UTTOXETER

Grid Ref: SK 094 335
28 May 2003, 8 Oct 2008 and 13 June 2018

 

Nave
The nave at St. Mary's looking westwards.

 

Spire   Top of tomb
St. Mary's       The top of the tomb of Sir Thomas Kynnersley
Nave   tomb
The Nave looking eastwards   Side panel of the tomb of Sir Thomas Kynnersley
Memorial and Church   tomb
The Church spire and War Memorial, 2008   Alabaster tomb of Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Hussey
Inn   Talbot Inn
On the market square   The Old Talbot Inn in 2008
Johnson memorial   Detail of memorial
Dr. Johnson Memorial   Panel on the side of the memorial, 2003
Town scene   Inn
View near town centre of the War Memorial in 2018   The Black Swan on Market Street in 2018
Town Hall   Elizabethan house
The Town Hall in 2008   Elizabethan property adjacent to the Black Swan in 2008

In 2018, I replaced all my pictures from 2003 except the one on the side of the Johnson Memorial and added pictures from my visits in 2008 and 2018.

St. Mary's at Uttoxeter was built between 1826 and 1828 replacing a medieval structure but the tower and spire date from the 14th century. The picture of the nave shows the galleries above each aisle. The chancel was modified in 1877. In recent years, the north aisle has been separated from the nave with a glass and wood partition and is now a cafe called "CofE CafE" where you can have breakfasts and light lunches while supporting the church funds.

Beneath the west tower are two tombs and there is a printed notice giving details. The lady shown in the effigy has been shown to represent Elizabeth the daughter of Henry Hussey of King's Bromley, who died in 1523. The tomb was removed from its original position when the church was being rebuilt in the 1820s and shortened by removing the feet in order to make it fit under a staircase. The tomb was restored by the Kynnersley family in 1889. The tomb is open at the back and has beneath an effigy of a skeleton to show the subject in life and death. The tomb of Sir Thomas Kynnersley has the image cut into the slab on the top instead of an effigy. A translation of the Latin inscription by the Rev. Preb. W. H. O. Moss, a former vicar of Uttoxeter, reads "Here lie the bodies of Thomas Kynnersley of Morley, Knight and of his wives and their sons and daughters. Thomas died in 1505. May God have mercy on their souls. Amen" The first wife of Sir Thomas, was Margery the daughter of John Agarde and she is believed to be depicted in the right hand panel. His second wife was the daughter of Humphrey Wolrich and she was the widow of Henry Petitt of Badger. Sir Thomas and his third wife, Elizabeth Hussey, are shown in the central panel, kneeling beside the cross.

The Talbot Inn derives its name from the Talbot family who were Earls of Shrewsbury and had lands in Staffordshire including Alton. The inn dates from the late 16th century and in 1644 it was given as a bequest by John Dynes to provide from its rents money to pay for the apprenticeship of the poor. The building survived the fire of 1672, which destroyed much of the town.

Samuel Johnson's father was a bookseller and lived in Lichfield. He sold books in other locations including Uttoxeter and stored his stock in the Talbot Inn. On one occasion he asked his son to go to Uttoxeter to sell his books for him and Samuel declined. When much older, in 1777, Samuel was struck by pangs of conscience and went to Uttoxeter to perform a penance by standing in the square all day. This event is commemorated by the plaques on the circular stone building in the centre of the square. This building, erected in 1854, formerly housed a weighing machine but it is now used as a newspaper kiosk. The streets around the two adjoining squares contain a number of timber framed properties.

Dr Johnson is reported as saying that there was nothing so fine as an English Inn and there are several in Uttoxeter.

Sources:

The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, 1996, ISBN 1871731 25 8
Uttoxeter Tourist Information

 

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Strolling through Staffordshire
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