The font.

"To the Glory of God this Font was presented by Sarah Waddington, wife of J.N. Waddington, The Grange, Ordsall, on the Restoration of this Church, re-opened Oct. 31st, 1877.

Mr. Waddington owned the Ordsall Paper Mill and property, which formerly belonged to the Nelson family. The ancient Font was in the Rectory garden for many years, and now stands close to the porch.

There is a small chest near the Font, with date 1762 in brass nails on the top.

These screens are always placed at the Chancel step to divide the Chancel from the Nave.

At one time they were universal and placed in every Church, and were all made of stone or wood. The lower part of these wooden screens contained panels, and had painted pictures of Saints, such as we can still see at Blyth. The central part of the screen consisted of openings with carved tracery, like windows without glass. There were gates or doors in the central arch. Above the tracery was fan-vaulting springing from the upright mullions to support the Rood loft above. This loft was a narrow gallery across the top of the screen, with a balcony front, of panels or niches to contain figures. Above the loft stood the Rood, for which the whole screen was erected. This was a large Crucifix, carved and gilded, and on either side were statues of St. Mary and St. John, the watchers by the Cross. Lamps and candles were kept burning up in the loft, which was approached by a narrow turret staircase in the wall or wooden steps. Frequently we find money left in ancient wills for a light to burn before the Rood. Such staircases may still be seen at Tuxford, Gamston and E. Markham, and many other Churches. A complete restored screen may be seen at N. Muskham, where the steps and old door to the Rood loft still remain. This gives a good idea of what Rood Screens once were like. Many screens remain in the county, but the loft has been destroyed in nearly every case, though there is a very interesting one at Sutton-on-Trent, and another perfect specimen with a little staircase in the wall, at Cotes-by-Stow. Fine screens remain at East Drayton, Newark, Strelley and Blyth. Norfolk and Devon contain the most perfect screens in England. It is sometimes said that the priest used to ascend to the loft to read the epistle and gospel in Mediaeval days, but this is confusing the Rood Screen with the large stone Pulpitum or choir screen of Cathedral and Collegiate Churches. This had a wide gallery on the top, and processions went up on the Festivals, and part of the service was read there. These lofts also very often contained organs, large instruments in Cathedrals, and small portable organs in parish Churches, and sometimes the village choir boys sat up there too. But the chief purpose was to support the Rood, and enable the servers to go up and attend to the lights and observe special ceremonial in Lent and at other times. It was evidently the desire of every parish church to have a screen, and we find in the will of Sir Richard Bassett, of Fledborough 15th May, 1525, "To the Rood Loft making £6/13/4." Unfortunately, most of these beautiful screens were destroyed after the Reformation or by the Restorers of Churches in later days. In 1560, all the Rood lofts were taken down in London. In one Church the loft was used as a Sunday School, and the Churchwardens reported that "the children did kick it to pieces."

On 10th October, 1561 an Order in Council was issued, being: the third year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. "It is thus decreed that the Rood-Lofts as yet being- untransposed, shall be so altered that the upper part of the same with the soller (loft) be quite taken down unto the upper parts of the vaults and beams, by putting some convenient crest upon the said beam towards the Church, leaving the situation of the seats (as well in the Quire as in the Church) as heretofore. Provided yet that where any Parish by common consent will pull down the whole frame, and re-edify, the same in joiners' work, that they may do as they think agreeable, so it be to the height of the upper beam  aforesaid.

Provided also that where in any Church the said rood-lofts be already altered, so that there remain a comely partition betwixt the Chancel and the Church, that no alteration be otherwise attempted. And where no partition is standing, there to be one appointed."

This order was carried out in every Parish Church so that is why there are so few" of these Rood-Lofts existing today. In 1571, Archbishop Grindal of York enquired of all his clergy "Whether your rood-lofts be taken down and altered so that the upper parts thereof be quite taken down unto the cross-beams, and the said beams have some convenient crest put upon the same." The cresting was to add ornament to the top of the screen which would have looked bare if the people had left the screen, when the balcony or loft was cut down. The screen at Ordsall shows us exactly what happened in 1571 in York Diocese. In the old Church Accounts at Worksop Priory we find:


To the painter for washing the Rode








To darken the Images faces








Item. For ale and bread and to workmen at the taking down of the rode-lofte




To the Paynter for paynting the rode-lofte before it was takyn down




Recd. of Mr. Vycar for tymber of the Roode-lofte




To Michael Hardyn for making a creste for the roode-lofte



As we see these mutilated screens in so many Churches we are reminded of the 74th Psalm:—

"He that hewed timber afore out of the thick trees, was known to bring: it to an excellent work, But now they break down all the carved work thereof with axes and hammers."


