Four Georgian Churches in Lincolnshire
Saturday, 2nd May 2015
Today’s trip was led by the marvellous Jean Howard; whose running commentary on the coach stretched from ancient votive offerings to Thor missile bunkers. She had selected four Georgian Churches for us to visit; all of which had unique points of interest.
The first was St Swithin’s at Baumber. From the outside this building is perhaps unprepossessing; red brick and squat with few decorative features. Internally it is revealed to be a mediaeval church which was re-cased by the Georgians. The church was remodelled in 1759 for the Dukes of Newcastle in the “gothick” style and contains hatchments and monuments to the family.
Our second church was St Andrew, Stainfield. This very pretty church was the only one on our tour which was not Grade I listed; it had been instead designated Grade II*. The church was built in 1711 as an eye-catcher and is aligned north-south instead of east-west. Sadly the famous mediaeval helmet and gauntlets which were once on display there have been stolen.
After lunch in Wragby, we continued to the Church of Saints Peter & Paul in Cherry Willingham. This tiny church, which will seat no more than 70 people became engulfed in suburban development when the village, an easy commute from Lincoln, expanded greatly in the twentieth century. It was built in 1763 by John Becke, a wealthy lawyer, who wished it to become his family mausoleum.
Our final destination was St Hellen at Saxby. Built in 1775, the temple-like structure is also the mausoleum of the Earls of Scarborough. The church was damaged by the Market Rasen earthquake of 2008 and subsequently restored. At the time of our visit an area of ceiling had recently collapsed.
Our visit concluded with tea, or coffee, and biscuits at Brightwater Gardens.