Posted in England

Hinckley, Leicestershire, England — St. Mary’s Church


I’m starting to accumulate a large backlog of unblogged-about postcards received over the past month.  I plan to take care of that starting today.  I am also planning to revamp the way that I do the categories and tags on this blog.  Previously, I’ve (mostly) kept countries in the “Categories” section (listed as “Countries” in the sidebar).  That will remain.  However, the “Tags” section has become too large (and not all of them display in the sidebar’s Tag Cloud with a maximum of 200 allowed).  My idea is to remove all locations from the tags — cities, provinces, states, etc. — and just include themes and views (i.e., churches, Postcrossing, UNESCO, etc.).  States and some provinces will appear with the countries (U.S.A. – New Mexico, for example).  I hope to make it all a bit more user-friendly, but we’ll see…

England - Hinkley Leisc 2016-07-27a

I received this wonderful card as a result of a trade done within a postcard group on Facebook, something I’m doing more often now than participating in the official Postcrossing project.  Tammie lives in Hinckley, a market town in the southwest part of Leicestershire, England.  The town dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and was quite a large village by the time of the  Domesday Book in 1086.  The town developed a hosiery industry in the seventeenth century, producing stockings and similar items. Hinckley also played a prominent part in the English Civil War due to its proximity to several rival strongholds which ensured frequent visits by the warring parties. The local townsfolk were forced to decide whether to declare their allegiances openly or attempt to remain neutral — with the risk of having to pay levies, ransoms, and fines to both sides.  Castle Street became the first known location of ‘Luddism‘ in the nineteenth century, where disgruntled workers, replaced by machinery in their jobs, took sledgehammers to the machines. Joseph Hansom built the first Hansom cab in Hinckley in 1835.

Since the Second World War the hosiery industry has steadily shrunk in size although several textile firms remain in the area.  The town’s central location and good links to the British motorway network have made it a popular location for distribution warehouses. Hammonds Furniture, a family owned nationwide fitted furniture company, was established in the town in 1926 and currently employs over 850 people in its two Hinckley factories. Today, the town is home to a burgeoning creative and technology community with web and graphic designers, illustrators, IT specialists artists and photographers.

England - Hinkley Leisc 2016-07-27b

This postcard shows the nave and chancel in St. Mary’s Parish Church,  the oldest building in Hinckley, standing in the central part of town.  A parish church has stood in this site for over 900 years. The present church was rebuilt in the thirteenth century. A beam found during the Victorian rebuilding was inscribed with the date 1246. The oldest parts of the church you see today date from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries – roughly 1240 to 1400. These are the tower, nave and chancel.  The old priory building, which was on the south side of the church survived until 1827 when it was demolished, to make way for cottages which were, in turn, demolished in 1912. Extensive restoration work was carried out on the spire and tower in 1993 and 1994. The top twelve feet of the spire was completely rebuilt, with much new stone.  Early in 2006 a lot of crumbling stonework was replaced – in the eastern section of the north aisle. In particular fine new stone was added to the buttress at the north west corner of the north aisle, and the north west corner of the north transept. Also the whole of the interior was redecorated, areas were re-plastered, and repairs carried out to several window sills.

The outstanding feature of the church is undoubtedly the tower (83 feet or 25.3 meters) and spire (a further 100 feet or 30.5 meters) which can be seen for miles around. This massive tower, whose walls are 1.7m thick, was built in the early fourteenth century.  However, the most remarkable feature is the width of the building compared with its length: it is almost a square. The total length of the nave is only 62.66 feet (19.1m) while the width of the nave and aisles is 71.19 feet (21.7m), and including the transepts, 104 feet (31.7m). The chancel is also small for such a large building being only 39 feet (ll.9m) long and 18 feet (5.5m) wide.

While I am not a very religious person, I love seeing photographs of old churches — inside and out — as well as learning a bit of their history.  Perhaps I can photograph some of the few Christian churches for a few more self-designed postcards.

This card was mailed from England on 18 July 2016 and arrived here in Phuket on the 27th of July, a travelling time of 9 days to journey 6,182 miles (9,949 kilometers).  Thanks so much, Tammie!



I'm an American currently living and teaching English in Phuket, Thailand. I like to read, write, take photographs, and collect stamps. You can read about all of these things and more on my three blogs: Asian Meanderings, "Please, Mr. Postman!", Philatelic Pursuits, . Cheers!

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