Pictured is Crowland Abbey courtesy of ExploreChurches.org 

The Heritage Open Days festival will run from Friday 13th to Sunday 22 September 2019. It is a once-in-a-year opportunity to discover some of Lincolnshire's rarely seen historic treasures. There are 80 buildings listed and 27 are churches.

The numbers represent those in the booklet that accompanies the festival which can be downloaded here.


2) Allington, Holy Trinity Church - Event title: Exploring our Timelines (Local and Biblical)

About the church: The church is a variety of different architectural styles. The arches and pillars are Norman, the font Perpendicular, the pulpit and gallery are Jacobean and the pews Victorian. A Saxon cross found in the churchyard now rests at the base of the font.

What’s on? A display of various artworks showing how the village has changed over the years. There will also be a display of local children’s drawings inspired by the 20thanniversary of the ‘Open the Book’ project.


4) St Denys Church Aswarby - Event title: On Land and Sea: Exploring Aswarby’s Heritage

About the church: A Grade I listed building. The south doorway and font remain from the Norman church which stood during the reign of Henry I in the 1100s. 

The explorer George Bass, after whom the Bass Strait between Tasmania and mainland Australia is named, was born in Aswarby and baptised in the church. His father and grandfather were both churchwardens. 

What’s on? There are displays about George Bass and the history of the church and village.


15) Caythorpe, St Vincent - Event title: Arnhem 75

About the church: A 14th century church with some fine examples of stained glass. There are also two modern windows which are dedicated to 216 Airborne Signals Squadron from the time of the Arnhem raid.

What’s on? A commemoration of the men of the Airborne Signals Squadron who flew to Arnhem in Operation Market Garden during WW2.


17) Colsterworth, St John the Baptist - Event title: Isaac Newton’s Family Church, Colsterworth

About the church: The church dates back to Saxon times and so has 1,200 years of history. It is a Grade 1 listed building.

What’s on? Isaac Newton was baptised in the church and there is a display of Newton artefacts including the sundial he carved with a penknife at the age of nine. The font in which he was baptised is still in the church.


19) Crowland, Crowland Abbey - Event title: The Siege of Crowland

About the church: The abbey has a long history going back to the 8th century when it was a monastery of the Benedictine Order. It was founded in memory of St Guthlac by Ethelbald, King of Mercia but was entirely destroyed and the community slaughtered by the Danes in 866.

It was refounded but has been burnt down and then rebuilt several times. The existing remains consist of the north aisle which is as it was from the earliest times, that are the parish church and the west front lower (12th century) and the upper part (14th century) which are decorated with arcades and statues. Crowland was a Royalist town at the start of the English Civil War and the remains of the Abbey were protected by the Governor Thomas Stiles. After a short siege it was taken by Parliamentarian forces under the command of Oliver Cromwell in 1643. 

What’s on? There will be re-enactments of the siege with the Cittie of London Brigade of the Sealed Knot Society Troops of the period who will parade canon and muskets.


25) Frampton, St Mary’s Church - Event title: St Mary’s Church, Frampton

About the church: The earliest stone church on this site would have been Norman but the only remains of this are the font and the hidden foundations. The pulpit is oak and dates to the mid 17thcentury. There is a damaged effigy thought to be from around 1300 judging by the costume. It is thought by ‘White’s Lincolnshire’ to be Johanna de Huntingford, a patron of the church in 1275 but this cannot be confirmed. 

There are medieval floor tiles in the Lady Chapel and the top of a medieval altar is now set in the floor as the base of an altar table.

What’s on? Exhibition of the ‘Scrubbing’ of Victorian restorers helps to understand the changes made to St Mary’s in the past. Included is Frampton Hall, Frampton House and their occupants 1725-1960.


26) Frampton, St Michael & All Angels - Event title: Harvest Time

About the church: The church dates to 1863 and has a beautiful stained glass window in memory of a local farmer.

What’s on? The church will be decorated for the harvest season.


28) Gainsborough, All Saints - Event title: Lincolnshire’s only Georgian Classicial style ‘City’ church

About the church: A Grade 1 listed building, only the 15thcentury tower remains from the original medieval church. The main body of the church was rebuilt between 1734-44 in the Georgian classical style. The architect of the current building was greatly influenced by James Gibbs who designed the St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square.

What’s on? An opportunity to see the inside of this magnificent building


30) Grainthorpe, St Clements Church - Event title: Graffiti at St Clement’s – Hands, shoes and Ships

About the church: A Grade 1 listed building that has been in existence for 800 years and still retains many original medieval features.

What’s on? There are over 50 18th century drawings in the old roof lead and timbers, makers marks and charms.


31) St Wulfram’s Parish Church - Event title: The Glory of Grantham, St Wulfram’s Church & the Trigge Library

About the church: Grade 1 listed church built in the early 1300s and one of the largest medieval churches in the country. The church is decorated both inside and outside with an extensive collection of stone heads that are mostly medieval. The stained glass windows are of high quality.

