Flawford: churchyard and figures

Flawford: churchyard and figures

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE has lost several villages during the passage of the centuries, and in some cases their site has completely disappeared. How many people, for example, in the City of Nottingham know that there used to be a village called Whiston, somewhere about the junction of Mansfield-road and Elm-avenue ?

Flawford is more fortunate than some of these lost villages, for its site is known, and its derelict churchyard, on the south side of the lane between Ruddington and Edwalton, is not infrequently visited. It must have been a place of importance, for its church was the mother church of the chapelries of Ruddington and Edwalton.

But the village dwindled away, and services in the church were discontinued about 1718. The church stood deserted until 1773, when it was pulled down.

But if Flawford has vanished its name is familiar to antiquaries and art lovers throughout the country, for at an exhibition of mediaeval arts held at South Kensington, the Flawford figures were amongst the most admired exhibits.

These three alabaster figures, representing Our Lady, St. Peter, and a bishop were discovered on the site of Flawford Church in 1779, and they now form part of the collection in Nottingham Castle. They are three very fine specimens of the alabaster carving for which Nottingham was famous at the end of the fourteenth century.

After the passing of the Black Death a school of alabaster carvers grew up in Nottingham, who wrought objects of piety and enrichments for altars and churches, and under such men as Peter Mason, who had his workshop in St. Mary’s Gate in 1399, their work became so beautiful that it was exported far and wide, and specimens of Nottingham Alabaster are to be seen not only in England, but throughout the continent of Europe.