For this church:
St Mary the Virgin
Newark and Southwell Deanery
Bleasby parish church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. It is located on the Main Street, in the heart of the old village and conservation area, about half a mile from the River Trent. Situated on a bend in the road it has an idyllic setting within a quintessential English country churchyard. The entrance is through a lychgate, which appears to be much older than it actually is. To the side of the path is the village War Memorial.
The church sits at the end of the path leading from the memorial. (It was built in the 13th century, but has been extensively restored and extended, mainly in the 19th century) It is not a large church, but it is well proportioned, with a nave, tower, chancel, north aisle and a short north transept which was once a schoolroom and is now used as a vestry. The tower is complete with a public clock and houses not only two traditional bells but also a set of eight tubular chimes.
An extensive churchyard surrounds the church. Many of the grave markers can no longer be read, but those of slate and granite bear evidence to the antiquity of the burials, as does a record of the names and dates made about 25 years ago. The churchyard is still in use.The plague struck in 1604, and there were 104 deaths recorded in that year. It has been suggested that the population could not have been greater than 300 at that date. It stood at 358 in 1855 and then, in common with many Trent-side villages it declined, with numbers falling to 296 in 1885 as residents moved into towns in search of better paid work. Today the village is home to over 800 people, but very few parishioners actually work in the village.
Particular thanks to Doug Fletcher and Barbara Cast for research on this entry