North Aisle.

Bevercotes monument.

The most interesting memorial is upon the North Wall of the Nave. Piercy records in 1828 that this monument was plentifully covered with whitewash, but had no inscription. In 1831, when the Church was furnished with new pews, the monument was moved to the Ringing Loft in the tower, where it remained until 1901, when it was restored to its old position. It is of Nottinghamshire alabaster, and the figure is that of a man in Elizabethan dress. He wears a doublet with padded sleeves, a white ruffle round his neck, and a long gown denoting that he belonged to the legal profession. The coat of arms shows that he belonged to the long-forgotten family of Bevercotes. "Argent a cross patonce argent and a label gules'" impaling Leigh "Gules a cross engrailed argent; in the first quarter a lozenge of the second." His name was Samuel Bevercotes, son of Anthony Bevercotos, of Ordsall. He married Maud Leigh of Shawell, near Rugby. By profession he was a Barrister, and has been described as a lawyer of good note of the learned counsel of York. He had two daughters, Anne, born in 1584, and Margaret, in 1588. He was buried on September 14th, 1603. In the index of Notts. Wills at York we find that the administration of his property was made in the following January. One of his daughters married Thomas Cornwallis, who eventually sold the property in Ordsall to the Countess of Devonshire, and she left it to the Wortley family. The Bevercotes family once lived in the village of that name. The hamlet is now attached to Milton, as their Church fell down about 1650, and the foundations are now in a garden. Formerly they were Knights, and we find Sir William de Bevercotes sitting on a jury in 1279. They lived at the Manor House in this remote village for thirteen generations. Eventually the knighthood died out, and we find two brothers living about 1500, Thomas and William Bevercotes. Thomas had a son, Cuthbert, who requested in his will that he might be buried in the family vaults under the Choir at Bevercotes Church. The last we hear of the family is in 1622, when a certain John Bevercotes was summoned at Ordsall as a Popish Recusant, a popular name given to Roman Catholics, when memories of the Gun Powder Plot were still fresh in people's minds.

North Chancel.

On a brass tablet in Latin; "John Pigot, M.A. One of the SIX preachers of the Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of Canterbury, Canon of Southwell, and Rector of this Church, died 21st August, 1727, aged 82. The ashes of Elizabeth, his wife, are deposited near. She died 4th January, 1718, aged 60. (Translation)."

John Pigot was Rector (1695-1727). He was the son of Richard Pigot (Head of Shrewsbury School), and married Elizabeth Elton. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Rev. George Mason Rector of Ordsall, 1727-1742. His son, Robert, was Curate to his father at Ordsall in 1720. He was a Sizar of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge and was appointed to one of the Special Lectureships at Canterbury, known as the Six Preachers.

On a brass plate in Latin: "Here lies Rev. Stephen Coe, M.A.., once Rector of this Church, who gave back his soul to God, April 6th, 1614." He was Rector of Ordsall 1589-1614. Sizar of Christ's College, Cambridge, 1583. Married Margaret Bellamy, of Laneham, in 1696. In his will (proved at York) he wished to be buried "in the earth" at Ordsall Church.

On a brass plate (formerly on the same floor-stone as the above, in the Chancel): "Here lieth Interr'd the Body of ye truly just and virtuous Robert Coe, of Ordsall, Gent., who departed this life for a better, March ye 23rd, in ye year of our Blessed Lord 1718, and in ye 74th year of his age. As the Life, so the End."

He was the great grandson of the Rector.

North Aisle.

"Near this place lieth interren the Body of Jer : Halfhide, gnt. (eldest son of Hen : Halfhide by Martha, his second wife), who died belov'd & lamented on the 27th day of November.

In the year

( of his age 68.


( of our Lord 1727.

South Aisle.

Monument to Henry Halfhide.
Monument to Henry Halfhide.