The church houses the first public reference library in England. It was founded in 1598 and is still in its original setting. It houses many rare books, the majority of which were printed in the 16th century. The earliest book was printed in Venice and dates to 1472. As well as religious texts there are books on law, medical books, histories, classical texts and natural history.

What’s on? Visit the bell-ringing chamber in the spire, admire the restored Georgian funerary monuments and altar frontals.


32) Great Coates, St Nicholas Church - Event title: Did you know that?

About the church: Built around 1200 and extended in the 13th century. Fragments of medieval glass in the windows. Two commemorative 15-16th century brasses.

What’s on? An interactive session on learning – past, present and future.  Share your experiences and find out how learning happens in Great Coates.


33) Grimsby, Grimsby Minster - Event title: Welcome to Grimsby Minster

About the church: Developed from an existing religious building in 1114. The tower was added in 1365 and in 1586 it became the parish church of Grimsby. It became a minster in 2010.  There is a 15th century knight effigy of Sir Thomas Haslerton in the Lady Chapel.

What’s on? Enjoy the architecture and join the trail seeking the Grimsby Imp.


33) Holy Trinity & St Mary the Virgin - Event title: Learning in and about Old Clee

About the church: A Grade 1 listed building and the oldest building in Grimsby which served for many centuries as the parish church for the farming village of Clee and the fishing hamlet of Clee Thorpes. The Saxon tower dates from c1050. St Hugh, the first Bishop of Lincoln, rededicated the church on 5thMarch 1192.

What’s on? 30-minute guided tour of the 12th century Saxon-Norman church. Nearby are eight Dutch style Grade II listed houses (not open to the public). Displays of photographs of the local area.


38) Huttoft, St Margaret’s Church - Event title: Heritage Huttoft Church

About the church: A Grade 1 listed, medieval church built in the 13th century. The font is 15th century.

What’s on? The church will help you to find out more about Learning, Wisdom and Folklore connected to the church.


41) Leadenham - Event title: Stories to Tell of Times of the Past

About the Church: A Grade 1 listed building dating to the 14th century with later alterations. It has a Augustus Pugin painted ceiling. Pugin was a pioneer in the Gothic Revival style of architecture who worked on the interior of the Palace of Westminster in London.

What’s on? In addition to seeing the beautiful church there are also six graves of some of Thomas Cromwell’s men buried in the churchyard dating to the English Civil War.


42) Legbourne, All Saint’s Church - Event title: Education in Legbourne

About the church: A Grade 1 listed building, dating to 1380 with a copper roof.

What’s on? A display of work by local children. Go on the trail for medieval graffiti and glass. The stained glass in the windows is the work of Frederick Preedy who was an architect and glass painter. Some of his work features in the cathedrals in Lincoln, Worcester and Gloucester, among others.


43) Lenton, St Peter’s Church - Event title: 20th anniversary of The Host of the angels exhibition

About the church: The first recorded vicar, according to a list in the church, was Hugh in c1209 when the church was under the patronage of the Master and Convent of Stixwould near Horncastle. This was maintained for 350 years. The font is dated to the 14th century and there is a magnificent monument to the Armyn family.

What’s on? Host of the Angels Exhibition and monumental brasses restored after being lost for 190 years. See research on notable families and hear about the church’s plans to re-excavate their 13th century tombs.


44) Lincoln St Mary le Wigford Church - Event title: Discover St Mary le Wigford, Lincoln

About the church: A church has stood on this site for 1,000 years and is the only church with a record of unbroken service being only one of two churches to remain open after the city was devastated by the Siege of Lincoln in 1644.

Built in around the 10th century (AD 980), the tower was added in the 11th century. A Roman dedication stone can be seen on the outside of the building. There are various monuments inside the church including that of Ranulf de Kyme and his wife.

What’s on? The rich history of the church and fragments of earlier churches.


44) St Peter at Gowts - Event title: Wildflower oasis in the Middle of Lincoln

About the church: A Grade 1 listed building originating in the 11th century nave and tower. The church tower is typical of the 11th century ‘Lincolnshire’ group of towers associated with the Saxon/Norman period. The font is believed to be associated with an earlier phase of the church. The South Chapel was constructed in 1347 and the South Aisle dates to the 13th century with windows that are good examples of the Decorated style.

What’s on? Visit the churchyard which is being restored as a wildflower oasis in the middle of the city.


45) Long Bennington, St Swithun’s Church - Event title: Flower Festival, the exhibition on the summer restoration project.

About the Church: The church dates to 1175, the chancel is thought to have been used by a Cistercian Priory whose existence is recorded in 1150. The church is built on the original north/south route (The Viking Way) the church has been at the heart of the community for 900 years. The churchyard is part of the God’s Acre project.

