Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Muffled hobnails and hushed echoes...

On the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds there is a small green sandstone, limestone, and red brick church.   It is plain and simple, much altered over the years.

There has been a church here for almost a thousand years, although this building only dates from the 15th century.     It was restored in 1780 and re-modelled in 1804.    The size has been reduced over the years, windows altered.       As you can see, the walls are like a patchwork of different building materials, but I like that.   At one time it was painted white, that is now fading and the history is revealed.

I was lucky enough to find a poem about this church.   It had been left on a pew and was written by Francis Robinson.  I'll just quote a few parts.

...Bereft of fancy stained glass windows

....Uneven old bricks line my floor

...hushed echoes of the children....muffled hobnails from the labourer's boots, the rustle of skirts....

The Victorian box pews are painted a surprising blue, but it works very well, once you get over the initial shocck.

It is a simple place, a peaceful place,  inside and out.

I always like to take a little look at the vestry of an old church, whenever possible.   This church is entirely open, so this is what lies beyond a simple curtain at the back corner...all the detritus and occasionally useful bits and pieces.  

The old strongbox is very typical of other churches in the area.

Later, I realised that I hadn't seen the ancient stone basin which is used as a font.   A treat for next time, perhaps.

The church is hidden away behind a lot of beautiful old farm buildings.    Hidden away it may be, but it has had an interesting past.

The most noticeable Rector to have served the little church was Simon Islip who went on to be Archbishop of Canterbury 1349-1366.   He was educated at Oxford and was regarded as one of the outstanding ecclesiastical lawyers of the time.  

His three predecessors for the post of Archbishop had all died in succession, from the Black Death.

Fascinating stuff.  

I much prefer to sit there and think about the hobnailed boots, the rustle of skirts and the hushed echoes of children.


  1. What an amazing place. THanks for sharing

  2. Thanks, Sol. It is a wonderful little building and the location is wonderful. (Mareham on the Hill)


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