pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


This church dates from the 11th century, the tower being the oldest part.  The churchyard is woefully neglected - but still wonderful.  The setting is just off the A16, in the tiniest of hamlets, Waithe.

This monument dates from the 14th century, although it was restored in 1861.
The setting is lovely, the churchyard is atmospheric and interesting with huge, ancient trees, the building is very attractive externally with nice stonework

Nothing to dislike so far?

So, why do I really dislike it?  Well, step inside.
Ah, that's nice.  According to the plaque it was 'restored' in 1861 by a loving son, in memory of his parents.

See what you think, and then I'll tell you what I think, and how this church building makes me feel.

Doesn't look too bad so far, does it?

Except that the 'restoration' removed all the medieval charm and replaced it with red bricks and Minton tiles.  Beautifully done, but it looks like a very swish public lavatory.  

Even the beautiful, original arches have been restored to within an inch of their  history.  Red bricks.  Minton tiles.  Sterile atmosphere.

I love old church buildings; places which have great atmosphere because they have been used by countless people.

Every now and again I have come across a church which has a bad atmosphere,  a building which you really wouldn't want to be left in on your own.  This building is not like that.

This poor building has no atmosphere.  It feels bleached, free from 'germs', free from history.  

Step outside and the churchyard engulfs you in gentleness, atmosphere, and history, it is unkempt but not scary.

I won't bore you with another church building for a week or two, don't worry!  I just happen to find them fascinating.

Like any building, some are good to be in, others make you want to leave asap, or have areas that just don't feel right.  

More of these things at a later date.


  1. I suppose that usually one would go into a church to be with God, to have a place where you can be quiet, to think, pray, be calm and reflect.

    It's very busy in there so I see your point. How did it feel when you shut you eyes?

    The outside, overgrown bit just made me feel like I was in an M.R. James story...

  2. Holy crap! (Literally, I suppose.) I completely agree with you. The interior has been stripped of its history and atmosphere. What a peculiar "restoration."

  3. I think the outside needs work... overgrown churchyards mean that you miss so many lovely and important details.
    inside .....i am not sure.....impressive.... but like chris said not perhaps restful!

  4. There are several churches within a short distance of here, that you would love! Old medieval village churches with original primitive painted walls, completely untouched and crumbling.

    If you type-in 'L'eglise de Saint Pierre' in the top left search box on my blog, you will see one example.

    I totally agree about the interior of your church, but I love those gate posts!

  5. @Chris: I visit them because I love looking around the buildings and I like to try to 'feel' the history of the place. I've visited it twice now, I won't go back a third time!

    I must remember to try the eyes closed thing on the next one though.

    @Mitch: Well put, that did make me laugh! I hope I can show you some much nicer ones in the next few months.

    @John: The churchyard was lovely, just neglected. But the church was awful - not to my taste anyway. Had it been built by the Victorians I wouldn't have had a problem with the interior looking like that.

    @Cro: I haven't had time to look at L'eglise de Saint Pierre yet, but I hope to do so this evening. It sounds much more the ticket - so thank you!

  6. I shudder at renovations/restorations that are totally devoid of sensitivity to history. I completely understand why it bothers you. Outside it's a beautiful old church. Inside it's a TUrkish bath! Ugh.

  7. Hi Natalie, I was thinking very grand public loos, but I much prefer your idea - Turkish baths! Truly terrible thing to do to a beautiful building.

  8. I know the plaque says it was lovingly restored....but it makes me nervous looking around the walls. Of course, I'm just going from the photos. I don't beleive I would be comfortable sitting in a pew. On the other hand, the outside is beautiful. Is that how you feel?

    1. Hi Meggie, You are quite right, the outside is very beautiful, both the setting and the building - but the church layout is very awkward and the huge amount of red brick and glazed tiles inside are just wrong for the age of the building. The interior is so busy with patterns and hard, shiny colours - I find it a very difficult church to visit. It was restored, but restored in a very busy Victorian style.

      We visited a couple of old churches yesterday - from outside they looked very shabby and messy - but the space and the peace within were wonderful. I'll do a post about them as soon as I get the photographs sorted.


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