St Nicholas, Fulbeck

St. Nicholas’ in Fulbeck is quite a large church in good condition. It consists of a nave, two aisles and a fairly long chancel. The aisles are separated from the nave by a three bay arcade on either side of the nave. The arcades are supported on plain round columns of, perhaps, 2.5 metres height. The pillars and facing stones of these two arcades do not seem to have any great age. Above the arcades is a clerestory with plain glass glazing. The clerestory windows have very flat arches and virtually no ornamentation.

The roof, again, is of no great age and is supported on carved bosses. There is a variety of carved wooden figures on the bosses and between them.

The aisle windows are English Decorated style. Those in the north aisle are fairly simply ornamented while those in the south aisle are more complex. The north aisle windows have rather dark stained glass dated 1838, 1855 and 1852. The south aisle windows have much lighter glass (but not plain) with either geometric patterns or coats of arms. The east window in the south aisle is in the Perpendicular style.

The chancel is rather long – it is divided into the chancel proper and a sanctuary. It has six windows and a large east window, all in the English Decorated style. The stained glass here is figurative and is dated 1857, unreadable, undated (north wall) and 1840, 1868, 1862 (south wall). These dates are all the commemoration dates – the actual glass is likely to be a year or two newer. The east window was enlarged in 1988 and glazed in 1891 (stone work is carved with the date and the glass also contains a date).

On the south wall of the sanctuary is a three bay ‘seat’ and on the north wall is a low arch with no discernible purpose. The roof of the chancel looks to be much the same date as the nave roof but is much plainer. The arch between the nave and chancel is Gothic borne on half-octagonal columns.

The organ is fitted on a mezzanine in the tower. This looks to be twentieth century to me.

The pews are of dark-stained wood and I would be very surprised if they were not Victorian. The nave has electric lighting of a very modern design which does not look out of place. The walls are covered with memorials ina plethora of designs.

The font is square and lead lined with a round wooden lid. I cannot think that the font is very old.

The door in the south proch is oak and is ornamented in the Perpendiculat fashion. This door clearly has some age and I would think dates from the end of the fifteenth century. The proch is plain and clealry quite old. There is some graffitti in the wall around the door – one instance is dated to 1679.

The photographs:

The nave and east window:Fulbeck-58-HDR

North aisle windows:Fulbeck-42-HDRFulbeck-41-HDRFulbeck-32-HDR


South aisle windows:Fulbeck-24-HDR

The chancel:Fulbeck-5-HDRFulbeck-39Fulbeck-40

The organ in the tower:Fulbeck-38

West end of north aisle:Fulbeck-49

West end of south aisle:Fulbeck-50

The font:Fulbeck-10

plain column of the aisle arcades:Fulbeck-11

The modern lighting fittings:Fulbeck-51

Wooden carvings in the roof:Fulbeck-36Fulbeck-37

Clerestory windows:Fulbeck-56-HDR

Outside, the stonework is clearly of differing ages. Some is in ‘as new’ condition and would seem to be Victorian work and some is very weathered and must be much older. The window stones, in particular, do not seem to be very old, yet the gargoyles are very weathered and in some cases have lost almost all their features. The porch must date to before 1700 as the graffitti offers a date for a bored schoolboy in 1679 (as well as another bored schoolboy in 1968).



Gargoyles and other grotesques:

Other features (sundial? ventilation?)Fulbeck-87Fulbeck-94

The churchyard is well maintained and has a multitude of yellow and pink priroses which were in full flower when I visited. There is a lych-gate at the main entrance to the church.



Saint Martin’s Church, North Owersby

A photoessay on an 18th century church in northern Lincolnshire.

Initially, as you approach this church along the footpath it has the appearance of a mediaeval church. As you approach closer it starts to look a bit wrong. The windows are clearly not mediaeval for a start. Have they been inserted into an older building? The window openings have rounded arches – the door is not in the usual place – generally, the church is just ‘wrong’. I will return to this a bit later as a register inside then building reveals aNorth Owersby-3

My first comment is that it is a church that is still in regular use and it is kept locked. I could find no indication as to where I might find the key but as luck would have it, while I was looking at the outside a chap came along walking his dog – he turned out to be a church-warden and he directed me to his home with the instruction to ask his wife for the key. Before fetching the key, I continued my exploration of the outside which I will now describe.


