St James, Dry Doddington

"The Parish Church is dedicated to St. James and is clearly visible from the Great North Road (A1), sitting prominently on the open village green.

The Church was built initially as a Chapel of Ease for All Saints Church, Westborough, becoming a separate parish later. It has a significantly westward leaning tower and is a Grade II* listed building dating from the 12th century, with the tower being early 14th century. Significant restoration (including raising the roof to it’s present level ) was carried out in 1876 when it was consecrated. The tower is thought to have moved in the late 19th or early 20th century. It was underpinned in 1919 and appears to have been stable since then.

The Church Plan consists of a west tower with spire, a nave with north and south aisles and a rectangular chancel. It is built in limestone ashlar and blue lias with a plain tiled roof (fully retiled in 1996). The tower and spire are built in coursed rubble with ashlar quoins.

The 14th century bell is listed for preservation and is still rung occasionally. It was cast in copper and tin by John of Stafford who owned a foundry in Leicester, where he was mayor in 1371. His name and the date 1350 are stamped as an inscription on the bell. John also worked on the bells in York Minster and made the bell in Allington Church locally.

The bell became unsafe and was restored as a Millennium Project, when it was taken down and repaired. A new housing was made by a local joiner, along with new flooring and support timbers.

The church also contains a memorial to the 49 Squadron Avro Lancaster bomber that crashed near the village in November 1944. The aircraft, code name ‘O-Oboe’, was piloted by F/O Le Marquand (PB432) and had only been in the air for a few minutes before it came down, fully laden with bombs and fuel. Miraculously five of the crew of seven survived."

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