Aspley Guise Church Repairs and Additions
Saint Botolph's about 1820 [Z105/3]
Most of these notes on the structural history of the church can be found in greater detail in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 73 of 1994 Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part III: parishes A to G, put together by former County Archivist Chris Pickford from numerous sources some held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and some held elsewhere or published.
Saint Botoph's interior looking east January 2008
The church seems to have been repaired and altered in 1665, 1687-1689 and 1765. In 1799 William Wright, headmaster of the Classical Academy in the village provided a gallery at the west end for both his family and school; it was enlarged in 1824 for choristers and poor inhabitants of the village.
Saint Botolph's in the 1920s [Z143/2]
The bulk of the restoration work at Aspley was undertaken by Rev.John Vaux Moore who became rector in 1844 and much was done at his own expense; the architect was James Tacy Wing and most of the work was completed by September 1845. It is not entirely clear what work was done - as Nikolaus Pevsner remarks in the Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough volume of his Buildings of England series: "There is in fact a date 1855, when the S[outh] aisle was built. How much else was done then?" For sure the chancel was rebuilt as was much of the nave and the north aisle, the entire church was reseated and a new south aisle was built. Eight years later in 1853 a new vestry was added and new pinnacles added to the tower by 1858. A piece in the magazine The Ecclesiologist of 1859 noted that the church had "suffered from well-meaning but destructive amateur restoration". All the stained glass windows were replaced during Vaux Moore's incumbency between 1845 and 1862, mostly by T.Baillie & Company with some by O'Connor.
Saint Botolph's in September 2007
The tower was restored again in 1884 by W.O.Milne in time to receive the new peal of six bells, cast by Taylor of Loughborough the previous year. The chancel was again rebuilt, with the east end of the south aisle, by Charles Hodgson Fowler in 1890-1891 who also extended the vestry and organ chamber. Later additions included a lych gate in 1891, a reredos in 1896 and stained glass in the east window in 1910.