John E. Vigar MA, FSA Scot., FRSA

A Lincolnshire Churchcrawl

Langton Lincolnshire St Peter and St Paukl exterior from SEMonday 9th December promised fine weather, so I had arranged to meet my friend Gary from Lincoln and to go on a churchcrawl to 12 churches. We met at Horncastle, a lovely little town with a stately, though Victorianised, church.

Our first target was LANGTON one of the best examples of an untouched 18th century church in the country. It is built of brick and stands on a hill overlooking the former rectory. Inside it is all box pews but they are arranged longitudinally like a college chapel. The 3-decker pulpit is in the middle of the south side.

Sutterby Lincolnshire St John the Baptist exterior from the south

The second church was Sutterby now in the care of the Friends of Friendless Churches who took it over as a near ruin and have conserved it. A simple rectangular building with few fittings, its atmosphere is electric. I went there to write the guide leaflet which will be published in 2020.

Brinkhill is a totally 19th century church which would look at home in an urban setting. It is obviously much loved and had a good historical display.

Brinkhill Lincolnshire St Philip exterior

South Ormesby was my favourite church of the day. Standing within a parkland setting it contains many memorials to former owners of the great house. The font is unusual as it has a dedicatory inscription around its base naming its donor. The church also contained some Netherlandish glass panels.

South Ormesby Lincolnshire St Leonard interior looking east

Tetford was next. A dumpy 15th century nave and clerestory that had been much messed about with. Its main point of interest was a memorial to a member of the Dymoke family with his breast plate armour above.

Tetford Lincolnshire St Mary exterior from SE

We arrived at Somersby just before a funeral but managed a quick peep. Everything here is about Tennyson who was born in the house opposite the church. There are displays galore about him, but I particularly liked an early 17th brass memorial.

Not far from Somersby was another Tennyson church, Bag Enderby where we saw our first medieval door of the day. The church has been reordered in a sympathetic way and has remains of original glass. The piece de resistance was the font with a rare depiction of a Pieta.

Ashby Puerorum Lincolnshire St Andrew interior looking east

Then to the delightfully named Ashby Puerorum set across a farmyard. A very simple church which offered facilities for making tea and coffee. Thank you!

Never trust a book by its cover was the order of the day at our next church, Fulletby. This is a complete Victorian church but unexpectedly it has a wonderful 14th century sedilia in the chancel.

Fulletby Lincolnshire St Andrew 14c sedilia

Oxcombe was our penultimate church. You park in the drive to the big house and walk through its grounds to this toy-like church built of brick in the mid nineteenth century. Even then it was hopelessly out of date being built in the Gothick style of a generation earlier. It is a gem.

Oxcombe Lincolnshire All Saints exterior from south

Our last church was a little drive away from the area we had been in all day. I wanted to revisit Biscathorpe which I hadn’t seen for 20 years. We had to climb a fence to access the churchyard. This church, too, is early Victorian but much more picturesque. It`s closed up and hasn’t been used for a decade. Sadly, it has fallen into disrepair and would need a huge amount of money to save. If only I could win the lottery!

Biscathorpe Lincolnshire St Helen interior looking east

All these churches were open and a good day was had by us both. 

Kent Churches Day Tour
A storm is brewing

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