Clothall, St Mary the Virgin
The peaceful parish church of St Mary's was built around 1350–70 on the foundations of the older C12th nave.
The south doorway is C14th and retains the original plank door with nails from past church notices and the name of its maker (John Warren) painted on the back.
The glass in the east window is the glory of the church. It is thought there are only two other windows like this in England, possibly by the same craftsman. It consists of six late C14th medallions including one depicting Mary Magdalene. The others are Christ and the four Evangelists. The medallions are surrounded by diamond panes depicting birds of the English countryside, as well as more exotic species.
The author Thomas Stanley was born in Clothall in 1625 and is buried in the church.
There are some fine C17th memorial brasses on the chancel floor, covered in carpet for protection.
At least four different species of bats are thought to roost in St Mary's: common pipistrelles, serotines, brown long-eared bats and a Myotis sp.
The large number of bats has a significant impact on the church furnishings and fittings, with urine staining and droppings covering most surfaces. The Lady Chapel is particularly seriously impacted.
St Mary's is working with the Bats in Churches project to find out how the bats are using the church, and to come up with some sustainable solutions to reduce the mess, smell and nuisance without harming the bats.