Thoroton Society Record Series

Thoroton Society Record Series Volume 49 (2020). The Nottinghamshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne, 1825-1874 edited by Lawrence Butler

The church notes of Sir Stephen Glynne are recorded in 106 volumes held at St. Deiniol’s Library, Hawarden, Flintshire. They contain notes taken by Sir Stephen during visits to more than 5,000 medieval churches, mostly in England and Wales. The visits took place between 1825 and shortly before Glynne died in 1874.

It was during the mid-Victorian decades that contemporaries discovered medieval Gothic architecture, and began to restore decaying and neglected parish churches. Glynne’s notebooks record his discovery and enthusiasm for church architecture. Glynne’s early visits to churches, prior to around 1842, provide a record of the major churches. Thereafter he was involved in the Ecclesiological movement as an antiquarian, as a worshipper, as a member of Church Congresses, and as a church builder on his estates around Hawarden Castle. His later visits reflect these varied interests.

Glynne’s notes are those of a careful observer of churches over five decades. He illustrated some of his accounts with thumbnail sketches of window tracery, doorway, and gable details. These are not suitable for reproduction. In some cases he visited a church more than once (an example is Nottingham St Mary) and recorded repairs or internal changes to furnishings and fittings. Glynne’s prejudices occasionally come through in the text, such as his detestation of box pews as a hindrance to worship.

Glynne’s visits to more than 130 Nottinghamshire churches are recorded in his notebooks, and reproduced in this volume. They are an invaluable record of changing tendencies in church building and restoration in mid-nineteenth century England and Wales, and this volume contains all of Glynne’s text for the churches he visited in Nottinghamshire together with an indication of the subjects of his marginal illustrations.

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