Egleton, St Edmund
A focal point in the Egleton Conservation Area, St Edmund’s is a Grade I listed building standing in the centre of a churchyard with C18th gravestones.
The tower and spire with its gilded weather cock rise above the trees as a prominent landmark.
Entry to the church is through a C14th porch with an ogee arch with carved heads. The C12th tympanum above the inner door is particularly fine and has intricately carved pillars supporting it.
The chancel was probably rebuilt in the C15th although the carved pillars of the chancel arch are C12th as is the font near the south door.
The rood screen itself survives although restored with reduced height and repositioned at the west end in front of the tower door.
Bats have used St Edmund's as a roosting site for many years, but numbers have risen in the last 8-9 years and there is now a very large (>1,000) soprano pipistrelle maternity colony roosting in the nave roof void. The colony is the largest monitored for the National Bat Monitoring Programme in England.
During the summer the smell can be overpowering, with droppings and urine scattered throughout the church. Some bats are unable to find their way out and sadly die inside the church.
Surveys carried out in 2021 recommended repairing holes in the nave ceiling where the bats are getting in. The church has permission to carry out this work in autumn 2022 and has launched a JustGiving page to raise funds.
The church held dawn and dusk bat watching events in August 2021.