Churches of Lincolnshire

Some of the wonderful churches of Lincolnshire, not to far to explore them from where we live.

Christmas In St John The Baptist, Stamford, Lincolnshire

Every year we visit The Church of St John The Baptist in Stamford, Lincolnshire.  They have a Christmas card and decorations sale inside the church each year, also lots of dressed Christmas trees, which makes the church very colourful on a cold grey day.  Just a few photos from last years visit 2016.

 

Street Photos – Stamford, Lincolnshire

I love visiting Stamford in Lincolnshire, a beautiful little town, lovely small individual shops, plus a great second hand bookshop, nice eateries and the best bit…..five Medieval churches.  I can never pass by St John’s Church with its amazing roof angels, always hoping for the most spectacular angel photo ever 🙂   Stamford has now entered another category that I love to photograph ‘ Black & White Street Photographs’  On our last visit but one, Oct 2017, I thought I would try and get the churches in each view that I took, I got three churches, one brewery and a residential road, not bad.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday, even if is just a holiday for you…we have had rain, so what’s new 🙂

Sunday Roof Angel (3) St John the Baptist, Stamford, Lincolnshire (5)

In the beautiful church of St John the Baptist in Stamford, Lincolnshire, there are many different types of angels.  This angel is holding a book with some text on it.  The angel, I think its an angel, and not an apostle, because some of the photos of the same type of angels show tucked in wings, is in the roof of one of the side aisles.

March 2016

Sunday Roof Angel (2) St John The Baptist, Stamford, Lincolnshire (4)

There are several roof angels that I want to use for ‘Sunday Roof Angel’ from St John The Baptist Church in Stamford, Lincolnshire.  There are three different types, and they in turn are all different, but this angel is the only one with a ‘Green Man’ which is one of the roof bosses.  Most Medieval churches will have a green man in some form or another, but they are hard to find.  If you look at the second photo you will see that the rest of the bosses are faceless, apart from this one on the bottom of the left hand side.  

A very short version of the meaning of the ‘Green Man’……..Leaves or vegetation are a very important symbol in the church and can be seen in the sculpture of churches of all ages as well as in windows. Leaves are a symbol of life, eternal life if you wish. In the older heads the leaves or branches with new leaves originate in the mouth, two, one at either side.  A head with leaves thus described, is nowadays called a Green Man.

Village Sign & Church, St Mary’s, Horncastle, Lincolnshire

The name Horncastle derives from Hurncastre or Hyrnecastre which means ‘fortress or camp in the corner’ and which refers to its position of the town between the rivers Bain and Waring.  I was hoping it meant there was a castle to explore when we visit last year 2016.  I did find out later there are some remaining roman walls…..well nearly a castle.  It does have a very nice church, which could have had a nice interior, but like a lot of other Lincolnshire churches, it was well and truly locked.  I am not sure why, as it was a Sunday afternoon and is situated in the centre of a lovely little town and it was in the summer, I really did think it would be open…… I did feel very disappointed.  Also no church on the village sign, but the weather made up for everything, as it was one of those beautiful sunny Sunday afternoons, where you stroll around and just enjoy the sunshine.

The town was built on a Roman Fort, hence the Roman Soldier on the village sign.  There is also the town square, which was granted a market charter in the 13th century and still has a market twice week.  Also a great annual horse fair, was held every August, which again started in the 13th century, and continued until the last one in 1948.  

The memorial featured on the village sign is Stanhope Memorial.  

A little history about it …….Edward Stanhope MP was born in London in 1840 but became a respected benefactor to Horncastle and its people. So much so that, when he died in 1893, a memorial was erected in the Market Place, leaving residents with a permanent reminder of his generosity.  Today, the Stanhope Memorial, by E. H. Lingen Barker, still dominates the town market place, distinct with its three octagonal steps and moulded plinth. The memorial itself is fashioned from limestone ashlar, red sandstone, pink and grey streaked marble.