Outside the Church.

Starting at the west end of the church, behind then tower: this church is built from local ironstone which is badly weathered (ironstone is not really a good building stone but is what is available locally). The tower has one stage with a stringer course at about two metres. The tower is slightly narrower above this stringer but not by very much. There is a squarish lancet window half way up and a second, rounded arch window near the top.

Moving around to the south side of the tower, there is the only door into the church. There is a very worn step into the church. Above the door, about halfway up the tower, is a wooden clock face. This is octagonal in shape, was made in 2009 and needs to be repainted.

North Owersby-35

North Owersby-6Moving along to the south wall of the church, there are three rounded windows. Inside each is decorative stonework which is of better quality stone than the walls. The glazing of these windows is geometrically patterned stained glass. Towards the top of each window is a roundel with a branch and a bird. This is repeated in each of the three windows, with a different bird in each.

North Owersby-2Between the west-most and central windows there is the remains of a plaque which no longer contains any details. Otherwise, the wall is featureless and weathered. There are some indications of repairs. At the base of the wall are some gravestones leaning against the wall rather than being in their original positions.

North Owersby-4



Moving to the east end – there is an apse, which is slightly narrower than the body of the church. I do not understand why, but an apse always lifts my spirits and it is a pity they became out of fashion. There is one window in the apse of the same design as the windows on the south wall, and again the window stonework is much better than the wall’s stones.

North Owersby-5Moving around the corner again, we see the north wall of the church. Again, there are three windows of the same design.There are no features at all on the north wall apart from the windows (and an iron brace in the shape of a cross at the upper east end of the north wall). Further along, we get to the north face of the tower. There is one rounded window near the top of the tower. These tower windows are not glazed (at least as far as I can see) and are fitted with louvres. On the north-west corner of the north wall of the church is an Ordinance Survey benchmark (no. 86420).

North OwersbyLeaving the church briefly, the churchyard is well maintained. At some point, all the memorials on the south side of the churchyard have been moved into two rows. This is generally done to easy the mowing of the grass but they are managing well on the north side with the memorials in situ so perhaps there is another reason. At the east end of the churchyard are some chest tombs which are well mossed and also some more recent polished granite memorials. many memorials have fresh flowers so the churchyard is clearly still active.

Inside the Church.

Inside the tower is a wooden box-like structure going up the wall and a helical staircase going up which is blocked off with furniture so a good reason not to try to go up.

Going into the main body of the church is a wooden door with a lattice light glazed with Perspex. Inside the door, on the north side, are a padlocked chest, a table, chair and a pew screened off with a curtain and a wooden panel.

North Owersby-31

There is a notice on the wall referring to a Robert Sheardown which is dated 1764. There is another word which is not quite readable.

North Owersby-30

The church is simple with a nave and no aisles. The stained glass looks a whole lot better from the inside with daylight coming through the glass (as it is obviously intended to be viewed). Each window is much the same but with a different bird in the roundel.North Owersby-9

North Owersby-10North Owersby-11

North Owersby-12


North Owersby-13North Owersby-14










North Owersby-15







Here is one of the windows in its entirety which probably looks a whole lot better than my descriptions.

North Owersby-16There are ten pews on each side with plain ends. Where the pew ends might be carved there is a simple circle.

North Owersby-27

North Owersby-26Before reaching the apse there is a raised portion of floor which is tiled with unglazed tiles. The main body of the nave has a blue carpet and the pews are on a raised platform. There is a wooden pulpit which is not ornate but is attractive in its own way. There is also a small brass lectern with a cloth on it (just visible behind the cushions on the left).North Owersby-23

The altar is on another rise portion which is tiled as the rest of the apse. The altar is covered with a patterned cloth with a plain cloth on top. On the altar is a brass crucifix with a Lamb and Flag on it and two brass candlesticks. Behind the altar are two large, floor-standing, candlesticks with coloured glass decorations.

North Owersby-24

North Owersby-25The main body of the apse is plain. There is a carved chair with a blue cushion intended for the priest. There is a memorial on the edge of the chancel dedicated to  “The Rev Thomas Nelson, Vicar, 1827. Interred in the centre of the altar.”

