See also Lincolnshire’s Historic Churches
Most churches are open or have a sign on the door with the location of the key.
Alvingham—two churches in one churchyard are St Mary’s and St Adelwold’s. St Mary’s, North Cockerington, is mostly from the 13-14th centuries except for the box pews which are early 19th century and date from the rebuilding of the tower. It has a stubby tower and once was a monastic chapel before becoming a parish church. The interior is Victorian with box pews. St Adelwold is the parish church of the town. It has a big tower and a brick chancel. Reached by walking past the water mill and through a farmyard. The church is no longer in use. Located three miles north-east of Louth.
St Lawrence is a large church built in 1432. The stone came from Bardney abbey and the chancel bricks came from Tattershall castle. The chancel was restored in 1873, and the rest of the church between1878-1880. Wall paintings of Lincolnshire Saints are on the chancel walls.
Barnetby-le Wold—St Mary’s church is on an ancient site on edge of the wolds. It has a squat tower and is made of brick, ironstone, limestone and render. The architectural styles range from Anglo-Saxon to Georgian. The interior is white washed. There is a Saxon window with a carving of a cat above it. The furnishings are early 19th century. There is an unusual lead font dated 1170 from the church now in North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe. The church is no longer in use. Located 7 miles north of Caistor off the A1084.
Barton-on-Humber—St Peters has a 10th/11th century tower with notable Anglo-Saxon architecture. It has interpretative exhibitions. St Mary’s, the other church on the village green, is a parish church with Transitional Norman, Early English and later architecture, monuments and brasses. Located at the Lincolnshire end of the Humber Bridge.
Boothby Pagnell—St Andrew’s is mostly Norman but altered in late medieval times, then restored in Victorian years with a complete set of Victorian furnishings.
St Botolph’s, mainly built in the 14th century is a very large church. It has a 272 foot high tower, the tallest on an English parish church. It was raised in stages between c 1425-c 1510 and reflects different styles of architecture. Its nickname is ‘The Stump’. There are 56 carved choir stalls dating from the 1400s. There are 209 steps up to the exterior gallery and 365 to the tower’s top. A chapel was restored in 1857. In the church is an early 14th century alabaster tomb of a knight and a medieval chest.
Brocklesby—All Saints is a medieval/Victorian estate church of Brocklesby Park, home of the Pelham family. It has many monuments to them in the interior.
Burgh-le-Marsh—St Peter and St Paul is a large late medieval marshland church. It has a soaring lantern crowned tower and a Dutch style brick porch (1702). The interior has outstanding Jacobean wood carving that includes a screen, pulpit and canopied font cover. The clock is inscribed with the words “watch and pray for ye know not when the time is.”
Burringham—St John the Baptist was built in 1856-7. The short square tower is massive. The roof is pyramid shaped. The church is no longer in use. Located three miles west of Scunthorpe off the B1450.
Burwell—St Michael’s, on a hillside, has a high Perpendicular tower. It has been altered over the centuries which is reflected in the mix of brick and greensand walls. The south aisle is gone. The windows are thought to be from a nearby monastic building. A Norman chancel arch has carved capitals while the pulpit is 17th century. The font is from 1460. The church is no longer in use. Located five miles south of Louth on the A16.
Buslingthorpe—St Michael is at the site of a deserted medieval village. The church, except for the tower (mostly medieval), was rebuilt in 1835 in brick. Inside are two 14th century monuments and an effigy of a knight. The church is no longer in use. Located 3 miles south-west of Market Rasen off the A46.
Caistor—St Peter and St Paul is in town on the edge of the wolds. The site is an ancient ecclesiastical one, possibly that of a monastery. The south door has 13th century ironwork. There are effigies of medieval knights and a lady.
Cherry Willingham—St Peter and St Paul was built in 1753 and restored in 1867-71 in the Georgian Classical style. The stone church has a doorway with Tuscan columns and pediment. The interior has a Georgian reredos and an altar table with Ionic columns painted in white, gold and blue.
Clixby—All Hallows has an early 13th century chancel restored in 1889. A 14th century slab with incised cross and chalice is in the floor. Latin inscriptions are on the wooden ceiling. The font and pews came from redundant churches. The church was much larger at one time. No longer in use. Located three miles north of Caistor on the A1084.