I did take a few photos of the church, but its quite a difficult church to capture, hemmed on one side and quite a few trees in the churchyard on the other. The original structure dates back to circa 1250 and all the evidence points to there being an earlier Saxon Minster on the site, and quite possibly, a Roman church before that. The Church also has strong connections with the Lincolnshire rebellion of 1532 against the policies of King Henry VIII.  From what I have read, the interior sounds interesting, but it also sounds like the Victorians, in saving the building from collapsing, might have over restored the medieval remains in 1859-61, by Ewan Christian.  Still I will have to wait and see on the next visit.  The town is also well known for its antique shops, but of course it was Sunday when we visited, so another good reason to revisit.

Village Sign & Church, All Saints, Fosdyke, Lincolnshire

 

Fosdyke in Lincolnshire is another village with a church depicted on the village sign.  But as with the church in Great Gonerby, it was locked.  I wasn’t having a good day, every church had been locked, but least there were some village signs to explore.

There has always been a Port at Fosdyke, which dates back to the 12th century, and together with agriculture, these were the mainstay of employment in the village until recent times when the old Port and its shrimp fleet ceased to trade. Today, the main source of employment is still agriculture, hence the vegetables and tractor on the sign,  The new bridge over the Welland is the third, but the bus has me a little lost, unless……In the 18th century this was a popular bathing resort for Sunday afternoon outings, treacherous though the waters were and still are.  

As I said, the church was locked and I think by this time, I was just a little tiny bit fed up of locked doors.  Its the spire that always catches my eye as we drive past going north.  On that day back in May 2015, I actually got my husband to stop the car outside the church.  All Saints is not an old church, consecrated in 1871, but its the slightly leaning chevron leaded spire that makes you want to go and checked it out.  

A little I have read about the church….Resembling the early English style, the interior of the building is magnificently simple, and yet beautifully proportioned, only the plainest of materials are used, save the 3 lancets of stained glass which make up the imposing East window, and yet the overall effect for a small village church is a masterful example of the work of architect Edward Browning.  This church replaced an earlier one, see below photo, which, unfortunately burnt to the ground and this church had replaced an even older church.  The very first church would have been Medieval( first records 1439) as there is a lovely 15th century font, which I have yet to see…… such a shame the church was closed.

May 2015 ‘Village Sign & Church’ Category  

St Sebastian’s Church, Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire – Gargoyles & Angels

 

St Sebastian’s Church, Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire, another church which was well and truly locked, in May 2015, the same as on the first occasion that I tried to visit, in 2014.  I think actually that the exterior far out weighs the interior, from what I have read, although again it would be nice to make up my own mind.  Externally the 15th century builders added battlements and pinnacles to the roof line to give the building a uniform appearance. Below these, on the tower and clerestory, there is also a frieze of shields.   From what I have read that the earliest parts could be early 13c, the south arcade and the chancel.  Late Romanesque capitals on the eastern most bay of the north arcade suggest that there were transepts here that were superseded by the aisles. The north arcade is much taller than its southern counterpart and is in Perpendicular style.  The Late Romanesque capitals are worth a third visit, maybe one day.  The exterior is full of wonderful medieval gargoyles and grotesques,

There are some very interesting creatures on a frieze, although I only took a few photos, I’m sure that they must have a symbolic meaning, but as yet I have no idea.

The churchyard is full of fascinating headstones, including some “Belvoir Angels” winged angel faces, which are a type of early 18th century Swithland slate tombstone found in the district, named after the Vale of Belvoir, in the East Midlands.  

A little history ………The Belvoir Angel is a motif local to the Vale of Belvoir (Beever) and the Framland, in the East Midlands, carved in slate in the late 1600’s and first part of the 18th century. Usually found immaculately preserved on small slate headstones, it speaks of the blessing of God at the time of passing from the earthly to the heavenly state, with a protective angelic covering. A typical Belvoir Angel design has certain standard features, stylised as the following first photo.  

I found a lot of these angels in America and even one on the Isle of Lismore in Scotland.  There are highly decorative ones and the plainer ones are called Naive, which are the one I like most.

Dated 1719, a true Belvoir Angel Headstone.

A more ornate Belvoir Angel.

This angel is on stone and not slate, so is not a typical Belvoir, but still a nice angel.  It could be that the Belvoir Angels were expensive and some people copied them.

Again a more ornate Belvoir Angel.

An angel headstone, although not on slate.

A very ornate Belvoir Angel.