Our District Churches No.12 – St Nicholas, Mowsley

St Nicholas Church, Mowsley

Mowsley is a small rural settlement situated on high ground along with its neighbour Laughton with a population of over two hundred. The name Mowsley was apparently derive from ‘Muslai’ meaning ‘mouse infested field’.

Mowsley was a chapelry in the ecclesiastical parish of Knaptoft but this was de-populated by the 16th century and Mowsley became its own parish. The Horton family had settled in Mowsley by 1345 and they were still evident in the village in 1909. A Joseph Horton between 1761 and 1768 cut his sons out of their future estate with a shilling each and left all his money to a nephew who then squandered it. The last of the Hortons left Mowsley in the 1980s.

Stained glass window at St Nicholas Church, Mowsley

The church at Mowsley dates to the 13th century and unusually nearly all of the main fabric dates from this period. St Nicholas consists of a bell-cote, nave, north and south trancepts, chancel and south porch. This church is in a cruciform plan and the walling is of coursed rubble and limestone dressings.

The church interior is quite impressive according to Pevsner, its cruciform shape is unusual for Leicestershire and is well worth a visit. The church is however locked outside of normal services but there is key-holder information in the porch.