St Mary’s Church

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

April, 2015

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Reasons for trip

English churches are a much undervalued part of our countryside. We tend to take them for granted and few people visit apart from the occasional Christening, wedding or funeral. Wrawby, a small village near Brigg falls into this category. The church doesn’t feature in any of the guide books and there is little about it on the web. It is a simple English church like thousands of others scattered round the countryside, surrounded by its old grave yard.

It is thought the church may be a Saxon foundation. The small round parking area by the church used to be a pond and may have been a pagoa shrine.

The tower is C13th and the oldest part of the church, with the nave. The side aisles were added in the C14th and a clerestory in the C15th. The church was sympathetically restored in the C19th when the chancel was rebuilt.

It is an attractive stone church with a solid square tower built from local stone. Inside it is a timeless church with octagonal pillars and pointed arches separating the nave and side aisles with a wooden beam ceiling. It retains the C19th wooden pews complete with prayer books and the small brass mountings which could hold a card with a message on. High on the south wall is the old door which led onto the now long gone, rood loft.

Above the pointed archway into the tower is a tapestry of Christ blessing little children. This was given to the church in 1882 by its manufacturer, Thomas Tapling of London, who was born in the village.

At the back of the nave is the C14th font with a carved and painted Jacobean cover.

There is a lovely tiled floor with larger inset marble diamonds with initials carved on them, presumably memorial stones.

The Lady Chapel at the end of the north aisle has a modern altar with red hangings behind it. It has a small piscina on the wall with a squint into the chancel above it.

Steps lead up to the very simple chancel with Victorian choir stalls. On the north wall is the tomb of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, who was lord of the manor. This was originally in the Trywitt Chantry Chapel at the end of the south aisle, but was moved to the chancel when the organ was placed here in the chapel in the C19th. Surrounded by modern wood screen, this has been completely refurbished as a self contained room which can be used for worship or a meeting room and the organ is now in the south aisle.

Although the church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1800 the work has been done sympathetically. It is a very satisfying small church and well worth visiting. It is a place to go and sit and contemplate.

There is parking outside the church and it is open daily. The nearest postal code is DN20 8TG and the grid reference is TA 020086

There are more pictures “here.”: .


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