Coleby—All Saints is a mix of styles: first built in Anglo-Saxon times, extended by the Normans, a spire built on the Saxon tower in the middle ages. The chancel is asymmetrical with mismatched arches on the north and south walls.
Cranwell—St Andrew’s has remnants of its Anglo-Saxon roots, four pieces being displayed in the church interior. The obelisk and church bells were added in the 1600s and the chancel was added in 1900.
Croxby—All Saints is a small church in a tiny wolds hamlet. The interior has Norman work with carved pillars, a chancel arch, and font.
Croyland--Croyland Abbey is a cathedral size church of the Anglo-Saxon abbey whose ruins are on the site. The part that survives is the parish church.
Deeping St James—Deeping St James Priory church was once the church of a Benedictine monastery. The exterior is late medieval with an early Georgian tower. Inside are Norman arches, a 12th century seven bay south arcade, a memorial to a knight, a six seat sedilia, and a 12th century font.
Dunholme—St Chad’s is Early English with a 13th century tower restored in 1907. There are six bells. The ancient aumbry has large wooden doors with iron brackets and hinges from the 12th century.
Edenham—St Michael’s is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It has many monuments in the chancel.
Ewerby—St Andrew’s, built in the 1300s, has a 14th century wooden chest with three locks, a 19th century funeral bier, and the base of the old market cross in the interior. A vestry was added in 1895. It has a ring of ten bells.
Gainsborough—All Saints is a Georgian classical city church except for its Perpendicular medieval tower. The gallery and columns are massive. It is decorated in gold and turquoise.
Glentham—St Peter’s has a Georgian tower but the rest dates from the 15th century. Inside are a 14th century chest, an organ, and a harmonium. There is a sculpture above the entry door.
Goltho—St George is a small brick church in a clump of trees reached by walking across a field. It is on the site of an ancient village. The nave is 16th century while the chancel is 18th century. The brick bellcote is Victorian. Inside are a two decker pulpit, box pews, early bench ends, and pedimented reredos. No longer in use. Located 11 miles east of Lincoln off the A158.
Grainsby—St Nicholas is an unrestored church in a wooded hamlet. It is made of ironstone, chalk and brick with a Norman doorway and font, Early English tower, Georgian windows, and a squire’s pew.
Great Steeping—All Saints Old Church is in marshland away from the village and surrounding land still retains its medieval field system. The small church, built in 1748, is of brick and greensand. The foundations are ancient ones of a long gone church. The church is no longer in use. Located 13 miles east of Horncastle off the B1195.
Haceby—St Margaret’s (also called St Barbara’s) is a small gothic style church sitting alone in the uplands. Gothic architecture predominates, but it was restored in 1890 and 1924. There are small Norman windows in the tower and an early Norman chancel arch. The royal arms of Queen Anne are painted above the chancel arch. No longer in use. Located eight miles east of Grantham off the A52.
Hainton—St Mary’s is a family church of 14th century squires, the Heneages. It is Anglo-Saxon, medieval, and Victorian with monuments to the family.
Haltham-on-Bain—St Benedict is built of local greenstone with later restoration in brick. It has a four light Decorated east window. The south doorway has a Norman tympanum. The 17th century pews, though facing the three decker pulpit, are placed in different directions. The royal arms of Charles I can be seen. The tiled floors are old. The church is no longer in use. Located four miles south of Horncastle on the A153.
Hannah-cum-Hagnaby—St Andrew’s is a Georgian ‘Prayer Book’ church. The tiny greenstone building in the Classical style was built in 1753 and is unchanged. It has a two decker pulpit and box pews. The church is no longer in use. Located on a mound by the A1111 Alford-Sutton-on-Sea road.
Harmston—All Saints is a stone church done in a medieval style. It has Victorian stained glass windows considered to be outstanding.
Harpswell—St Chads has a Saxon tower and medieval brasses and monuments.
Haugham—All Saints sits high on the wolds and dates from 1837-40. An earlier church was once here and slabs from it are in the church. The Royal Arms of Queen Victoria is above the chancel arch. No longer in use. Located four miles south of Louth and west of the A16.
Howell—St Oswald’s is a small medieval church with no electricity. There is a stone belfry with one bell and a gilded weathercock. The shaft of a medieval cross is in the churchyard. The Norman south door leads to a one aisled nave with a c 1200 arcade. Inside are ancient monuments.
