Saxilby and District History Group

St Botolph's Church

A grade 1 listed building, parts of the church date from around 1100 AD. The building saw major alterations and renovations in the 14th and 19th centuries, and the tower was rebuilt in 1908.

A leaflet detailing many of the architectural features is available in the church.

Details of activities surrounding church life over the centuries are scarce.

Most church records were destroyed during the Reformation when Henry VIII's break from the papacy in Rome established the Church of England in the 1530's.

The Churchwarden's Accounts date from 1551, and continue almost without a break until 1746.

The early accounts reveal that the church had two bells -

  'for 2 bell ropes   20p (8 new pence)

   To Alexander Forman for mending the ladder  that goeth up to the bells 18p (7 new pence)

   To Thomas Mukecastle for gear to the bells and to the Church door  8p (3 new pence)'

Further bells were added in 1750 and 1788.

In 1843, the Parish Clerk reported that one bell was cracked and unringable; this was recast in 1908. Two further bells were added following the end of World War II in 1946, one being inscribed 'In Thanksgiving for Victory 1946'.

The churchyard and burial-ground has been extended several times.

The first existing map of Saxilby, dating from 1648, shows the first image we have of our church, surrounded by a fence.

The Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury reported that the Lord Bishop of Lincoln consecrated a new burial-ground in April 1870.

'The present church-yard has long been too small for the requirements of the parish; so an application was made to Sir Robert Gerard, Bart., one of the principal landowners, to know if he would sell half-an-acre. He most liberally replied that he would rather give the land. The value of the gift was much enhanced by the fact of the donor belonging to another communion, viz., Roman Catholic.

The parishioners also subscribed and bought an old dilapidated cottage which stood at the corner of the new ground.

The proceedings of the day were brought to a close by a public tea, and a meeting on behalf of the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel.'

The burial-ground was again extended in 1909, and consecrated by the Lord Bishop Edward King.

A further extension to the burial-ground was proposed to the Parish Council in 1946.

Approval was granted in 1948 and £660 was borrowed to purchase the land, drainage and landscaping.

The burial-ground was consecrated in 1958, and is still in use.

The Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury reported in 1894 that 'The Bishop of Lincoln on Monday afternoon opened a two days' bazaar in the National school-room, Saxilby, the object being to raise money for the new organ fund. The Ladies Sewing Committee set to work twelve months ago to raise money to defray the cost of the organ, and with the proceeds of the bazaar it was hoped to realise all the money required.

For 40 years a harmonium has been used. The cost of the organ is estimated at £300.'

The organ was built by Hill and Sons, installed later that year, and is still in use.

In 1821, local newspapers reported that the church had been closed for 15 months to undergo major repairs.

It has 'undergone a complete repair in a style that does much credit to the liberality and judgement of the persons concerned.'

The repairs were evidently not to everyone’s taste, as evidenced by a report William John Monson in Lincolnshire Church Notes dated 1835 – 'In the North aisle of the chancel, which is divided from it by two fine pointed arches is an ugly modern deal partition, which is used as a school. In it stands a font.'