Leake, Nth Yorks

Mike Chester mike at m...
Mon Mar 7 23:24:59 GMT 2005

I've passed this church at 70mph or so dozens of times! I've always 
thought that this church was obviously Norman in origin and worth a 
visit. However, inevitably, I have never got round to it.

I've found an interesting website at 


Which says

The tower contains 3 bells, one* of which has an interesting history. 
The men of Leake seem to have been successful snappers-up of 
unconsidered trifles of the Dissolution and this bell snatched from 
Henry VIII's melting pot was no mean acquisition. it has the 
legend "O PATER AELRED GRENDALE MISERERE" which may be translated "O 
Father Aelred pray for the sinners of Grendale".* Aelred was the 
third abbot of Rievaulx, 1147-67, not many miles away. Grendale was 
another Cistercian house a few miles south of Loftus, the site now 
known as Handale. Two possibilities suggest themselves. The first is 
that the bell was at Rievaulx at the time of the Dissolution and was 
the gift of the nuns (Grendale) to Rievaulx; the second is that the 
bell came from Grendale itself. Whichever is correct - and we shall 
never know - the bell remains a fascinating link with medieval times 
and is stated by Aelred's biographer to be the only medieval 
invocation of Aelred's prayers that he has ever found.

*JOHANNIS pe STASSORD (Stafford) the bellfounder worked 1338-1371, so 
this bell must date to his working life.

Can anyone fill me in on the details? I assume that the bells 
are/have always been for chiming.


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