All Saints' Church History

The origin of a church in Ockbrook can be traced back as early as the 7th or 8th century, when Christians began to settle throughout pagan England and it is likely that the church was built on a Christianised pagan worship site. Its location close to the Ock Brook was probably chosen with baptism in mind.

The tower is the oldest part of the building, dating back to the 12th century.  With walls 4 feet thick, it is thought to contain traces of Saxon stonework. The font is Anglo Saxon. Ockbrook was a chapelry within the parish of Elvaston, cared for by a curate. Tithes of the benefice were paid to the monks at Shelford Abbey.

At the dissolution of the monasteries during the Reformation, the Stanhope family took up residence at Elvaston and became patrons of the parish church. Ockbrook became a parish in its own right in the mid 16th century. The Pares family of Hopwell took over as patrons in the late 18th century and remain so to this day.

The building itself has undergone many changes and enlargements over the centuries resulting in a bit of a mish-mash of styles. Originally the nave was no wider than the chancel, then in 1814 the north aisle was built. The south aisle was added in 1835 and the long gallery built at the west end. In the 1890s new pinewood pews replaced the old box pews.

The church includes some unusual features:

The oak chancel screen, dated 1520, and likely relocated along with the choir stalls from St Ursula’s Chapel, Wigston Hospital Leicester in 1810, following the rebuilding of the chancel

 

 

Stained glass, in particular the East window design by Edward Payne in 1968 at a cost of £1,275

 


 

The monuments to the Pares family

The Anglo Saxon font – rescued from being an umbrella holder by the front door and reinstalled in 1963.

                               

The church today is warm and welcoming with carpet throughout the nave and chancel, a small coffee bar, a crèche off the tower and a toilet by the vestry. Plans are currently underway to improve facilities in the church.