"Henry Halfhide, aged about 66, died March ye 26 Ano Dmi 89, & buried in the North Quire nere his wife Margaret who died ye 4th of March 1658 by who had 3 Daughters Mary: Sara: & Bridget all deceased.

By Martha his second wife had 4 Sonnes & 4 Daughters Jer : Will : Martha : Rebecca : Jes : Eliz : Hen : & Ann : of which Will: & Rebecha: Dead. Christus Resurrexit."

In the South Aisle.

"Near this place lies Inter'd the Body of Mr. Richard Brownlow, of Thrumpton, in this parish, who departed this life the 31st day of January, Anno Dom. 1706, in the 69th year of his age."

"Near lieth the Body of Mis Anne Turnell, Widow Dawter and only child of Mr. Richd. Brownlow, of Thrumpton, in this parish, who departed this life Nov. the 6th, 1727, in the 65th year of her age.''

Thoroton, in his History of Notts., records that there was a monument in the Church to Rev. William Denman, Rector (1550-1587). The inscription was in Latin, and we give a translation of it:—

"I was a Squire's son, my mother was heiress of a Knight, My name is Denman, I was a Master of Arts. Rector of Ordsall in Mary's reign removed Queen Elizabeth restored me to my flock; And I thereupon worked that Retford should reap the fruits of my labours, If any are zealous to make progress in Religion, Ordsall knows that I built houses for the poor. Beneath this pile, I now am lying dead. Ah! no, not dead, I live beyond in bliss, Earth holds my corpse, in heaven my spirit dwells."

This Rector was deprived of his living in Queen Mary's reign in 1556, because he was married and was one of the clergy of the Reformed Church.

He was restored in 1559 at the Royal Visitation of the Northern Province, and was Rector until his death. He was buried in the Church on November 14th, 1587.

He was the son of Nicholas Denman and Anne sister of Sir John Hercy, of Grove. He took his M.A. degree at St. John's, Cambridge, in 1551.

Piercy records in his MSS. that there was a large memorial stone to Sir John de Bolingbroke in the Church about seventy years ago.

This Knight made his will at Headon in 1351, and desired to be buried in Ordsall Church. We find him engaged in a legal action to recover the Manor of Ordsall in 1330. His will has been published by the Surtees Society, and we give a short extract:—

"To Gregory, Parson of Hedon, 5 marks, to Thomas de Ordsale Chaplain Xs. Executors : Gregory and Isabel wife of Robert de Wastnoj-s. To the Poor £X. Wax candles to be burnt round his coffin. £20 to Thomas and Robert, his sons. To Robert de Wastneys 5 marks. To Alice nurse to his son John 6/8. Remainder of Estate to Isabel, and he ordered that his Executors do carry out their duties, ' having the Lord before their eyes.'"

The Wastneys lived at the Old Hall, Headon, which was pulled down a century ago. Apparently Isabel was the daughter of Sir John, and he died at her house, and was buried in the Church at Ordsall, where he owned part of his estate.

Ordsall Charities.

A Table of Benefactions formerly hung in the South Aisle, but was removed many years ago. On a page in one of the Registers there is written an account of some of the Charities: —

Mrs. Ann Turnell, Widow, of Tickhill, gave the sum of £40, the use thereof to be given to the poor of Ordsall parish, on Candlemas Day (Feb. 2nd) at the discretion of the Minister and Overseers for ever.

[Mrs. Turnell died in 1727].

This money was in the hands of Mr. Dunstan of Worksop in 1727.

Mr. Robert Palmer, of Thrumpton, in 1764, gave the sum of £10, the interest thereof to be given to the poor on St. Thomas' Day for ever.

This money was in the hands of Timothy Outram, for which he paid 8/- at the time appointed annually.

Mr. William Ellis, in 1798, left the sum of £10 to the poor, the interest to be given to the poor on Good Friday.

These three charities were lost in 1816 by the bankruptcy of John Stoakes, a large farmer, whose creditors only received l½d. in the pound, though shortly before his father had died and left him £2,000. In consideration of this loss, the Overseers formerly distributed £3 yearly out of the poor rates, 40/- being given on Candlemas Day, 10/- on St. Thomas' Day, and 10/-on Good Friday.