For this church:
The original church in the area of Langar was called St Ethelburga’s (also known as St Aubrey’s or St Ambrose’s) and was part of d’Aincourts fee. The exact location of this church is uncertain, being assumed to be approximately one mile south of the current church of St Andrew’s.
The manors of Langar and nearby Barnstone were held by Godric the Saxon before the Conquest. They were then granted to William Peverel at the time of Henry I and this allowed Peverel to provide an endowment for Lenton Priory. Gerbod de Escalt was the next holder of the Peverel fee, in the time of Henry II and was succeeded by Gerard de Rhodes in the reign of Richard I. Gerard de Rhodes son, Ralph, obtained a licence from the Prior of Lenton to have a chapel within his hall, provided that his chaplain should be presented by the parson of Langar.
The manors then passed to the Tibetot (Tiptoft) family by means of an exchange between John, second son of the last Sir Gerard de Rhodes and Sir Robert de Tibetot (Tiptoft). Sir Robert was eventually slain whilst fighting against Robert Bruce in 1314.
King Edward II, in 1315, granted to Bartholomew de Badlesmere the custody of certain lands belonging to Paganus Tibetot, son of Robert Tibetot, by reason that his son, John, was under age. Bartholomew married John to his daughter Margaret, and they had a son, also called John, who died without issue, under age, in 1360. Their other son, Robert, was granted the manor in 1349. Robert married Margaret, daughter of William de Ayncourt. After his death, Margaret married John Cheyne.
Ownership of the manor transferred to the Scropes, following the marriage of Roger le Scrope to Margaret, eldest daughter and heir of Robert Tibetot (Tiptoft).
In 1428 a Quare impedit was recovered by Guy Fairfax and William Ackworth, plaintiffs, against John Elmham, Prior of Lenton, and Thomas Smith, clerk of the advowson of the church of Langar.
During the 16th Century, the Chaworth family of Wiverton Hall, served as Knights for the monarch, going on Crusades. Wiverton Hall, north of Langar, served as a garrison for Charles I during the Civil War before being demolished in 1645. The north transept of St Andrew’s contains monuments to three generations of the Chaworth family.
The manors of Langar and Barnstone remained in the ownership of the Scropes until the death of the last Lord Scrope, Emanuel on 30th May 1630. Emanuel Scrope died without issue by his wife Elizabeth, although he sired four illegitimate daughters by his servant, Martha Janes, alias Sandford. His third daughter, Annabella, married John Grubham Howe, second son of Sir John Howe of Compton in Gloucestershire. She was legitimised by an act of Charles II on 1st June, 1663, obtaining the rank and precedence of an earl’s daughter. Annabella and John had a son, Sir Scrope Howe, who was created Viscount Howe in 1701. The Viscount’s grandson, Admiral Richard Howe, famous for the “Glorious 1st of June” victory, was created Earl Howe and Baron Howe of Langar in 1788. His daughter, Sophia Charlotte, Baroness Howe of Langar in her own right, married Penn Assheton Curzon.
In 1650, a report by the Parliamentary Commissioners stated that the rectory or parsonage of Langar cum Barnstone was worth one hundred and forty pounds per annum. The present incumbent, John Featley, received one third of the profits for his own use.
The internal architecture that we can see today ranges from the original 13th Century arches and Tower, through the addition of the clerestory in the 15th Century and the roof which was replaced in the mid-18th Century. Most of the external stonework was replaced by Rev’d Thomas Butler in 1860. Nikolaus Pevsner, described St Andrew’s as “a stately building of very complete Nottinghamshire type with transepts, low battlemented roofs and central tower but unfortunately so vigorously restored by Thomas Butler that little of its original surface remains”. Butler used stone from the quarry at Ancaster in Lincolnshire. The present roof presumably dates from the mid 18th Century as one of the beams is inscribed: Church Wardens William Wells, Henry Wright Sept 29 1750 Carpenters Richard Wright, Henry Wright. The fine stained glass window in the west wall was added in 1916. The church still retains its intricate carved woodwork, good examples of which are the screens below the main tower. In 1963 a bell ringing chamber was created at a higher level, providing easier access between the nave and the chancel.
A previous rectory for this church is located to the east of St Andrew’s and dates from 1722 when Rev’d Benedict Sherard was the rector. It was built with the assistance of Queen Anne’s bounty, a finance granted for the erection of parsonages after 1704. In 1776, the Rev’d Edward Gregory built an observatory near the house. Gregory was a keen astronomer and is credited, jointly with Pierre Méchain, with the discovery of the comet, 1793 Gregory-Méchain on the evening of January 8, 1793. The rectory was eventually owned by Rev’d Thomas Butler who lived there from 1834 to 1876. Thomas’s son, Samuel Butler, became well known as an author, painter, musician and philosopher. The rectory was sold in the 1950s and became a private dwelling.
According to the Protestation Returns, 1641-2, the number for the Parish of Langar was 85 with no refusals. These Certificates or Returns of the names of those persons who have made the protestation pursuant to the Order of the House of Commons of 30th July 1641, were required from all males over 18 in the Parish.
The congregation attending church at the time of Archbishop Herring’s visitation returns (May 1743) was drawn from forty-three families within the parish. According to Rev’d Benedict Sherard, Rector at the time, “none that come to church are unbaptized, or of competent age that are not confirmed, except two or three that want, and that have, further instruction”.
The religious census of 1851 showed that Langar comprised an area of 3442 acres and had a population of 162 men and 162 women. The general congregation was on average 70 in the mornings with 35 Sunday scholars. Afternoon services were held every other Sunday alternating with services at the Barnstone chapel.
The early parish registers for Langar comprised four volumes. They contain entries of baptisms from 1595 and marriages and burials from 1596. The following are notable extracts from the first volume:
“The right honourable the lord Thomas Scroope lord & Baron of Boulton was buryed the third Septeber (1609).”
“Mr John Chaworth father of ye Right Honorable George Viscount Armagh was interred in ye quire belonginge to Wivertone upon St James day in ye night (1628).”
“The right honorable Emanuell Earle of Sunderland was interred ye vjth of June (1630).”
“Anne Flower the daughter of Henry Flower of St Ambrose in the fields, in Langar parish, and Ellenore his wife, was baptized in Langar Church on Friday the tenth day of May (1650).”
Important dates in the history of Langar