For this church:
South Muskham St Wilfrid
Features and Fittings
Two metal plaques in the sanctuary floor relate to the ornate Victorian reredos that was taken down in 1959. According to White's Directory of Nottinghamshire for 1894, 'A handsome reredos of alabaster with marble columns was erected by the Rev. A. W. Wood in 1884, to the memory of John and Elizabeth Toder.'
The inscriptions read:
The priest’s door with a chamfered four centred arched head in the south wall of the chancel shows the original level of the floor of the church before it was raised in the latter part of the 19th century to prevent further flooding.
In the choir stalls there are three bench-ends and four splendid poppy heads which were found under the floor during the restoration; they are 15th century, the poppy heads carved with roses, a double headed pelican, winged and crowned grotesques and four crabs with nippers and claws.
There is an octagonal font, believed to be Norman, with a metal handled 17th century cover; the plinth probably dates from the restoration in 1878.
The pulpit, which has a stone base and is made of pitch pine, dates from the restoration of 1878. We have only a glimpse of the earlier pulpit from a photograph taken before the restoration.
The lectern is made of light oak and bears a metal plaque inscribed ‘in memory of Esther Eling’ who was the wife of the Reverend Thomas Eling, the vicar of St. Wilfrid’s in the 1930s.
All of the current pews are of pitch pine and were installed at the time of the 1878 refurbishment. Prior to 1878 there had been some boxed pews in the church which can be seen from an old photograph. A few of the pews have been removed (but retained within the nave) to provide space for the children’s corner and a hospitality area.
The south door is medieval, probably 15th century, heavily ribbed and studded and has two holes (now filled in) made by musket shot of the Civil War. (There is no solid evidence that the holes were made in the Civil War!).
At the west end of the south aisle stands a post-Reformation alms-box, the top boldly carved with the injunction:
Inside the lid is carved ‘1736 IWFC’. The admonition to ‘Remember the Poor’ was familiar to all who entered the church; for near to the door stood a pillared alms-box of stout oak, made secure with iron bands and padlocks (the padlock in South Muskham church was destroyed during a break-in June 1931). They are all very similar in design and bear the initials of the churchwardens, date, and a bold request to ‘Remember ye. Poore’)
The plain round-headed north doorway may be Norman and was perhaps moved from the north side of the nave to its present position when the north aisle was built, apparently in the 14th century.
The vestry now houses a tea bar and toilet. High up on the east wall are two medieval carvings in wood, one a grotesque face, the other possibly the insignia of the Barton family. These could have come from the supports of the west end musicians’ gallery (no longer in the church) but they are probably older than this, and were possibly corbels from the old roof.