The position of St Leonard’s church Grateley is a great reminder of a time when church and manor house, were at the centre of a community.
The church sits alongside the farm yard of Manor Farm with a circle of lanes surrounding the buildings at the centre of this village.
It’s solid tower speaks of it’s Norman origins and the font, a formidable looking tub is C12th or possibly earlier.
The real gem in the church are the rare fragments of window glass that were placed in a window on the southern side of the nave. These deeply coloured fragments were rescued from Salisbury Cathedral by a gentleman called William Benson Earle, when the architect, James Wyatt, decided the cathedral no longer needed it’s Medieval glass and destroyed it. Find out more about William Benson Earle at the Grateley Parish Council website.
Experts believe it was made for the cathedral in about 1225, which was when Salisbury Cathedral was in a state ready to receive it’s new glass and that it could be English glass. If this is the case, then that would make the Grately glass amongst the oldest English glass in any church in the country.
Stephs orans expirat or Stephen prays whilst breathing his last
The large diamond panel depicts St Stephen being stoned by a couple of Medieval rogues. The colours are glorious and one can only imagine what a fantastic sight they would presented to worshipers in the C13th.