Holy Trinity Church

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February, 2016

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Holy Trinity is an attractive stone built church on the edge of the village looking out across the Trent Valley. It is surrounded by a large churchyard which is still used for burials. Little is known about the early history of the church which underwent a massive restoration in the C19th.

It is a typical parish church with a sturdy square tower at the west end with battlements and tall crocketted pinnacles at the corners. There are more crocketted pinnacles on the south aisle, which also has stone carved gargoyles.

The church is thought to have been built in the C13th and fabric in the nave is thought to date from that time.The big square windows were added in the C14th or C15th. The tower fell down in the mid C18th and was rebuilt. It contains a ring of six bells.

The Vicar, Henry Vincent Bailey funded a major restoration of the church in 1818 when the chancel and south wall were rebuilt. The interior furnishings date from this time. He also acquired a lot of medieval stained glass from other local churches. Messingham church probably has more stained glass than any other church in Lincolnshire.

Inside it is a large church with arcades of round and octagonal pillars and pointed arches separating the nave and side aisles. There is a small window at the top of the chancel arch with Christ crucified with an angel on either side.

The small round topped door into the tower is thought to be part of the original Norman church. This leads into the ringing chamber with a wooden ladder giving access to a trap door leading to the bells. On the walls are boards recording details of peel rung in the 1980s.

The wooden roof with its carved beams was part of the 1818 restoration. The clerestory windows on the north wall have clear glass in them. Those on the south wall have had their glass removed when the pitch of the south aisle roof was altered.

Just inside the door is the font which dates from the late C19th. The tall wooden cover with its carved base, is older.

At the east end of the south aisle is the Lady Chapel with a stone carving of the Last Supper above the altar. It is separated from the chancel by a modern glass screen.

The chancel is reached up steps and has a simple altar with a wooden panel reredos behind it. The East window contains the most medieval stained glass and is stunning when the sunlight shines through it.

The church has recently been awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant of £250,000 to repair the leaking roof and damp problems. There are plans to make the space more flexible for community based activities and to bring the church back to be the focal point of the community.

The church is currently kept locked. I emailed the Vicar who arranged for it to be open for me. It was definitely worth visiting. There is parking on Temperance Lane leading to the church. The postal code is DN17 3SB and the grid reference is SE 890048.

There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/lincolnshire/lincolnshire_three/messingham/index.html


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