All Saints Church

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Family including children under 16

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This is the parish church and is just across the road from Gainsborough Old Hall. Only the 15thC tower remains from the medieval church. By 1730 the church was considered “too dark and mean and incommodious” to suit the town’s growing population and the decision was made to build a new church. This cost £5230 and was raised by a tax on property and a tax on coal used in the town. This is a marvellous example of Georgian architecture and is a huge rectangular building with large windows.

Steps and a wheelchair friendly ramp lead up to the west door below the tower. Above the door are two carved faces. One is supposed to be HenryV, the other a bishop of Lincoln. Inside is a large porch with a popular cafe (see separate review) on one side and the vestry on the other. By the door is a stone slab recording the burial of Richard Rollett (1750-1824) who was master sail maker to Captain Cook. Steps lead up to the Gallery.

An oak door leads into the church. This is a large and airy building. Above the west door is the large wooden organ, with the Royal Coat of Arms below it. Beneath it on the back wall of the church are two boards listing all the charities set up to look after the poor of the parish.

It is a beautiful building with a row of pillars with gilded Corinthian tops on either side of the nave. The ceiling is painted in pale lilac and white, with chandeliers hanging down from it. In the chancel there are three tiny gold cherubs on the ceiling. A large wooden gallery runs along the full length of the south and north walls. In the nave are 18thC box pews.

On the north wall is a long tapestry showing the history of Gainsborough, stitched by members of the congregation.

The church is often used for concerts. When we visited, the small table altar had been moved and the chancel was set out with chairs for a concert. On the east wall is a painting of the last supper. Above it is a stained glass window showing the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven with John the Baptist and St Paul.

There is a large marble pulpit with a mosaic inlay on one side of the chancel and a small marble font on the other side with cherubs on the lid. Tucked away in a corner is an eagle lectern.

To the left of the chancel is the Lady Chapel. In a corner of the wall is a small wooden tabernacle containing the Holy Sacrament with a small red light above. The altar was the former high altar and has red panels with symbols associated with the death of Christ, Above is a stained glass window with people coming to the feet of Christ for succour and aid.

The other stained glass windows in the nave show Biblical scenes and were given in memory of wealthy parishioners. On the walls are memorial stones to the great and godly of the parish.

In the back corner is a small childrens area with books, jigsaws and paper and crayons.

As we left, the church bells were ringing. They have a peal of eight bells. I can’t remember when I last heard church bells…

This is a delightful church and well worth stoping to look inside. The cafe is popular with local oldies who come for a cheap meal, cake, hot drink and a chat (see separate review).



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