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St Luke, Gaddesby, Leicestershire

(52°42′37″N, 0°58′53″W)
SK 689 130
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Leicestershire
now Leicestershire
medieval Lincoln
now Leicester
medieval St Luke
now St Luke
  • Richard Jewell
  • Jennifer Alexander
04 Aug 1990 RJ, 2 September 2014 JA

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Feature Sets

Gaddesby is a village in the Melton district of the county, 8 miles NE of Leicester and 5 miles SW of Melton Mowbray. The church is ooutside the village centre to the E. Pevsner describes the church as 'one of the largest and most beautiful in the county', but the only reminderthat there was onece a Norman church here is a single reset chevron voussoir. St Luke's consists of a 13thc. W tower with a spire, a nave with a 14thc aisles: the slightly earlier S aisle a lavish showpiece with sumptuous details, while the N aile is smaller and humbler though still rich work of the 1330s or '40s. The chancel , of rubble, is earlier than either, Pvesner dated it 1310-15. The church was restored in 1859, when a priests' doorway was added to the chancel.


The king held 8 carucates and 3 bovates of land in Gaddesby in 1086, with 12 acres of meadow. Countess Judith held a total of 2 carucates as tenant-in-chief, of which Feigr held 1½ carucates from her ans Othenkar half a carucate. Finally Earl Hugh held the manor of Barrow-upon Soar, with land in Gaddesby as an appendage, assessed at 1 carucate.

Formerly a chapel of Rothley, little is known of the church until the 14thc., when Robert de Gaddesby was given permission to found a chantry there in 1326. The village had been given by Henry III to the Knights Templars of Rothley; after their suppression it passed to the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. No mention is made of a church in the Domesday Survey, and no architectural evidence is present other than one chevron fragment - prior to the early 13thc. doorway.


Interior Features

Interior Decoration


The presence of a single voussoir used as rubble suggests tha the church was completely replaced except for its 13thc tower and S doorway in the years between c.1310 and 1350. The earliest of this work, in the chancel, does not match the grandeur of the rebuilding carried out after 1320, which seems to be connected with a series of chantry foundations.


Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 189841

J. Nichols, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, 4 vols, London 1795 – 1810-11, III, 968-72.

  1. N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, New Haven and London 2003, 156-8.