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HER Ref:MLE13342
Parish:Cossington, Charnwood, Leicestershire
Grid Reference:SK 460 313
Map:Coming soon

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Early Medieval to Modern - 1201 AD to 2050 AD)


Medieval church, the earliest part of which is the west wall of the nave, which is pre C13th. It was restored by H Goddard and Son in 1864-5.

Additional Information

Listed building description:
Church. C13-C15 and C19. Granite rubble stone with stone dressings and Swithland slate roof to chancel and south porch, the rest leaded and parapetted roofs. Stone coped gables. West tower, nave, aisles, chancel and south porch. Tower, C13, of 3 stages with small blocked west door, west lancet with C19 stained glass, north and south lancets, 4 bell openings with hood moulds, head frieze and battlements. Triple-chamfered nave arch. C13 4 bay north arcade with double-chamfered arches on circular piers. Early C14 4 bay south arcade with double sunk quadrant moulded arched on quatrefoil piers. Perpendicular clerestory with 4 3-light windows either side and C19 4 bay low-pitch tie beam roof. North aisle with buttresses with setoffs and part-battlemented parapet.
North-west window with Y-tracery, blocked north door, 2 north windows with C19 stained glass and north-east window with Y-tracery and C19 stained glass. By chancel arch, part of spiral stairway to former rood, and a squint to both aisles. Early C14 chancel. Windows with reticulated tracery, those to west on both sides, originally 'low-side’ that to south now with lower section blocked. East window with intersecting tracery and stained glass c.1918 by Strachan.
Fine sedilia with ogee arches and piscina, and on north wall a C14 tomb recess with ogee arch over the alabaster tomb chest of Dr. Matthew Knightley, a former Rector, of 1556. Incised top and carved sides. Chancel south door. South windows have C19 stained glass. C19 boarded wagon roof. South aisle has buttresses and part-battlemented parapet. South-east window has Geometric tracery and stained glass of 1862. 2 south windows with Y-tracery and south-west window with restored Y-tracery. Early C14 south doorway and C19 south porch.
Round font, possibly C13/C14, with C17 restored cover. Restored Perpendicular screen and pulpit. Choir stall ends probably of same date, partly restored. Some benches with linenfold panelling, c.1500. In north aisle, under east window, tomb with recumbent effigy of priest, c.1320. In chancel, alabaster wall monument to Rev. William Stavely, a former Rector, of 1652. Further early C19 wall monuments, a rectangular painting of the Royal Arms of Georgian period, and c.1700 painting of the Creed, Commandments and Lord's Prayer with portraits of Moses and Aaron. Carved frame. Pevsner.

Project Gargoyle survey work in 2011 recorded a sedilia with ten slightly battered human heads. No external carvings were noted. Further recording in 2012 noted a good collection of roof bosses and some splendid medieval bench ends.

Leics Museums have 2 tiles from here donated by JH. (1544.1885)

In 1866 '6 carved bosses from Cossington' were exhibited at a meeting in Market Harborough.

<1> 1935, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 18, Vol 18 (1934-5), p250-254 (Architectural notes on Cossington Church) (Journal). SLE5975.

Chancel and nave of three bays, with a clerestory above it, north and south aisles, a south porch and west tower. Predominantly of the C12th, C13th and C14th, with a few C15th additions. The tower is three stages without buttresses; the lower stages are of C12th date. The nave is also C12th, with a C12th north aisle and C13th south aisle. There is a mass, or scratch-dial, on the south face of the south-east angle buttress of the south aisle. The chancel is C14th except for the roof. The clerestory was added in the C15th, when the original steeply pitched roof was replaced by a flat pitch covered with lead. The chancel is notable chiefly for a very fine tomb recess in the centre of the north wall, C14th with a richly traceried and cusped ogee head, contained within a gabled feature surmounted by carved crockets and finial. Within the recess is an alabaster sarcophagus, ornamented with heraldic devices: "Mathew Knyghtley doctoure in divinity and some tyme parson of Cossington", dated 1561. On the south wall of the chancel is a sedilia, with a piscina to the east of this.

<2> Pevsner N, 1984, The Buildings of England Leicestershire and Rutland, p139-140 (Bibliographic reference). SLE4.

