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A Short History

This was posted at the back of the church by William Maurice Wright and remains there today.

The present Church of 'All Hallows', is the fifth Church erected on the site.

The first Church was probably only a rough wood and thatch building like most of the early Christian Churches in this country. This was by tradition destroyed during the Danish Invasion, probably in the 9th Century.

The second Church, which is mentioned as standing in l085 "with forty acres of land" to maintain the priest, would be a small plain building of roughly made stone.

The third and finest Church, which has ever stood on the site, would be begun about 1140. Of this Church we have various small allusions in old records and wills of the Middle Ages.

It consisted of a Chancel or "High Quire," as it is described, a Nave with north and south Aisles, and a Western Tower, containing "three great bells." The High Alter, or principal Holy Table, stood in the Chancel, and two other Altars were at the east end of each Aisle. The Chancel was divided from the Nave by a screen, on which stood the great rood or crucifix with figures of St. Mary and St. John on each side. The Nave was divided from the Aisles by round-headed arches. From a few fragments of glass dug up we gather that the windows were filled with beautiful painted glass. The Font, about the date 1340, is the only relic of this Church now existing. It is a fine specimen, and bears the inscription in Latin, "Pray for the souls of John and Johanna Curtys," the probable donors. There was a Sanctus Bell, which was rung at the appropriate times in the Mass.

This third Church remained till the year 1643, when it appears to have been destroyed during the civil wars. At that time the Parliamentary troops from Hull came over to this district, and a skirmish took place in the Churchyard, the villagers most probably having fled to the Church for refuge.

The fourth church. Painted by the Hon.
Mrs. George Wringfield Bourke.
On the restoration of the monarchy, 1660, the fourth Church was built [left], a mean little building 45 feet long,13 feet broad, with a south porch and a bell turret. A small fragment of the earlier Church was incorporated in the south wall.

In 1861 the Rector, the Hon. and Rev. George Wingfield Bourke, decided to replace this mean Church by something more worthy, which he successfully carried out by aid of public subscriptions.

On All Saints' Day, 1862, the Archbishop of Canterbury dedicated the fifth and present Church. The only relics of former days now existing besides the Font are - a beautiful 
silver chalice or cup dated 1569; the bell, dated 1611, with an inscription "God save His Church;" a curious pewter flagon of about 1660; a small sculptured figure over the porch; the stone used to build the present Church, taken from the previous ones. The curious bases and capitals of columns, now in the Manor House Garden, were found in the walls of the old Manor House, and may have belonged to the third Church, though their enormous proportions and design seem to point to Louth Park Abbey. There are no tomb slabs older than 1715, though we know from records that many of the Rectors and parishioners were buried within the 3rd Church.

There are records of 58 Rectors dating from the year 1235 in the reign of Henry III, to the present day. There were, however, many parish priests before this date; one is mentioned in 1085.

The Benefice has from the earliest times to about 1870 been in the gift of the Bishops of Durham, who owned property in the parish as early as 1066.

The registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths begin in the year 1578, in the reign of Elizabeth. The early records are now deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives for safe keeping.

The ancient Rectory House still stands in the village transformed into two small cottages. The Glebe Farm stood in the grass field at the back, and part of the buildings were standing within the memory of our oldest inhabitant.
W.M.W. circ 1950

Although this account has almost acquired the status of acknowledged fact, it seems that the 'fourth' church may only have been the reduced remnants of the third.  The painting above and the description of the church in the attached visitation appear to be more consistent with the notion that the fourth church had evolved from the third and was not a new structure.  The fifth and current church was designed by the renowned Lincolnshire architect, James Fowler.


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David Buckle,
24 Jan 2011, 13:23
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