One of the most unusual features of St Nicholas's church is six huge pairs of painted reindeer antlers hanging in the north chapel.
Built of sandstone and occupying an elevated site on the edge of the old Needwood Forest, its massive central tower dominates the surrounding countryside.
The church of the Holy Angels was built in the 1870s by Hon Emily Meynell Ingram, as a memorial to her late husband, Hugo. They lived in the neighbouring Hoar Cross Hall. The church was built without regard of cost and caused Bodley to comment 'Oh, that one had more opportunities as was granted at Hoar Cross'. Work on enhancing the church continued to the end of Bodley’s life.
The nave is deliberately dark and plain in contrast to the chancel, which heavily decorated with a mass of carvings of saints and angels, unusual in a Bodley church. As the chancel faces due south, at mid day it is blaze of light. The chancel is separated from the Nave by an elaborate screen. The building is decorated throughout with stained glass by Burlison and Grylls . The walls of the nave are hung with a set of carved Stations of the Cross in gilded frames. The organ, based on a Green instrument from Bangor Cathedral, lies behind an elaborate case, designed by Cannon Sutton. There are a number of side chapels, including a Lady Chapel and Chantry Chapel, which contains the Meynell family memorials.
As John Betjeman wrote 'The church of the Holy Angels is a masterpiece of its late Victorian architect GF Bodley. The stalwart pink sandstone tower dominates the leafy hilltop. The tall Nave, choir and transepts, so chaste and regular outside, make the stately interiors all the more imposing because of its rich contrast with the exterior. It is a perfect association of splendour and intimacy, architecturally expressed. This is because of the green, blue and gold stained glass, the carved oak benches and screens, paved floors and sandstone walls blend into a perfect church interior of late Victorian vigour and hope'.