St Mary’s - The Bracebridges and Florence Nightingale
1600 - 1854
During the 1600s the Bracebridge family moved into Atherstone Hall by the church.The Bracebridges helped shape today’s Atherstone.
People found it hard walking through snow and darkness from Atherstone to Mancetter’s church in winter. The Bracebridges tried to help. In 1692 Samuel wanted to organise services in Atherstone. In 1723 Abraham tried to get a vicar for Atherstone.
In 1846 Charles and Selina Bracebridge made friends with a young nurse called Florence Nightingale. She often stayed at Atherstone Hall. Florence came to services in St Mary’s through the Baddesley Porch, a private entrance added by the family.
The Bracebridges paid for Florence to nurse British soldiers during the Crimean War. In 1854 Charles and Selina helped Florence run a military hospital at Scutari (in Turkey). Florence embroidered an apron for Selina’s maid. It was given to St Mary’s and put on display.