North Owersby-8

On the right on the raised portion before the apse is an electronic organ and an older harmonium. On the harmonium is a carved onyx font which is six inches in diameter, together with another couple of candlesticks.

North Owersby-20North Owersby-21In front of the north range of pews is a bigger brass lectern marked “In memory of John Osgoodby 48 years Parish Clerk and in commemoration of a diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria”. The lectern contains a book: “The Common Worship Lectionary” which is  a table of psalms and readings from the Bible.

North Owersby-19Looking back towards the entrance on the west wall there is a plaque above the door “In memory of Mary Randell dies 1849” and a painted memorial on the wall “John Richardson, Churchwarden”.

North Owersby-28North Owersby-29The walls are painted white but the two painted memorials on the west wall have been carefully painted around to preserve them.

There is a larger stone font which is quite attractive. It has a modern glass fruit bowl inside to hold the water. There is an ornate stool in front of the font.

North Owersby-32There is a bookcase beside the door containing Hymns Ancient and Modern. On the north wall there is a list of Rectors, Vicars and Curates from the original date of the church. Alongside many of the dates are notes. One of these explains the anomoly of the style of the church and the variation in weathering of the stonework outside. The church was rebuilt in 1763, reusing the original stones in the main but with modern (for 1763) stonework for the windows.

The earliest incumbent  was a Rector called Walter in 1238 but there was an undated Robert before him. This is a modern list collated from the original registers. One of the notes suggests that one Rector, John Scott (1733), signed his own burial entry!

North Owersby-7 North Owersby-33North Owersby-34

St Andrew’s, Donington-on-Bain

A photographic essay on this delightful Lincolnshire church

A small church that is clearly well looked after. Inside, the walls are plastered and whitewashed. Both chancel and nave have flat plastered ceilings. There are no aisles but the north wall of the nave has a two bay arcade embedded in the wall suggesting that a north aisle existed at some point.


The chancel is fairly large – very nearly as long as the nave (12 paces compared to 14 paces) and only slightly narrower. There are three windows in the chancel. The east window looks Early English – three lancet windows in a larger Gothic reveal – but the stone work outside is a very different stone to the main walls and not much weathered so I think this is a much later addition. This window has no ornamentation apart from two pieces of red glass at the top between the lancets.

East Window

The other two windows are single lancet windows fairly close to the chancel arch – one on each side. These are glazed with plain glass – most of the windows have coloured glass on the sides.Donington-on-Bain-10

Lancet in north chancel wall



Donington-on-Bain-11There is a raised sanctuary at the east end with the altar. There are four wooden candlesticks and a wooden crucifix.  The altar rail is plain chamfered wood supported on wrought iron er the middle – the centre portion hinges to allow access to the sanctuary. A plaque on the altar rail suggests it dates from 1978. The raised floor here is tiled with small coloured tiles in a geometric pattern.

Chancel floor

The rest of the chancel floor is tiled with large square tiles in brick red and black. At the sides of the chancel is a raised portion with a wooden floor. There are two rows of pews on either side in the chancel plus two individual seats.These are nicely made but not of any great age.

There is red carpet running the length of the nave and chancel. In the south east corner of the chancel is a small piscina and in the north west corner is a plain plaque commemorating an interment in the church.

The Piscina

The chancel arch is plain rising from plain piers. the junction of the pier and arch is moulded but plainly.

pier/arch moulding.
pier/arch moulding

The base of the north pier of the chancel arch has been cut away for some indiscernible reason.

cut away portion of chancel arch pier

The nave

The nave is slightly larger than the chancel and is full of pews. These are on a raised (by about an inch or so) wooden floor which has been carpeted with off-cuts of carpet. The general feel of this church is that it is for use rather than showing off.

As mentioned above, there is a two bay arcade embedded in the north wall of the nave which suggests that there was previously a north aisle.

embedded arcade in north wall of aisle

Again, these arches are very plain but with more carving than the chancel arch.

pier/arch carving on aisle wall
pier/arch carving on aisle wall

Within the arcade on the north wall are two windows. Each consists of two lancets with a sun-burst above them. The windows are bordered by coloured glass.

north wall window
north wall window

The south wall of the nave has a large square window with four sections. The stone work outside shows this to be a later addition, but seemingly of the same date as the north wall windows. They have the same coloured glass borders.

south wall window.

