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Church of St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall facts for kids

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Church of St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall
Hucknall Church St Mary Magdalene.jpg
Church of St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Broad Church
Dedication St Mary Magdalene
Diocese Southwell and Nottingham
Province York

The Church of St Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, is a parish church in the Church of England.

The church is Grade II* listed as it is a particularly significant building of more than local interest.


It is set in a peaceful churchyard overlooking the market place in the centre of the town. The building itself is of great architectural interest and is built on the site of an old Saxon church. The church tower which stands high above the town was constructed in stages between the 12th and 14th century whilst the porch was built in 1320. The medieval church consisted only of a chancel, nave, north aisle and tower but it was considerably enlarged in the Victorian period. The top stage of the tower is 14th century as is the south porch.

The rest of the building is the result of extensive restoration work which began in 1872. The south aisle was added by Evans and Jolly between 1872 and 1874, and the transepts by Robert Charles Clarke in 1887 and 1888. In 1888 the Lady Chapel was re-built, a beautiful example of nineteenth century craftsmanship. The Victorian baptistery which used to contain the 14th century font has now been converted into a Visitor Centre where display boards and wall panels give visitors a chance to find out a little more about the Church. There are also many beautiful carvings and wall mosaics around the church.

In 2004, there was a carved stone cross, a Khatchkar, given to the church in memory of the work that the rector had done for Armenia. The stone which had been at Holgate School was given in thanks for the British people's contributions which enable the rebuilding of Lord Byron School in Gyumri which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1988. It was thought that the original stone may have been damaged by football fans who confused Armenia with Albania.

Current parish status

It is in a group of parishes which includes:



Byron family

St Mary Magdalene served as the traditional burial place of the Byron family who maintained a family vault there. Most Lords Byron are buried in it, including the poet. His daughter Ada, Countess of Lovelace, also rests in the vault. There is a modest memorial to Lord Byron in the church.


Other notable people buried in and near the church include, for example:

Stained glass windows

There are 25 stained glass windows by Charles Eamer Kempe which were added mostly in the 1880s. The church holds one of the largest collections of stained glass by this artist.


St Mary Magdalene has a ring of eight bells (12 cwt) installed in 1958 and a 14th-century Angelus bell, given to the church by the poet Lord Byron. The Angelus bell has an unknown weight because it is so old the ringers are afraid of it breaking if it were moved from the tower.

Bell Weight Tuning

  • Treble 4-0-22 F#
  • 2nd 4-1-14 E#
  • 3rd 4-3-16 D#
  • 4th 5-2-0 C#
  • 5th 6-2-8 B
  • 6th 7-1-6 A#
  • 7th 9-1-12 G#
  • Tenor 12-2-16 F# To The Glory Of God.
  • Angelus Bell C#


A clock was installed in 1685 by Richard Roe. The current mechanically driven clock with a face on all four sides of the tower dates from 1882, and has to be wound once a week. The clock has three weights, one for keeping time, one for the chimes and one for the clock faces. The chimes chime the 5th, 6th and 7th bells.


The church had a pipe organ by Nigel Church installed in 1976. This was later sold to Sedbergh School for their chapel and an electronic organ was installed in 1992.


  • Charles Pickard¬†???? - 1924 (afterwards organist of Holy Trinity Church, Lenton)
  • Frank Slater
  • Stanley Turner 1932 -¬†????
  • Norman Silcock 1957-c.1970, a blind organist. His guide dog used to sit behind the console at services. The first piece he played on arrival was also the last piece he played at his retirement - Finlandia (Sibelius). His retirement gift was a Braille music typewriter. Mr. Silcock was a music teacher at Melton Mowbray in the early 1950s. His wife's name was Hilda. He could read a sheet of music in Brail, and then play it from what he had memorised.
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