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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

With eight carucates or about 960 acres


It

consists of nave, chancel, organ chamber on the south, and an octagonal bell turret, designed by the late Mr. James Fowler, the Architect, and containing one small modern bell, graven with the date and initials of W. Carey, Churchwarden in 1744, {176a} who demolished the old church. The nave has three two-light windows, of the decorated style, in the north and south walls; there is a square-headed two-light window in the organ chamber; the chancel has a single-light window in the north and south walls, with a good east window of three lights, trefoiled, and with a triangle of trefoils above. In the north wall is a credence recess, and in the south wall are two stone sedilia. The tiles within the chancel rails are copied from ancient tiles, which were found some years ago, at Revesby Abbey. In the west front, over the door, is a large two-light window, and above it a clock, the only village church clock in the neighbourhood, by Smith of Derby. Within the west doorway, let into the north wall of the tower basement, is a fragment of an old battlement, having a shield in the centre, probably a relic from the original church. The font is modern, having a plain octagonal bowl, shaft, and pediment. The roof is of pitch pine, the timbers being supported by plain corbels. The lectern, chancel stalls, and communion table are of good modern oak

Used as a stile in the south fence of the churchyard is a large slab, on which, above ground, is the matrix

of a former brass, representing one figure, with a broad transverse bar for an inscription, and connecting it with other figures, which are now below the ground. {176b}

The church plate includes an interesting paten, presented to the church in 1837, by the mother of the late Rector, but bearing hall-marks of 1727-8, with the letter M and a five-pointed star below. The chalice is still more interesting, as it bears an old Lincoln hall-mark, of date about 1570; there are only eight other known examples of this period in the county.

The rectory is a commodious house, built in 1839, doubtless on the site of the former monastic grange; it stands in an extensive garden, embowered among trees of goodly growth. A fine oil painting at the present time adorns the entrance hall. It is reputed to be by Spagnoletto, and was formerly in the monastery of St. Jerome, in Lisbon. Its size is 5-ft. by 4-ft., the subject being St. Jerome translating the Vulgate scriptures.

WEST ASHBY.

This parish, like High Toynton, Mareham-on-the-Hill and Wood Enderby, was formerly a hamlet of Horncastle, of which it adjoins the northern boundary. We find them all coupled together in an extract from the Testa de Nevill [folio 348 (556), quoted _Lincs. Notes & Queries_, vol. iii, p. 215] as follows: "The church of Horncastre, and of Askeby, and of Upper Thinton, and of Meringes, and of Hinderby, are of the gift of the Lord," _i.e._ the Lord of the Manor. In _Domesday Book_ it is called Aschebi. Queen Editha, wife of Edward the Confessor, who owned various lands in this neighbourhood, was Lady of this Manor, as well as that of Horncastle. She held here six carucates of land (or about 720 acres), besides which there were 45 soc-men, 5 villeins, and 13 bordars, with eight carucates (or about 960 acres), and 500 acres of meadow and pasture. (_Domesday_, "Soke of Horncastle.")


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