St Nicholas Church

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September, 2014

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St Nicholas is a tiny church with a small double bell cot set in the middle of a field to the north of the equally tiny settlement of Butterwick. There is little information available about the church which seems to have originally been a chapel of ease. The building dates from around 1330 and seems to have been built on an earlier church. It was restored in 1882-3 when the north wall and east end were rebuilt and a porch added. The roof probably dates from then too.

Inside it is a very simple building with only a low step marking the transition from nave to chancel. Walls are whitewashed.

Early medieval corbels which would originally have supported the wooden roof are mounted high on the north wall of the nave. There are another two heads propped up in the aumbry cupboard in the chancel.

At the back of the nave is a simple Norman tub font dating from the C12th. Round the sides is blank arcading and there is a cable design round the rim.

On the south wall of the chancel is an effigy of the second Lord Grimthorpe (identified from the arms on his shield) who died in 1317. This was discovered under the floor during the C19th restoration.

Against the north wall is a C13th grave slab with sword, shield and foliate carving.

The C19th stained glass windows were made by Burlison and Grylls. The east window, has images of Christ flanked by St Peter and St Andrew.

The church is open daily although the door does stick and can be difficult to open and shut again. The church is described as being ‘behind a farm yard’ but there is no access to the church from the farm. It is reached by a footpath across the fields. By the second house after the cross roads coming from the west is a small footpath sign and ‘To Church’. We pulled off onto the grass verge. It is a short walk to the church across rough grassland with the bumps and humps of the original settlement which was around the church.

There are more pictures “here.”:

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