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Visitor information

location

Saltfleetby
Louth
Lincolnshire
LN11 7TB

OS Reference

TF 436 899

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Open access to ruins

Church-moving is rare... But that is exactly what happened at Old St Peter's. The west tower is all that remains of the medieval church, when the rest of the building was moved in 1877.

It was moved partly because it was felt to be in the wrong position, but also because it had started to move (the tower is still on a definite lean). The architect, James Fowler re-sited the body of the medieval church from its original position in Charlesgate Road to North End Lane.

History

Old St Peter’s tower dates from the 15th century and is listed Grade I. It’s rather grand, with textured surface of weathered green sandstone and limestone ashlar, and some localised red-brick repair.

On the west front a blocked-up doorway with richly moulded head shows how much the tower has sunk. Above this, a is large pointed window with four pointed cusped lights, rich vertical tracery, and a hood moulding. Rectangular leaded lights have recently been re-introduced to this window, as the wind whipping down the lane was severely scouring the soft green sandstone.

We took ownership of the tower in 1976 after being called in by the local farmer, Mark Stubbs, who fought hard to prevent its demolition and left a sum of money for its maintenance.

Mr Stubbs died in 1977 and a plaque commemorates his connection with the church on the north wall.

The surrounding countryside is relentlessly flat, set in the ‘Marsh of Lincolnshire’ and prone to subsidence. Linear settlements and isolated farmsteads co-exist with medieval churches; reflecting the long-lost prosperity of the area. Today, however, the area is rich in wildlife, and visible from the church is ‘Theddlethorpe Dunes’ a designated National Nature Reserve (NNR) managed by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve is characterised by tidal sand and mudflats, salt and freshwater marshes and sand dunes.

Old St Peter's, Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire (7)
Old St Peter's, Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire (7)

Highlights

  • Moulded roof line of original nave gable on the east elevation
  • Polygonal southeast stair turret with two 15th-century slit lights
  • Interesting memorials in the churchyard, including memento-mori

Further reading

Please use these links if you would like to know more about the church and the surrounding area

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