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Ruins of Wildsworth Church - geograph.org.uk - 142753.jpg
Ruins of St John's Church, Wildsworth
Wildsworth is located in Lincolnshire
Location within Lincolnshire
OS grid referenceSK808979
• London150 mi (240 km) S
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGainsborough
Postcode districtDN21
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
53°28′20″N 0°47′02″W / 53.472339°N 0.78381908°W / 53.472339; -0.78381908Coordinates: 53°28′20″N 0°47′02″W / 53.472339°N 0.78381908°W / 53.472339; -0.78381908

Wildsworth is a village and civil parish in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated on the eastern bank of the River Trent, and approximately 5 miles (8 km) north from Gainsborough. The population is included in the civil parish of East Ferry.


Wildsworth is not mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, although an earlier settlement is indicated by finds of 2nd- to 4th-century Roman pottery and building material.[1][2][3] Later evidence of settlement at Wildsworth is in late 12th-century documentation – an early 14th-century chapel is recorded as founded, although no ground evidence for this and the medieval settlement have been found. It was only in the 19th century that Wildsworth size and population, through censuses, was indicated.[4] Previously observed cropmarks in the area show evidence of channels and banks associated with post-medieval warping – controlled flooding of land to increase fertility.[5]

In 1870-72 Wildsworth was described as being a hamlet within the parish of Laughton, with a population of 150 in 27 houses.[6]

In 1885 Kelly's Directory reported Wildsworth again as a hamlet in the parish of Laughton, and with a population of 130. A chapel of ease to St John, built in 1838, was described as of white brick in Norman style, comprising a chancel and nave, and polygonal tower with one bell. The late Lady William Gordon, Lady of the Manor, had provided for the chapel building at a cost of £450. Wildsworth contained two Wesleyan chapels: Primitive and Methodist. A mixed school at Wildsworth was built in 1875 at a cost of £200 provided by the Hon. Mrs Meynell-Ingram, Lady of the Manor of Laughton. The school had provision for 80 children and had an average attendance of 35. Wildsworth occupations consisted of 10 farmers.[7]

St John's church was restored in 1896, and again in 1908 at a cost of £1000 provided by Hon. Frederick George Lindley Meynell. Population in 1921 was 111. By 1933 Wildsworth was a township with a land and water area of 1,039 acres (4.2 km2), some of which worked by five farmers each with land over 150 acres (0.6 km2).[8]

The previous parish church of St John was demolished before 2000. It was Grade II listed on 31 March 1982.[9] The church was built in 1838 to a design by Charles Biggs. It was of yellow brick and ashlar construction, and comprised a chancel, nave, vestry with boiler house – added in 1908 – west doorway, and a polygonal embattled tower surmounted by a short spire. The nave contained pilasters topped by pinnacles which divided the walls into three bays, and the chancel a 1916 stained glass east window by Charles Eamer Kempe.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Wildsworth (325030)". PastScape. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Wildsworth (891760)". PastScape. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Wildsworth (349569)". PastScape. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Wildsworth (891759)". PastScape. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Wildsworth (1057070)". PastScape. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Wildsworth, Lincolnshire". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 2 January 2013.. Quoting John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales
  7. ^ Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire with the port of Hull 1885, p. 512
  8. ^ Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire 1933, p. 337
  9. ^ "St. John's Church (site of), Wildsworth", English Heritage. Retrieved 18 December 2013
  10. ^ Historic England. "Church of St John the Divine  (Grade II) (1165941)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  11. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Harris, John: The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire p. 422. Penguin, (1964); revised by Nicholas Antram (1989), Yale University Press. ISBN 0300096208
  12. ^ Historic England. "St John the Divines Church (527293)". PastScape. Retrieved 18 December 2013.

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