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Rearsby's landmarks

The most visible of Rearsby's landmarks is St Michael and All Angels' Church.

The church as we know it today was started in the13th century. It took two centuries to complete, developing as population growth demanded and resources permitted. It was positioned on the highest point of the village so it could dominate the surrounding countryside.

The plan of the church is that of a typical small parish church, with a west tower, aisled nave, rectangular chancel and south porch. Three building materials have been used in its construction: ironstone (chancel), grey limestone (tower) and red Mountsorrel granite (facing of the nave and clerestory walls).

The first stage of the church was the south arcade of four bays. One of the windows in the south wall has some stained glass with a statuette of St Michael positioned on the mullion. The north arcade appears to be 14th century. The chancel is dominated by the three perpendicular windows with their four centred arches. Externally the chancel is supported by two French buttresses, typical of the 14th century. The perpendicular-style tower was the final part of the church to be completed. It is battlemented with four crocketed pinnacles.

The church underwent major restoration in 1858 and 1891 and a couple of minor changes have been made to the interior since then. In 1976 it was completely redecorated.

The 13th century font is the most interesting part of the church. It has an unusual drum shape with four triple shafts attached. The ornamentation surrounding the rim has been damaged but it is thought to resemble wheatsheaves. The base is modern.

The Seven Arch Packhorse Bridge is a focal point of the village. The original wooden bridge which would have been medieval, was replaced in 1714 by the one we can see today. Legend has it that it took six men nine days to complete it at a total cost of £11 2s 2d. The bridge was paid for by a levy on the rates of 8d in the pound. The village constable of the time, Robert Harrison has left his mark on the bridge; one of the arches bears the inscription 'RH 1714'.

Rearsby's 'Blue Stone' has been on the corner of Mill Road and the track to Rearsby Mill since time immemorial. Over the years it has been used as a meeting place, and legend has it that John Wesley preached there after visiting Hoby.