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St Mary's Church, Knaith

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Reference Name MLI51373

St Mary's Church, Knaith

An 11th century church which underwent alterations, additions and restorations in the early 14th and early 18th centuries.


St. Mary's Church, Knaith was previously thought to be the remains of the transept or nave of the conventual church of Heynings Priory. {1}{2}
Paul Everson has shown that the Priory was actually on a quite different site, at Park Farm South. The church lies to the west of Knaith Hall, close to the river Trent. About 1630 the medieval parish church was reduced, reroofed and refurnished and turned effectively into a private chapel. The alterations seem to have also been intended to make the church a feature of a garden design. From the garden side to the south it appears to be the east end of a church with a chancel and north chapel. This relationship between the church and gardens, together with the alterations to the house, suggests that a major estate reorganisation took place at this time. Part of the garden walls and terracing incorporates the south part of the early churchyard, whose western boundary is marked by a scarp continuing the line of the present limit of the churchyard. {3}
St. Mary's Church is a curious building. Its present form is probably a result of possible 17th century remodelling to compose a picturesque view with the hall from the river. What remains is the nave of the medieval church, deprived of its west tower and chancel and given a twin gabled roof running north to south. There is an 11th century west wall with herringbone masonry, a short nave and to the south there are two tall windows of an early 14th century, with reticulated tracery. There is also one large, domestic looking window probably dating from 1630. Inside there are three big early 18th century arches on the plainest piers, set right across the short nave to divide it into nave and chancel. The restoration of the church was in 1894 by J. T. Micklethwaite. The font is a good decorated piece with typical panels with cusped ogee curves, friezes of heads below and above them and the stem also with ogee panels. The pulpit is Jacobean, with a small tester; the choir seats are in the same style. The bench ends are heavy, rustic work with simple poppy heads, possibly of the 17th century. Monuments include incised slabs to William, son of Lord Darcy, (died 1408), and to a nun (possibly a widow?), of c.1440: the lower part is missing. {4}
A candlestick of latten found either at this locality or more probably at Hermit Dam in Lea, was exhibited by sir C. Anderson at the Lincoln Royal Archaeological Institute meeting in 1848. {2}
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. {6}

2 Index: SMR FILE. KNAITH. SK 88 SW:Q,1977, WHITE, A.J.
3 Bibliographic reference: Everson, P.L., Taylor, C.C. and Dunn, C.J.. 1991. Change and Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-West Lincolnshire. pp45,117;Fig26,85;ARCHIVE
4 Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. and Harris, J., with Antram, N.. 1989. Buildings of England (Second Edition). Lincolnshire. 2nd Rev Edn p423
5 Bibliographic reference: NEWCOMB F. 1972. A SHORT HISTORY OF ST. MARY'S CHURCH, KNAITH. Rev Edn
6 Index: Department of the Environment. 1985. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 3/19

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Last updated: 23-July-2015 11:53:36

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