Kirkstead—St Leonard’s is off a track through earthworks (collect key from nearby Abbey farm). It was the local abbey’s chapel, dating from the 13th century. In the Early English style it measure just 42ft by 19ft . There are lancet windows, roof vaulting and foliage carved capitals. Parts of the original painted wall decoration survive. A wooden chancel screen is England’s earliest. The north exterior wall has a closed up doorway.
Kirmond le Mire—St Martin’s sits in a wooded churchyard and was built in early Victorian times of local ironstone and limestone. It is in the Early English Gothic style.
Louth—St James sits in the market town. It has a 295 foot high spire. Begun c 1430 and finished c 1515 in the Perpendicular Gothic style. The Georgian angel roof was added later.
Markby—St Peter’s is a thatched church built in Jacobean times and used masonry from the former Markby Priory no longer in existence. Church no longer in use. Located off the A111 in a farmyard.
Morton—St Paul’s was built in 1891. The interior has painted ceilings. The Burne-Jones windows were made in the William Morris workshops.
Moulton Chapel—St James was built in the Classical style in 1722 with its nave being a brick octagon.
Nettleham—All Saints is of Lincolnshire stone. Although dating from pre-Norman times it was extended/restored in Victorian times and a fire in 1969 changed much of it. There are six bells.
Normanton—St Nicholas is a small medieval church with a 14th century tower of limestone. Inside are Norman arcades and a 15th century clerestory. Church no longer in use. Located seven miles north of Grantham on the A607.
Northorpe—St John the Baptist is a small church in the village centre. The altar stone is the oldest feature. Much 15th century remains in spite of early 20th century restoration.
Old Bolingbroke—St Peter’s and St Paul’s was built by John of Gaunt in the Decorated style.
Owmby by Spital—St Peter and St Paul dates from the 12th century. It has rounded arches with stiff leafed capitals and huge pillar bases. There is an ancient font. In the north aisle window is an 11th century carved stone and a Saxon cross from the 8th century.
Raithby—St Peter’s is in a rural setting and is a small Gothic Revival church built 1839. The early Victorian interior has green painted box pews and a barrel organ. Extensive repairs were done in 2006. Church no longer in use. Located near Louth off the A153 Louth-Horncastle road.
Redbourne—St Andrew’s architecture is a mix of Decorated, Perpendicular and Georgian Gothick. The nave is vaulted in plaster and the chancel has an early 1800s east window of the day of judgement. The monuments are 18-19th century ones. Church is no longer in use. Located 10 miles south-east of Scunthorpe off the A15.
Saltfleetby—All Saints has a leaning tower and is sited in marshland. Dating from the early 13th century, it still retains Norman traces. In the 15th century additions were made to the tower and windows. The two pulpits and screen are also 15th century. The tower, though buttressed, is leaning. Church is no longer in use. Located six miles east of Louth off the B1200.
Saxilby—St Botolph’s has an early Norman doorway in the north wall. The ends of the arcade of the north aisle are in the Early English style with stiff leafed foliage on the capitals. The Decorated and Perpendicular styles are show in the central pillars, double chancery, and clerestoried nave. There is a north chancel. An effigy of a knight and his lady dates from before 1390. There are rare copies of 500 year old sheet music.
Scothern—St Germain’s has parts dating from 1200.
Skidbrooke—St Botolph sits by itself in marshland surrounded by a group of trees. The exterior reflects the Perpendicular style but is earlier in its interior. The walls are unplastered. Church no longer in use. Located seven miles east of Louth off the B1200.
Sleaford—St Deny’s is in the market square. It has an altar rail, once in Lincoln cathedral, by Sir Christopher Wren and a medieval rood screen. Beneath the Lady chapel (known for its outstanding six bay stained glass and traceried window) is a vault.
South Somercotes—St Peter’s, known as the Queen of the Marsh, has a tall spire. It is mostly 13th century with 15th century windows. The carved font is 15th century. No longer in use. Located eight miles north-east of Louth off the B1200.
Southrey—St John the Divine was built in 1898 by the parishioners. The white timber chapel (now coated in UPV) is gabled and has a bellcote. Inside it is painted blue.
Springthorpe—St Lawrence and George is a small church with a Saxon tower and Norman doorway. A blocked Saxon doorway is in the tower.