"The most interesting aspect of the development is inside, on the E face of the tower: the remains of a former gable with kneelers. The W wall of the nave must have preceded the C13 tower, which was tacked on to and above it. There is curious structural evidence at the W end of the S aisle: the aisle is apparently secondary, and the SW angle of the earlier nave is visible as a straight joint on the exterior. But there is a further straight joint inside the aisle high up at the W end, and it is difficult to reconcile these two features. Unbuttressed tower with three lancet windows. Triple-chamfered arch to the nave with a band of nailhead in the abaci. A pointed doorway to the roof space was inserted through the old nave to the W. C13 the S door, with richly moulded head, and the N arcade, with tall circular piers, octagonal abaci, and double-chamfered arches. C14 the S arcade, with quatrefoil piers and arches with two sunk quadrant mouldings. In both arcades the width of the bays increases towards the W, a feature which is hard to explain. The aisle tracery is all C19; the original work shown in Nichols had gone by 1847. S aisle S windows with original shafts and moulded rere-arches. Chancel probably early C14; grand five-light E window with intersected tracery broken at the top with a big quatrefoil circle. 'Low-side' windows N and S with reticulated heads. Perpendicular clerestory with large three-light windows. Good dial with Roman numerals on a S aisle buttress; what is its date? A big Perpendicular staircase projecting into the NE corner of the nave, cut through in two places for a squint. Another squint from the aisle to the chancel. General restoration by H Goddard & Son, 1864-5; dull. In the chancel, SEDILIA, uncommonly lavish. Ogee arches with heads at the springing of the arches, and human and lions' heads in the spandrels. In the chancel N wall a tomb recess with a crocketed, cusped, and subcusped arch. - PULPIT. Partly Perpendicular. - STALLS. Two, very elaborate Perpendicular work; poppyheads and many different carved motifs. - BENCHES. With linenfold panelling, c.1500. - SCREEN. With some original early Perpendicular parts. - TEN COMMANDMENTS, CREED and LORD'S PRAYER painted on canvas; also depicted, Moses and Aaron. C18, attractive, but sadly decayed. - TILES. C14 designs round the font; badly decayed and little detail visible. - STAINED GLASS. E window by Douglas Strachan, c.1918, in this artist's unmistakably English brand of Expressionism. - MONUMENTS. Effigy of a young priest, c.1320 (N aisle E)."

<3> Clay, Patrick & Clarke, Sophie, 2006, An archaeological desk-based assessment for All Saints Church, Main Street, Cossington (Unpublished document). SLE3126.

In 2006 a desk-based assessment was carried out due to proposals to build an extension to the north of the church and carry out re-flooring work due to damp. The report included details of the church's history, plans, etc.

<4> Hunt, Leon, 2016, An archaeological field evaluation at All Saints' Church, Main Street, Cossington, Leicestershire (Unpublished document). SLE5265.

Trial trenching was carried out in 2016. Test pits inside the church showed that the floor tiles had been set onto a thin bedding layer of sand, over hardcore, over soil. In situ cobbles may be the remnant of a surface/path predating the C13th north aisle. A sherd of C12th Nottingham Splashed ware and a sherd of C13th Nottingham Early Glazed ware were found.
Report is in ADS Library: 10.5284/1041495- http://dx.doi.org/10.5284/1041495

<5> Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, 2017, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 91, Vol 91 (2017), p209-10 (Journal). SLE5627.

The fieldwork in 2016 was reported in Transactions.

<6> 2022, Heritage at Risk: Midlands Register 2022, p17 (Bibliographic reference). SLE7076.

Heritage at Risk 2022: condition POOR; priority category C(C); owner type RELIGIOUS ORGANISATION
"Church of C13-C15 and C19 constructed of granite rubble stone with stone dressings. Awarded a grant from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund in 2015. Roofs are in good condition but below ground drainage is defective. Chancel wall plaster has detached, and the south aisle is damp. The Parochial Church Council applied to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2018 and to Historic England's Covid 19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund in 2020 but were unsuccessful."

<7> 2023, Heritage at Risk: Midlands Register 2023, p18 (Bibliographic reference). SLE7389.

Heritage at Risk 2023: condition POOR; priority category C(C); owner type RELIGIOUS ORGANISATION
Description as Heritage at Risk 2022.


<1>Journal: 1935. Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 18. Vol 18 (1934-5), p250-254 (Architectural notes on Cossington Church).
<2>Bibliographic reference: Pevsner N. 1984. The Buildings of England Leicestershire and Rutland. p139-140.
<3>Unpublished document: Clay, Patrick & Clarke, Sophie. 2006. An archaeological desk-based assessment for All Saints Church, Main Street, Cossington.
<4>Unpublished document: Hunt, Leon. 2016. An archaeological field evaluation at All Saints' Church, Main Street, Cossington, Leicestershire.
<5>Journal: Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. 2017. Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 91. Vol 91 (2017), p209-10.
<6>Bibliographic reference: 2022. Heritage at Risk: Midlands Register 2022. p17.
<7>Bibliographic reference: 2023. Heritage at Risk: Midlands Register 2023. p18.

Associated Finds

  • TILE (Medieval - 1067 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHERD (Early Medieval - 1100 AD to 1150 AD)
  • SHERD (Early Medieval - 1200 AD to 1250 AD)


  • Listed Building (II*) 1228032: CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS
  • Conservation Area: Cossington