John E. Vigar MA, FSA Scot., FRSA

Late Spring Newsletter

It has been a busy few months for me. I have lead my first day tour of the year taking a large group to visit four churches in SW Cambridgeshire. As a bonus we were able to visit the church in Royston which was severely damaged by fire a few years ago to see the astonishing rebuild which has created a light interior. Coincidentally I will be attending the topping out ceremony at another fire-damaged church, Beachamwell in Norfolk, later in the month.

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Royston risen from the ashes

April saw my annual Spring Tour which visited 22 churches in the Lincolnshire Wolds and Marshes. We stayed at the North Shore Hotel which was on the beach in the residential part of Skegness. Amongst the many highlights were - Haugh, a tiny Norman church with important memorials; Spilsby with a huge collection of medieval and early modern monuments and Bratoft with a spectacular painting of the Spanish Armada. Locals came to make us welcome and in a couple of instances provided us with delicious home made refreshments.

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Haugh, shortly to be closed.


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Ingoldmells, unique image of a disabled man with a crutch


I`ve just returned from Kent where I spoke to the Arts Society in Thanet - a return visit, and I`m speaking to the guides at Norwich Cathedral later this week. You can always see what I`m up to and where by looking at the Calendar on my website.

John Vigar Calendar


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This summer will see the publication of my new book, Churches of Sussex which is being launched at the church in Preston Park, Brighton on 23rd July at 7pm. I`ll be giving an illustrated talk and copies will be on sale. Everyone welcome! I`ve just finished my next book, Churches of Essex for publication in 2025.

Pre-order my Sussex book here



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Brigstock, Saxon architecture to be visited on the Autumn Tour


My Autumn Tour this year will be to Northamptonshire where we will visit many churches that are not normally open, several containing internationally important monuments. A booking form will be found at the end of this mailing.



I was recently honoured to have been asked to become a Trustee of the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation which is a high profile funder of church and monument repairs. Covering four counties for structural work and the whole country for repairs to monuments, it was established in 1975 - so next year will mark its Golden Jubilee.

Francis Coales Charitable Foundation


 Wellingborough Northamptonshire St Mary the Virgin rood loft Painterly




Join me for a tour exploring a wide variety of churches. Staying at the 4* Kettering Park Hotel and Spa on a DBB basis. The tour starts at Kettering Station at 1.30pm on Monday and ends there at 1.00pm on Thursday (frequent trains from London). Lunches are included on Tuesday and Wednesday, and coach travel is included. The area boasts some churches and monuments of national importance, but many are notoriously difficult of access, so this tour gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit them. Cost £775 per person


Huge medieval church with world famous bone-hole being opened especially for us. Good medieval monuments.
Lovely village setting, Decorated architecture.
Perpendicular church with lantern tower. Outstanding series of 15th century monuments.
Early English. Medieval screen. Good 16th century monuments.
Inspired by Lowick. Fittings by Temple Moore. Rare historicist brasses.
Oak effigy. Griffin monument is one of the most important Renaissance structures.
Victorian church with earlier fittings. Comper screen and reredos.
Major quarries were here. Interesting composite church. Nelson`s Doctor burial.
Memorable Saxon arch and tower.
Large medieval church notable for a human heart set into the wall. Wooden effigies.
The best 14th century church in the county. Stone screen. Sedilia. Kempe glass.
Norman church. Easter Sepulchre. African carvings on stalls.
A bizarre building of disparate parts. Selection of effigies.
Lovely setting. Interesting chronology.
Manorial church. Netherlandish glass, good selection of monuments.
The magnum opus of Sir Ninian Comper and his final resting place. An extraordinary building.
Internationally important monuments to the Dukes of Montagu by Roubiliac, van Gelder and Campbell.
Estate church with the earlier Montagu monuments.

Booking Form

(Or just email a note with this information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


NAME 1 __________________________________


NAME 2 __________________________________


Phone __________________________________


EMAIL __________________________________


Accommodation is in single rooms unless
otherwise requested.


I enclose a cheque (£50 per person)

Or pay by BACS. Check first to make sure there is room!

Balance due 20th August 2024





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It has been a busy few months for me. I have lead my first day tour of the year taking a large group to visit four churches in SW Cambridgeshire. As a bonus we were able to visit the church in Royston which was severely damaged by fire a few years ag...
It`s been a busy few weeks for me as I continue to research my Churches of Essex book for publication in 2025. I`m now at the stage of revisiting the churches to photograph them for the book and have been delighted to have been accompanied by some em...
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