St Bartholomew's Church, Welby

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St Bartholomews's Church, Welby
Church of St Bartholomew, Welby
52°55′56″N 0°33′01″W / 52.9322°N 0.5503°W / 52.9322; -0.5503Coordinates: 52°55′56″N 0°33′01″W / 52.9322°N 0.5503°W / 52.9322; -0.5503
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Dedication St Bartholomew
Parish Ancaster and Wilsford
Deanery Deanery of Loveden
Diocese Diocese of Lincoln
Province Canterbury
Priest in charge Rev Alan James Littlewood (2013)
Reader(s) Betty Groves (2013)
Churchwarden(s) J S Riggall (2013)
Tomb cover in St Batholomew's Church

St Bartholomew's Church is a Grade I listed Anglican church dedicated to Bartholomew the Apostle, in Welby, Lincolnshire, England. It is situated 4 miles (6 km) north-east from Grantham, and 1 mile (1.6 km) east from High Dyke, part of the old Ermine Street Roman road. The church is in the ecclesiastical parish and Group of Ancaster and Wilsford, in the Deanery of Loveden, and the Diocese of Lincoln.[1]


In the 1086 Domesday account Welby is recorded with a priest and a church.[2]

St Bartholomews's parish register dates from 1569. In c.1400 the south side of the church nave was rebuilt. In 1873 the north aisle was extended and the chancel rebuilt by J. H. Hakewill, at a cost of £450, who matched the Early English style.[3] A church organ was added at the same time, at a cost of £140. In 1887 a carved oak Gothic reredos was installed.[4][5]

In the 19th and into the 20th century, Welby was part of the rural deanery of Grantham north, and archdeaconry and Diocese of Lincoln. The living included a rectory, the gift of the Bishop of Lincoln. In 1824 Rev'd William Dodwell bequeathed to the parish £1,608 11s. 6d., with the bank annuities of 2½% to be used for the benefit of the poor. From the yearly dividend £15 was given to the schoolmaster for the education of six boys and six girls, and £10 for the apprenticing of a poor boy, with the remainder to provide clothing and coal to poor parishioners. From 1867 the rector was Rev'd William Armetriding Frith MA, of Worcester College, Oxford, and from 1926, the Rev'd Thomas Augustus Child BD, of London University.[4][5]

A parish diary exists with entries dating from the 1860s to 1968. The diary records reorientation of seating, the 1872 addition of a stove within the body of the church, and, in 1927, the partial laying of a concrete floor under the nave and chancel.[6]

In 2001 Lindsey Archaeological Services were commissioned by Welby Parochial Church Council to provide a watching brief on an archeological investigation prior to the installation of underfloor heating. Pews and pew platforms were removed, and investigation trenches dug under flagstone floors in the north aisle, and the north and south sides of the nave. Finds included the existence of a previous lime mortar floor, stained glass and window lead fragments, 15th- to 19th-century pottery, graves, and shroud pins.[6]

The church received a National Heritage Grade I listing in 1966.[7] Welby Parochial Church Council has gained funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration.[8]


St Bartholomews's accommodates a sitting for 240. It is built in ashlar-dressed limestone rubble, originates from the 13th century, and is Early English and Perpendicular in style. It consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, a west-facing tower with spire, a vestry, and a south porch.[3][5][7][9]

The Early English tower contains four bells and is surmounted by an octagonal broached spire containing two tiers of lucarnes. The panelled parapet above the Perpendicular nave clerestory is pinnacled, and contains shields within quatrefoils on its north side. Of the north side pinnacles only bases remain. The roof is drained by seven gargoyles. The Perpendicular "tall" south porch is surmounted by crocketed pinnacles on its gable canopy corners, which Pevsner describes as "oversized". The 16th-century south door has traceried panels – the north doorway, opposite, is blocked.[3][5][7]

The interior is part ashlar and part exposed rubble. The north arcade is of 15th-century octagonal piers defining four bays. The tower contains a 13th-century tower arch. There is evidence of an earlier nave at its west side indicated by a lower roof pitch line. Rood doors survive, the rood screen being early 16th-century, with 1948 restoration. The pulpit and lectern is 19th-century, and the octagonal font, 17th.[7]

Within the porch is a 14th-century stone tomb cover with relief depictions of a woman's head and shoulders within a quatrefoil recess, and a shrouded baby. It was originally sited in the graveyard.[3][9] The porch contains an inscribed commemoration to the charity founded in 1824 by the Rev'd William Dodwell.[7]

St Bartholomew's churchyard contains a memorial to eight servicemen killed during the First World War, and one during the Second.[10]


  1. ^ "Welby D C C", Diocese of Lincoln, Retrieved 30 June 3013
  2. ^ "Welby", Retrieved 30 June 2013
  3. ^ a b c d Pevsner, Nikolaus; Harris, John; The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire p. 704; Penguin, (1964); revised by Nicholas Antram in 1989, Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09620-8
  4. ^ a b Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire with the port of Hull 1885, p. 701
  5. ^ a b c d Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire 1933, p. 598
  6. ^ a b "St Bartholomew's Church, Welby, Lincs - Archeological Watching Brief", Lindsey Archeological Services. Retrieved 30 June 2013
  7. ^ a b c d e Historic England. "Church of St Bartholomew, Church Lane (1253411)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Welby PCC", Heritage Lottery Fund. Retrieved 30 June 2013
  9. ^ a b Cox, J. Charles (1916): Lincolnshire p. 331. Methuen & Co. Ltd.
  10. ^ "Welby War Memorial", Retrieved 30 June 2013

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