What’s on? The church will be decorated with flowers. There is an ‘info-point’ to explore the history of the church and recent restoration.


50) Messingham, Holy Trinity Church - Event title: Grade II Church Celebrating 800 years of history

About the church: The earliest part of the church dates to the 13th century with more work in the 14th and 15th century but most of what can be seen today is from the 18th and 19th century. The tower was rebuilt in 1784 following the collapse of the spire.

The first vicar was Hugh in 1219 but one of the most notable vicars was Henry Vincent Bayley who acquired a large amount of medieval stained glass fragments which were installed into the East window.

What’s on? There will be experience and learning from the church’s recent roofing restoration project. Enjoy the heritage trail and activities and work with the local primary school.


53) Nettleham, All Saints’ Church - Event title: The Children’s Story

About the church: A medieval Grade 1 listed building built in the 11th century but most of what you see today is from the 13th century.

Following a fire there was much rebuilding. During this refurbishment a stone altar was discovered that had been buried to hide it during the Reformation. It is now in the chancel. There are also medieval wall paintings that were uncovered when the walls were cleaned.

The East window was commissioned from the eminent glass artist John Hayward.

What’s on? The children of Nettleham Junior School present their view of childhood from their own research and oral history within their community and families. There will also be a talk on the schools in the village by Nettleham Heritage Association.


60) Sedgebrook, St Lawrence Church - Event title: Scarecrow and Heritage Festival

About the church: This is a Grade 1 listed building dating to the 12th century with most of the construction being between then and the 15th century.

The font is from the 11th century and the benches dated to the 14-15th century have unusual poppyheads (Source: BritishListedBuildings.co.uk)

What’s on? Come and explore the church’s connection to ‘The Upright Judge’ who defied the king.


61) Sibsey, St Margaret’s Church - Event title: Lincolnshire Learning, Wisdom and Folklore

About the church: A Grade 1 listed building from the 12th century and later centuries.

What’s on? Discover traditional skills and artefacts, history and craft displays, Lincolnshire folklore and agricultural traditions and more.


62) Silk Willoughby, St Denis’ - Event title: Discover Tuke’s Medieval Graffiti

About the church: The church was built between 1329/30 and 1336. The pulpit is probably from the period of James 1 (1603-1625). The font is c1100 is made of stone and 200+ years older than the church. The pews are mostly from the 14th and 15th centuries with carved poppyheads.

What’s on? Interesting graffiti on the inside and outside of the church as well as the fittings listed above. Fragments of wall paintings. Tours of the tower.


63) Skegness, St Matthew’s Church - Event title: See Steam, Seals & Much More at St Matthew’s

About the church: Built in the 1880s on a roundabout thanks to the 9th Earl of Scarborough who wanted the church to be a focal point of the town and its spiritual centre.

What’s on? Be introduced to their steam train, find out how seals are looked after and meet a cow, pig and a sheep.


66) Stamford, All Saints’ Church Tower - Event title: The River, the Sheep and the churches

About the church: Dated to the 13th century (around 1220). The church was damaged in the War of the Roses (1461) and needed much restoration. Local wealthy wool merchants William and John Browne gave money to restore the church. There are large brasses dedicated to the Browne family. Carved angels act as corbels to support the roof. The font is from the 15thcentury. (Source: Britainexpress.com)

What’s on? The tower will be open so take advantage of the magnificent views from 120 feet up. Trace the history of the market town from the Danish settlers to the wool merchants and their legacy. 


76) Winterton, All Saints’ Church - Event title: What did local artists of the past paint of the Lincolnshire Rural Scene?

About the church: A medieval church with a tower that dates from around 1080 and the nave, aisles, chancel and transepts dated to the 13th century. The church was badly damaged during the Civil war but was saved in the 17th century. There is a set of six wind instruments on display with hand written music manuscripts.

There is a heritage centre in the church that tells the Story of Winterton stretching from pre-Roman times to the present day.

What’s on? Find out about local artists from the past. An illustrated talk by Dr Maureen Ille.


80) Wrangle, St Mary & St Nicholas Church - Event title: Village Pride

About the church: The church is based on the cathedrals of 12th century France. The pulpit dates to the Elizabethan period. It has some fine stained glass windows dating to the 14th century although one resembles a poorly assembled jigsaw due to the glass being removed and buried in the nearby vicarage garden to escape its destruction by the Puritans. It was later replaced but without the knowledge of the original design! (Source: A church near you website).

In 1359 King Edward III needed a navy to invade France and Wrangle was asked to send a shop and eight men. Although now a mile from the sea, in medieval times the church sat next to a creek up which boats sailed from the Wash.

What’s on? Learn about the church, the history of the village, people and folklore and see their stained glass and fine Compton organ.