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.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Romans, Normans & Victorian Labourers

For the first time ever the Land Rover key wouldn't turn in the ignition!  George tried, I tried - no-go.  It took  the combined efforts of George and Ian to finally get us underway to visit St James Church at Rigsby.

Today was bright, sunny, very cold, and frosty so I thought it would be the perfect day to get some photographs of this little church.  It doesn't have electricity - I hoped the sunshine would help to illuminate things.

The previous church, pictured below,  dated from around 1086.  It had to be demolished eventually - in the photograph you can see how it had props supporting the walls.  Oh how I wish it had survived!
It was chalk walled, with a thatched roof.

The new church was built in 1863 at a cost of £685.  All the labourers of the Parish of Rigsby with Ailsby had to contribute a weeks wages, poor things.  I am not a fan of old churches which have been 'modernised' by the Victorians, but this one was built in 1863, so I can be more forgiving, although I still do not like the style. 
The church is only just off the road, well hidden by trees, even in winter.  To get to it you have to walk across the cattle grid, into the estate grounds, and then across the grass - which all feels like trespassing.

It is a pretty enough church, in a beautiful setting.  The churchyard is full of very old yew trees, interesting grave stones, and thanks to Stuart Reder, who lives in a cottage a few yards away it's very nicely maintained.
It is not a shape which appeals to my eyes, but that's just my personal taste.
It is built in the neo-Norman style, however, there is a real early Norman arch to the vestry. 
Above this Norman arch is an old sword and a helmet.  These were found in an old tomb within the church yard.  They were, for a long time, thought to be Roman - however, they are now thought much more likely to be 15th century.

A nice church, but it doesn't do much for me.


  1. It's winter (well almost) and the grounds are lovely. Thanks for the photos and the story.

  2. Reminds me of a pump house near where I live. That too was Victorian.

    Nice bell tower though. Very interesting re the sword and helmet too.

  3. Ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church.

    Or something.

    The original church would have been much more fun, I think. This one is too ordered, too neat.

    At least though it let you out this time!

  4. Hi Joanne, Sorry, I couldn't really get enthusiastic about this church, and it probably comes across! The grounds are lovely and the setting is pretty special. I hope the next one is more exciting.

  5. Hi Chris, Yes, those Victorians really knew how to mess with things. It is 'nice' but boring.

    The helmet, the sword, and the photograph are interesting, but the building is bland. So was my reaction to it.

    Still, onward and upward. Lincolnshire has hundreds of other lovely churches to explore. The Victorians didn't manage to ruin all of them.

  6. Hello Owl Wood, Neat, bland, unexciting.

    Last time I visited I couldn't stay inside (and it wouldn't let me outside!!) today was quite different. It was dull. Hence my dull report.

    Sorry to one and all.

    The next church I report on will be beautiful, interesting, peaceful - or maybe a combination of all of these.


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