28th Oct, 2016

Mystery face discovered at Leamington church

Ian Hughes 25th Aug, 2015 Updated: 3 hours ago

A MYSTERIOUS face from the past has been discovered hiding in Leamington’s parish church.

Father Christopher Wilson, vicar of All Saints’, recently got out his binoculars to scan the ancient roof timbers for the tell-tale white fungus associated with dry rot.

But what caught his attention high up in the rafters was far more interesting and totally unexpected.

He could see quite clearly the carved wooden effigy of a long-haired man that neither he nor anyone attached to the church had ever seen before.

Leamington History Group’s press officer, Alan Griffin, who was former verger at the church, said: “I was at the parish church for several years and was never aware of its existence although it has to be said that it is about 20 metres above the floor of the nave.

“It must have been fixed there when the church was roofed in 1844. ”

The Leamington History Group are holding their annual History Day at All Saints on Saturday September 5 and will have some binoculars on their stand so visitors can take a closer look at the face from the past.

There is a suggestion the effigy may be that of Rev John Craig who built and largely financed the building of the ‘new’ church, or it might be a relic rescued from the old village church that once stood on the site.

Similar stone figures known as grotesques are fairly common in medieval churches and frequently represent local people and sometimes the craftsmen who had been employed on the building.

Email editor@leamingtonobserver.co.uk if you can shed on light on the mystery face.