Infront of this window, in the south east corner of the nave, is a wooden pulpit, again of no great age.


Also on the south wall is a lancet window with the same coloured glass borders.

south wall lancet

The west wall of the nave leads to the tower. This doorway has a semicircular arch with a stained glass infillDonington-on-Bain-6-2Beside this door, on the north, is the font. This is circular and partially embedded in the west wall. There is an indistinct pattern of overlapping arches around the bowl. It has been provided with a wooden lid of a much later date. There is evidence of dark green paint on the font, and dark red paint on the pedestal.

circular font
patterning of the font bowl

Also in the nave is an electric organ, a wooden lectern  and a seat with a very low lectern.

The tower.

The tower never offers much to the casual visitor as no access is allowed to the interesting parts. This tower has three bell pulls and the remains of a fourth. I suppose that means that there are currently three bells, a fourth having been removed or having becomes unusable.


The walls are built from fairly decent sized stones. The north wall has further evidence of the missing north aisle both with the two bay arcade being visible outside as well and the presence of what would appear to be the footings of the north wall of the north aisle. These ‘footings’ continue to the east end of the chancel.

North wall of the church

There is a modern buttress in the middle of the north wall of the chancel and older corner buttresses at both east end corners. The stone work of the east window is clearly newer than the wall in which it is set – both different stone and less weathering.

Chancel east end buttresses
east end wall of the church

The large window in the south wall of the nave seems to be a much later addition. the quoins are of a different stone to the rest of the church, are cut much more cleanly and are significantly less weathered than the other stonework.

‘new’ window in south wall of the nave.

There are two stone buttresses on the south wall of the nave of differing dates. At the west end of the south wall, there is some evidence of a doorway  – or, perhaps, very poor repairs.

straight vertical join suggesting a previous doorway
tower – south wall
tower – west wall
tower – north wall
south aspect of the Church of St Andrew

St.Peter’s, Kingerby.

This is a small church with a central nave and an aisle on the south side – there are two Gothic arches between the nave and the aisle, both are very plain. The door to the outside is very plain, not very handsome, and painted a dark green. A rustic door is perhaps the best description.


The south aisle is floored with old unglazed tiles. There are two arches between the nave and the aisle. On the eastern most pillar of the two arches between the nave and aisle (i.e. near the chancel) the floor has been dug away for a few inches to reveal the base of the column. Current floor level is several inches above the original floor level.

At the east end of the aisle, there is a small Early English Gothic window with two stained glass panels. The upper half of each looks to be original glass with a picture on the left of someone with a musical instrument and on the right, someone with what looks like a dart board. In fact, the musical instrument is an organ and tells us that the saint concerned is St. Cecilia while the “dart board” is actually a wheel which, together with the crown that the saint is wearing, tells us that this is St. Catherine of Alexandria. Above the two saints is a very small crucifix against a blue background. I am told that this stained-glass dates from the fourteenth century.

kingerby-stained-glass-2On the south wall of the aisle there are two effigies of knights. The eastern most one is a very detailed carving but he is missing his legs. His feet are in place and his torso and head. He is wearing chain mail and something over the mail – plated armour by the looks of it. This ‘armour’ is covered in heraldic devices which I cannot quite make out.

Slightly to the west but still against the south wall is a second effigy with one leg in place and a lower leg missing – he is in a twisted position. The carving is not as good as with the other effigy and there is a large piece missing on the breast of the knight missing. There is no writing on either effigy to indicate who they might be but the second one might be Sir William Disney and the first on his son (but I have no name for him). Both look like they have been repaired at some time.

The roof is wooden and doesn’t look to be that old. – the wood is still rather yellow. There are carvings where the pieces of wood are joined.

The arches between the nave and aisle are very plain. The eastern column has some decoration about two metres up – very plain decoration. The other two are very plain.

At the west end of the nave is a font. This is very plain and octagonal. It is carved from limestone. It has a very large pointed wooden lid and the font itself is lead-lined.

