St Mary of the Purification


The north side of St Mary's Church, Blidworth, Essex.

The church is said to have a Georgian pulpit, but no details are known.

The church at Blidworth would have originally been a wooden structure, but was replaced by one of stone during the Saxon period. It was known as the Chapel of St Lawrence until the time of Richard III (1483-1485), when a tower was built onto "The church of St Mary". Its full dedication is St Mary of the Purification.

The tower is the only remaining part of the old church, as the original structure fell down in 1736, after being in a 'bad state of repair' for some time. The rebuilding work was carried out by Rhodes of Barlborough, and the arcade of five arches were supposedly the design of a pupil of Christopher Wren. The repaired church was re-opened in 1740, and the church was further enlarged in 1839.

St Mary's church is also the location of the annual Rocking Ceremony. The origins of the ceremony go back at least 400 years, to a service known as 'The Presentation in the Temple'. The custom had to be revived in 1842 by the then Vicar, J. Lowndes, after a lapse of 150 years, and again in 1922. The male child born in Blidworth parish nearest to Christmas Day is rocked in a beautiful flower-decked cradle at a special service on the first Sunday in February.

Information taken from the Genuki web site at:


Dove's reference for the bells:

Blidworth, Notts, S Mary Purif & S Lawrence, 6, 4-0-16 in B. 


Map reference : SK586556

Photographs:  ©  Heather Faulkes  2002 

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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
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July 2001 -