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St Thomas a Becket's church and churchyard, Digby



Reference Name MLI82756

Name:
St Thomas a Becket's church and churchyard, Digby

Summary:
St Thomas a Becket's church and churchyard, Digby

Location:
DIGBY, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
St Thomas', Digby is thought to date to the 11th century. The south-east quoin of the nave demonstrates 11th century long-and-short work, while the south doorway is Norman. The long-and-short quoins may indicate that this was a church of some status by the early eleventh century, with potential minster status. The lower stages of the tower, the north and south aisles (both having three bays) and the chancel are of Early English date. The bell-openings in the tower, the windows of the north aisle and the east window of the south aisle are Decorated, while the clerestorey and tower-top are of Perpendicular date. The church was restored by Charles Kirk in 1881, when the chancel was rebuilt. {1}{4}

St Thomas' church dates from the 11th century, and is built of coursed limestone rubble and ashlar, with slate roofs. It has an unbuttressed three-stage tower, an octagonal stone spire with lucarnes, and a finial with iron weathercock. The bowl-and-stem font is octagonal and of 15th century date. A piscina and sedilia can be found in the chancel, which has an encaustic tile floor. The nave has a tenth century panel ceiling. For the full description and the legal address of this listed building please refer to the appropriate List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. {2}

Stained glass in this church, some of which is in situ, dates to the early 14th century. {3}

There is a coped cover-stone carrying a cross pattern, dating to the twelfth to thirteenth century. It is loose, and located at the west end of the south aisle. {4}

A watching brief was undertaken in March 2009, during excavations carried out as part of a landscaping project within the churchyard. Trenches 3.50m long by 0.80m wide were excavated to either side of the path, at a point just inside the southern gate. Two burials - one a juvenile, the other a juvenile or small adult - were revealed in excavations to the west of the path, with another six burials - all adults - located in excavations to the east. One of the latter burials had been severely truncated by later graves, leaving only the foot bones in situ. All of the burials lay on east to west alignments at just below the level of the adjacent footpath. A small quantity of pottery, including early/mid Saxon, Saxo-Norman and medieval sherds, was recovered from a layer sealing one of the grave fills. The cut for the churchyard wall was revealed at the southern end of the excavations. A north to south drain (probably post-medieval) had cut one of the graves on the western side of the path, while a modern drain was noted in the trench to the east. {9}{10}

Sources:
1 Bibliographic Reference: Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris, with Nicholas Antram. 1989. Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (Second Edition). p. 252
2 Index: Department of the Environment. 1987. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 4/25 (122.002)
3 Bibliographic Reference: Hebgin-Barnes, Penny. 1996. The Medieval Stained Glass of the County of Lincolnshire. -
4 Bibliographic Reference: Paul Everson and David Stocker. 1999. Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. Lincolnshire. pp.74-75, 317
5 Bibliographic Reference: Trollope, Edward. 1872. Sleaford and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn in the County of Lincoln. pp.225-226
6 Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. page 446
7 Index: OS CARD INDEX. DIGBY. TF 05 SE:4
8 Index: SMR FILE. DIGBY. TF 05 SE:BA
9 Report: Archaeological Project Services. Apr 2009. Archaeological Watching Brief on Groundworks at St Thomas a Becket Church, Digby, Lincolnshire. DSTM09
10 Archive: Archaeological Project Services. Apr 2009. Archaeological Watching Brief on Groundworks at St Thomas a Becket Church, Digby, Lincolnshire. LCNCC 2009.50

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Last updated: 03-December-2018 13:39:40

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