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St Mary and St John the Baptist, Rothley, Leicestershire

(52°42′28″N, 1°8′8″W)
SK 585 126
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Leicestershire
now Leicestershire
  • Richard Jewell
  • Jennifer Alexander
05 Aug 1990 (RJ), (JA)

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Feature Sets

Rothley is a village in the Charnwood district of the county, 5 miles N of Leicester. It stands in a loop of Rothley Brook, a tributary of the River Soar, and the church is on the E side of the village. It is an impressive building of pink granite dreesed with grey stone and consists of a tall Perpendicular W tower, embattled and clerestoreyed aisled nave and and a chancel renewed by J. Reynolds Rowe in 1877-78. Nothing in the fabric is earlier than the 13thc, and the only feature described here is the 12thc font. In the churchyard stands the Rothley Cross; a tall shaft with no cross-head dated to the 9thc by Kendrick.


Rothley was held by the king before the Conquest and in 1086, when it consisted of 5 carucates of ploughland with 37 acres of meadow and a mill. The assessed population numbering 29 villans, 18 bordars and a priest suggests a total population for the village in the region of 250 souls. To the manor belonged some 20 other members. The churches of Rothley and Medbourne were given to the monks of Ourston, Leics, by Henry II, for the express purpose of completing their abbey church, founded pre-1161. Rothley was mother church to a number of chapels, including Gaddesby, Caddeswell and Grimston.





The bold and striking geometrical design of the font is paralleled on the font at Peckleton church, Leicestershire. Dating: second quarter of 12thc.


T. H. Fosbrooke, G. Farnham et.al. 'The History of Rothley', Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Transactions, 12, 1921-22, 1-128.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 405199

Leicestershire and Rutland HER MLE13258

V. McLoughlin, 'The Parish and Church of Rothley, Leicestershire: a re-interpretation', Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Transactions, 92 (2018), 97-114.

J. Nichols, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, 4 vols, London 1795 – 1810-11, III, 958 and pl.cxxx.

  1. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, New Haven and London 2003,364.