Stragglethorpe—St Michael’s is a tiny plan church with white washed walls. It is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is reached through the yard of Brant House farm. It has unusual 18th century box pews and a double decker pulpit. A north aisle was added in the 12th century and a belfry in the 13th.
Stainton-le-Vale—St Andrew dates from the 13th century and has a restored wall painting. A south arcade c 1300 is now blocked. The tower entrance has two Early English arches. The north doorway is Norman.
Tattershall—Holy Trinity is a Perpendicular church with much glass. Begun in 1469 to commemorate Lord Treasurer Ralph Cromwell and houses a collection of Cromwell brasses and stained glass. Tom Thumb is supposed to be buried here and there is a memorial in the church to him.
Tealby—All Saints is one of the oldest west wolds churches and is located on a hillside. Begun c 1100, it was rebuilt in the 14th century. There is an early Tudor nave with hanging ‘pendants’. The church is connected with the Tennyson D’Eyncourt family.
Threekingham—St Peter ad Vincula is a cathedral like church with three tombs inside the door and large effigies in the church.
Upton—All Saints has herringbone masonry in the chancel predating 1066. There is a Norman doorway, 13th century lancet windows in the chancel, 13th century capitals, and a priest’s seat as well as Victorian additions and restoration.
Walesby—All Saints has medieval window screens. In the interior are Norman Transitional carving, a Jacobean pulpit, and a 1930s rood screen. Its location is on the Viking Way footpath on a hilltop. St Mary’s, at the bottom of the hill, was built in 1913 in the Arts and Crafts style and is divided lengthways by a central arcade. It was built so the villagers did not have to walk up the hill to All Saints.
Well—St Margaret’s is set on a hilltop above a lake by Well Hall. It is painted an apricot colour with a Georgian interior, a gallery, box pews, and a three decker pulpit. A brick cupola was replaced by the present one in 1971. Reach it by a road through Well Hall School grounds.
Welton—St Mary’s is in the village centre and was mostly rebuilt in 1824 though traces of the 14th century church remain. The two arcades in the north side are from the early 1300s while the roof is a reproduction of an earlier medieval one. The tower is mid 1700s.
Yarburgh—St John the Baptist is a sandstone church in the Perpendicular style. It was rebuilt in 1405 after a fire and in the 1850s some restoration took place. The carved west doorway of the tower shows Adam and Eve and the serpent. Located five miles north-east of Louth.
Lincolnshire’s Visitor Centres have brochures maps showing the locations of the towns and villages where each church is located. For a list of the centres see our Lincolnshire county page
Photos of Buslingthorpe, Croyland, Hainton, Harmston, Harpswell, Markby, and Tealby © by Barbara Ballard.
Photo of Somersby courtesy Lincoln cam
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Alvingham by Simon Huguet; Bardney, Clixby, Ewerby, Goltho, Great Steeping, Haltham, Haughham, Kirkstead, Old Bolingbroke, Well by David Hitchborne; Boothby Pagnell by Bob Danylec; Boston St Botolph by Graham Horn; Barnetby, Brocklesby, Glentham, Owmby, Raithby, Redbourne, Walesby by David Wright; Burgh le Marsh, Burringham, Burwell, Caistor, Coleby, Croxby, Dunholme, Kirmond, Louth, Morton, Moulton, Nettleham, Northorpe, Saltfleet, Saxilby, Skidbrook St Botolph, Southrey, Springthorpe, Stainton le Vale, Stragglethorpe, Threekingham, Upton, Welton, Yarburgh by Richard Croft; Cherry Willingham by Jonathan Billinger; Cranwell by Mick Lobb; Deeping St James by Chris Stafford; Edenham by Geoff Pick; Gainsborough by Peter Church; Grainsby by John Beal; Haceby by Kate Jewell; Howell by Mark Hurn; Scothern by Geoff Pick; Sleaford by Mick Lobb; South Somercotes by Stephen Horncastle; Tattershall Holy Trinity by Mick Lobb
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Some of our Lincolnshire Articles
Above the Vaults
Normanby Hall Country Park
Lost Graves of Sempringham
Historic Lincolnshire Churches
Gainsborough Old Hall
St Peter’s Church
Church of St Peter and St Paul
Heckington St Andrews Church
Lincolnshire's Historic Churches, Part II
Other England Articles