At the west end of the nave is the tower. The entrance to the tower from the nave is an ogee arch. There is a green rustic door between the nave and tower which is locked so I cannot get into it but I can look over it. Inside, there is a smallish window on the west wall, a heavy-duty ladder leading upwards and one single bell-rope hanging down. The tower is clearly used for storage and smells very damp.

Turning around: there is an arch into the chancel – the pillars are circular up to about 7 or 8 feet, topped by a plain Gothic arch. To the north of the chancel arch there is a part where the surface of the wall has been removed revealing a pillar that is now within the wall. This could possibly be the remains of an arch leading into an earlier northern aisle but there is no other indication on the inside that there was one.

Stepping up into the chancel – the chancel floor is composed of memorials one of which is dedicated to Mr William Warren who died on 9th may 1782 aged 62 and also his first wife, Ann. On the left is in Latin: “DOMPM – part missing – Juliani – illegible”.

On the south wall of the chancel, propped against the wall is what appears to be a coffin lid and memorial of a knight – not a life-like carving of a knight but a more-or-less symbolic carving. West of the knight is a small leaded window. Above the knight on the south wall is a lancet window which is plain and to the south of the alter is a plain square window.

kingerby-chancel-effigyBehind the alter is a two pane Gothic window – this looks to me like English Decorated Gothic. The alter is a plain wooden table. North of the alter on the chancel wall are four memorials. These are nineteenth century – 1823, 1830, 1837 and 1810. South of the alter on a board in gold script is the Apostle’s Creed.

kingerby-creedBack to the nave. North of the nave is a wooden pulpit. This looks to be Victorian. It is very solidly made but is nothing noteworthy. There is a brass lectern presented by CS Dickinson Esq in 1875. This is somewhat corroded but not excessively given the conditions in the church. There is a second lectern, this time of wood, for a bible on the south side of the nave by the chancel arch, complete with a Bible. This Bible was presented to St Peter’s Church, Kingerby by W.W. Nicholl, being the family Bible of his Great-Grandfather’s, Alexander, Baron of Culraven, Kirkcudbrightshire, dated 1819.


The pews are soft-wood, fairly light coloured and almost certainly Victorian. On the west end of the south wall, there are lists of Rectors, Vicars, Curates and patrons. The church plate has been removed to the Victoria and albert museum in London for safe keeping, but there is a photograph of it here.

The south wall of the nave has a clerestory with two clear-glazed windows. There are some carvings in the roof where the timbers connect. There is also a musical instrument in the south-west corner of the nave – as far as I can tell, this is an harmonium.

kingerby-ornate-windowThere is one window on the north wall – English Decorated Gothic again, I think – which is fairly complex. On the south wall, there is a window with a wooden mullion. This is a very plain window, presumably modern with square glass and no ornamentation.kingerby-wood-mullion


The church would seem to be built from local stone and is quite nicely built. The stones are weathering well – nice dark ironstone. The tower has three stages, buttressed on the corners and with stringers between the stages. The middle stage has one wooden ventilator which is square. The top stage has two ventilators on the south and north walls which are Gothic. The tower roof is not visible and is probably close to flat.

The porch has a Gothic external entrance but the door between the porch and nave looks to be Norman and certainly is not Gothic (a relic from an earlier church?). The outside of the nave and clerestory has been rendered at some point but the aisle wall doesn’t seem to have been.

There is a fairly new pantile roof – late twentieth century at the oldest. There is a shallow pitched roof to the nave but marks on the tower show that the roof used to be much steeper.

On the north wall of the nave outside there is evidence of arches (See comment about the partial arch inside). There is one arch, a buttress and a second arch, indicating that there was once a north aisle at some point. On the infill of the eastern most arch is the window I mentioned in the description of the interior.

There is little of any note on the outside of the chancel, the south wall of which supports plenty of lichens. At the junction of the chancel and nave there are some indications that the chancel used to be higher with a steeper roof.

