of the parish was 179 in 1851. There is a six-page terrier for Holme and Adbolton dated 1786.

The Nottinghamshire Guardian of 8 December 1860 reported that the church 'has been recently refitted and partially restored, at the expense of the late Earl Manvers and under the direction of Messrs Hine and Evans, architects.' The work involved replacing the box pews with open benches, providing a pulpit, prayer desk, communion table and a lectern. Encaustic tiles were also laid in the sanctuary.

The church suffered a serious fire in the tower in November 1874. Thanks to the efforts of locals and the Nottingham fire brigade the damage was largely confined to the belfry, although some pews in the nave were scorched by the flames. All three bells were destroyed.

The building was restored in 1878 by the architect Thomas Chambers Hine. According to the Nottingham Evening Post's article on the reopening of the church in October 1878, the chancel was 'entirely renovated', the mortuary chapel was 'altered in some unimportant points' (although it did involve moving the monument to Princess Gertrude from the north wall of the chapel to the west end of the nave), inserting a double arch between the chancel and the mortuary chapel, installing a reredos ('an elegant arrangement of Minton tiles and alabaster') and providing a gilded eagle lectern.

More work was undertaken in the 20th century. Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire (1912) reported that 'in 1912, the walls having given way, new foundations were put in and all decayed external stone work replaced at a cost of £1,300.' Further restoration took place in 1960, and the spire was restored in 1980.

In 1960 a new floor was laid in Hoptonwood terrazzo 'stone' which was aided by the Pilgrim Trust and the Pierrepont family. A medieval memorial brass, now mounted on the west wall of the south aisle, was uncovered at this time.

Further work to install a kitchen, mezzanine for the bell ringers and a toilet was carried out in the later 20th century. Other works have been the installation of storage for tables and chairs, to remove them from public view, a major overhaul of the organ, the conservation of four churchyard memorials (two of them listed), cleaning of memorials on the north wall of the nave, and in the chancel. Prior to that, the roof was made watertight.