Mayfield Church Tower Anniversary

A cake in the shape of the church and made of gingerbread was just one of the birthday presents presented today to Mayfield’s tallest inhabitant – its church tower.

Mayfield church cake

Mayfield church cake

The cake, baked by a parishioner, was the centrepiece at a party, which, with a service of celebration, was held to mark the 500th anniversary of the Gothic tower.
A miniature replica of the tower, in wood, made by another resident, was another ‘present’.

Tower

The tower was built in 1515 with money provided by the then lord of the manor Thomas Rollestone.  The Rollestones had been contributing to the enlargement of the original Norman church for over a hundred years at this point, and would do for another seventy years.
Amazingly, one of the family’s descendants was able to attend today’s ceremonies.

Mayfield Church tower

Mayfield Church tower

However, it may be that, while the tower looks impressive to us, Thomas Rollestone himself may not have been best pleased with it: the inscription on the west face reads ‘Ainsy et mieux peult ester’, which translates as ‘thus it is, and better could it be’!

Support

St John The Baptist Church has a thriving community behind it, and repairs and maintenance are in good order.  Weathered stone faces on the south side exterior window-arches are next in line for restoration.

Mayfield memorabilia

Mayfield anniversary memorabilia     (Double-click this photo to enlarge it if you would like more detail – then press the back-button to return to this page)

Fund-raising among friends and neighbours is supported by gentle attempts at marketing.  The anniversary memorabilia you see in the photo is limited edition only: contact the treasurer for more details of how to acquire your own…

However, church-crawlers will be saddened to hear that the church, even though it is Grade 1 listed – is not open most of the time at the moment.
There is some consolation to this in the fact that the interior is very plain – whitewashed and with no stained-glass. The Reformers clearly had a lasting effect here. Nevertheless, the Norman stone carving is of note.
There is a key-holder though – see the church’s contacts page.

See the entry about this church on our A-Z

++
Thanks to MR for contributing this article

Would you too like to contribute your thoughts on a Staffordshire historic-churches subject?  You’d be most welcome – email us

Would you like to comment on this article?  There is a comments box just further down the page – feel free to tell us your thoughts

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One response to “Mayfield Church Tower Anniversary

  1. “It was made with a lot of tender loving care” …!

    Like

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