St Michael’s church, Buslingthorpe

St Michael’s church in Buslingthorpe is a very mixed up church. It dates from the 13th century and has been rebuilt by the Victorians with the exception of the tower. We have some idea of the date the church was built by the list of rectors. The first rector was Herbert of Hanby who died in 1220 – clearly the church was built before this.
St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe
So, this is a small church – just the nave. There never seem to have been any aisles – I am going by the lack of scars in the walls, both inside and outside. If an aisle has been removed, they usually leave the arches between the nave and aisle and just fill them in. No sign of that here. The pews in the church are ‘modern’ by which I mean almost certainly Victorian.
In the north wall, there is one window and two in the south wall. All the windows are square with Gothic tracery. The cancel is rather small and has one window in the east wall, behind the alter. Again, it is a square window with Gothic tracery. The east window incorporates some stained glass which I presume to be from an earlier window. There is a shield of several colours with an indeterminate piece below it and above there is a small amount of coloured glass within the tracery. See photograph below.
St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe

The alter is covered with a fairly new alter cloth which is white with golden trimmings. On the alter are a central crucifix and four candlesticks. The crucifix and the larger candlesticks are made of very corroded brass and the smaller candlesticks are wooden. The crucifix is still decorated with poppies from November.
In front of the alter is a two piece alter rail. This is wrought iron base with wooden tops. There are three steps up from the nave to the cancel.
St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe
On the north side of the nave (at the east end) is a full size effigy of a knight is very good condition. There is some lettering in darker stone that is not in such good condition and I was unable to read it. The carving is quite detailed – you can see detail of his armour and weapons – and is in very good condition. There is hardly any chipping and no significant parts missing. A full length photograph is below followed by the top half and then bottom half to show the carving in more detail. My researches suggest that this is Sir John de Buslingthorpe but I make no guarantees as to the correctness of this.
St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe 



Fixed to the west wall near the west/north corner, is a very old stone coffin lid with a brass effigy let into it. This brass is reputed to be one of the earliest military brasses but modern opinion seems to be that it is of the son of the chap in the stone carving above, Sir John Buslingthorpe, the son being Sir Richard Boselyngthorpe. There is carving in the stone around the coffin lid but I was unable to read more than the occasional letter. On a table inside the tower was a ‘modern’ copy of the brass – see photograph below. I have also included a close-up of the top half of the coffin lid showing the brass in more detail. This also shows where an estucheon has gone missing .
The tower is built from the original stone.  There is a neat stone arch between the nave and the tower door on the inside of which is a massive wooden lintel. The door between nave and tower is massive but not that old (Victorian would be my guess). The west wall of the tower has a smallish lancet window.  There is a modern wooden ladder up to the bell floor and a rather tatty bell rope hanging down.
The font is near the tower – on the north side of the nave. This is a very plain limestone font which is octagonal in shape with a flat wooden lid. The inside of the font is metal lined, presumably lined with lead.

Right in the west/north corner of the nave is a harmonium. This has seen better days – I did not try it to see if it still works, although I was tempted. The roof is plain and has a very shallow pitch.

Outside: the nave and chancel are built of yellow brick – and are of no great age; they look to be Victorian. As mentioned above, the tower is built from stone and looks to be the original tower. The stone was originally well-dressed with neat quoins at the corners. Where the stone has weathered, it is brown suggesting local ironstone. The very bottom of the tower is the same yellow brick as the nave and chancel which suggests that it was underpinned at the same time as the nave and chancel were rebuilt.

The tower is rather short, extending to just above the nave roof in two stages.

St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe
St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe

St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe

St Michael's church, Buslingthorpe



St Peter’s church, Normanby-by-Spital

St Peter’s church, Normanby-by-Spital, Lincolnshire.

A small church in a small village. It sits on a raised mound on a crossroads in the centre of the village. As is usual in villages with old churches, it has been altered and adjusted over the centuries. All these alterations and adjustments leave their scars on the building. The scars at the east end suggest both that there was originally an apse rather than the flat east wall now in place and a large blocked arch in the north wall of the chancel suggests a now-demolished building on the north side of the chancel. The north aisle also has blocked doorways, one probably leading into the now-demolished building. The footings of the possible apse are visible in the grass.

Both the aisles have windows in their east ends. The stonework in these is very different suggesting that they were built at different times – the north aisle window looks like it started as a doorway.

The church originated in the 12th century with many additions in later medieval centuries. There is surviving Norman masonry (see photos of column heads and feet). The inside was renovated by the Victorians (not always a good thing) and the furniture is theirs as is the stained glass window.