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HER Number:2132
Type of record:Building


Church of St John, Church Hill. 11th-12th century tower; nave, chancel, tower roof and restorations 1892-7 by W & C.A. Bassett-Smith of London.

Grid Reference:SE 902 245
Map Sheet:SE92SW
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • ANGLICAN CHURCH (MED:C11/PM:C19, Early Medieval/Dark Age to Post Medieval - 1000 AD to 1899 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building (II*) 1117354: CHURCH OF ST JOHN

Associated Finds - None

Associated Events

  • St John's Church, Whitton, Archaeological Observation and Recording (Ref: NFAC 0905)

Full description

St. John's Church, Norman, 19th cent. rebuilding (Pevsner 1964, 421). [1]

2/27 Church of Saint John
6.11.67 GV II*
Church. C11-12 tower; nave, chancel, tower roof and restorations 1892-7 by W & C.A. Bassett-Smith of London. Tower of roughly-coursed ironstone rubble with bands of limestone and gritstone blocks; nave and chancel of re-used limestone and gritstone ashlar with bands of ironstone rubble. Ashlar dressings. Plain tile roof. West tower with west entrance, 2-bay nave and 2-bay chancel with vestry adjoining south side. 2-stage tower: quoins, tall first stage with round-headed west door and keyhole slit to south side, chamfered string course, original round-headed belfry openings to second stage with C19 tracery. Italianate boldly dentilled ashlar eaves cornice and pyramidal roof. Pointed 2-light traceried windows to nave, and moulded cill band, single traceried lancets and pointed 3-light east window to chancel, all with Geometrical-style tracery. Interior: C12 round-headed tower arch with chamfered hoodmould; moulded chancel arch in Early English style; double-chamfered arch to vestry; C19 ashlar pulpit and chancel rail with pierced trefoils. C12 font with moulded base and carved octagonal bowl supported on shafts, restored C19. N. Pevsner and J. Harris, The Buildings of England. Lincolnshire, 1978, 421. Drawing by C. Nattes, 1794, Banks Collection, Lincoln City Library.
Listing NGR: SE9025324525 [2]

Naomi Field Archaeological Consultancy carried out a watching brief in 2009, during replacement of the path on the western side of the church, and the re-excavation of a drainage trench, leading from the south side of the nave to a soakaway near the eastern boundary of the churchyard. Small fragments of human bone were present in the subsoil beneath the path, but no grave cuts were observed. The bone was reburied within the churchyard. [3]

The church contains an oak plaque, commemorating the war dead of the parish from the First and Second World Wars. It is inscribed with 3 names from 1914-18 and 3 names from 1939-45. [4]

The church of St John has an example of a ‘Lincolnshire Tower’, a distinct class of bell tower constructed during the 40 years after the Norman conquest. Although it has been rebuilt sunstantially, the lowere stage is clearly related to the Lincolnshire Tower group. A 1794 drawing by Nattes shows the original bell-chamber, with two round-headed window openings under a tympanum that was framed by a super-arch. This type of arch is found in 'late derivatives' group of towers.

The presumed owner of the church at Domesday was Henry de Ferrers, whose manor was the only one listed. An analysis of the village plan determined that the church was probably within the manorial 'curia', an irregular shape bounded by Church Hill, Chapel Lane and Post Office Lane, although it may have been larger. The church could also have been associated with a manorial hall within this area, known to have been tenanted by one 'Saswalo' at Domesday. A hall was mentioned by the diarist Abraham de la Pryme in 1697, who wrote that 'About twenty years ago was part of a great hall standing on the west side of the church, in a cloase where the Mortons lived, but now onely part of the foundations appear.'

The location of the church was also thought to be influenced by the presence of a natural knoll, overlooking the Humber. [5] NB this reference contains much detail on the architecture of the church, its location within the village, and its relation to similar Lincolnshire Tower churches in the historic county.

John Wood, 1986, A Gazetteer of Norman Architecture (GAZETTEER). SLS5102.

<1> Loughlin, N and Miller, KR, 1979, A Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, 219 (BOOK). SLS523.

<2> English Heritage/NMR, 2005, Listed building system data in MIDAS XML format, 441003 (COMPUTER DISK/TAPE). SLS2963.

<3> Naomi Field, St John's Church, Whitton, N Lincs, Archaeological Observation and Recording., 1 - 2 (REPORT - INTERIM, RESEARCH, SPECIALIST, ETC). SLS3993.

<4> UK National Inventory of War Memorials, 51839 (WEBSITE). SLS4370.

<5> Stocker, D and Everson, P, 2006, Summoning St Michael: Early Romanesque Towers in Lincolnshire, 283-286 (BOOK). SLS6553.

Sources and further reading

---GAZETTEER: John Wood. 1986. A Gazetteer of Norman Architecture. A4 papers.
<1>BOOK: Loughlin, N and Miller, KR. 1979. A Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside. A4 Bound. 219.
<2>COMPUTER DISK/TAPE: English Heritage/NMR. 2005. Listed building system data in MIDAS XML format. CD. 441003.
<3>REPORT - INTERIM, RESEARCH, SPECIALIST, ETC: Naomi Field. St John's Church, Whitton, N Lincs, Archaeological Observation and Recording.. October 2009. A4 ring bound. 1 - 2.
<4>WEBSITE: UK National Inventory of War Memorials. www.ukniwm.org.uk. 51839.
<5>BOOK: Stocker, D and Everson, P. 2006. Summoning St Michael: Early Romanesque Towers in Lincolnshire. Hardback. 283-286.

Related records

2137Related to: HALL (SITE OF), THE CLIFF TOP (Monument)
15616Related to: LATE SAXON CEMETERY (Monument)