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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Along with the Dymocks of Scrivelsby

The former of these records shews that, like the other parishes connected with the Manor of Horncastle, the Bishops of Carlisle were at one period patrons of the benefice (and probably owners of the manor) of Wilkesby; but, while in the case of several other parishes, this patronage continues (only transferred to the Bishops of Manchester) to the present day, the patronage of Wilksby passed to others. According to Liber Regis in 1711 and 1720 Lewis Dymoke presented to the benefice. In 1764, by some arrangement, George Willows, Gent., presented; but again, in 1833, it was in the patronage of the Hon. the Champion, H. Dymoke, who appointed to the rectory a relative, the Rev. J. Bradshaw Tyrwhitt, one of a very old, knightly, Lincolnshire family, the Tyrwhitts of Stainfield, Kettleby, &c. A tablet to his memory is erected in the church at Scrivelsby. {208a} The patronage was subsequently acquired by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., and is annexed to the chaplaincy of Revesby, which has no permanent endowment.

Among the List of Gentry of Lincolnshire, made at the Herald's Visitation in 1634, and preserved at the Heralds' College, along with the Dymocks of Scrivelsby, Haltham, Kyme and Lincoln, is Paganell Hartgrave of Wilksby. {208b}

The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a mean structure, erected in the 18th century, of brick and Spilsby sandstone, standing on the site of an earlier church, of which nothing seems to remain except the font. It consists of nave and chancel, both on a very small scale, and a wooden bell-turret, with one small bell. The north and west walls are of sandstone, the former covered with a thick coating of tar to keep out the moisture; the east wall has alternate layers of brick and sandstone. Some improvements have been made in recent years, much needed to make it even a decent place of worship. The two two-light trefoiled windows in the south wall of the nave have been framed in stone instead of wood, and filled with green glass. The east window of the chancel has wooden mullions interlaced, and it has been adorned with paper representations of, in the centre the Ascension, to the left the Saviour holding an infant in his arms, to the right the child Jesus sitting among the doctors in the temple.

The roof of the chancel is apsidal, externally, as well as the nave, covered with modern house tiles. Internally the nave has a flat ceiling of deal boards. The pulpit and seats are painted wainscot; there is a small modern oak reading desk, and a lectern to match it. The chancel arch is a plain semicircle, but on its eastern side has a pointed Early English arch. The chancel rails are of modern oak, slightly carved; and there is a deal credence table. The 14th century font has a massive octagonal bowl, with large trefoils in each face, and grotesquely carved heads at the angles; the shaft being plain octagonal. The improvements were made in 1896, at the cost of the late Mrs. Stanhope.

The register dates from 1562. In recent years the incumbency of Claxby Pluckacre, where the church had gone to ruins, has been annexed to the rectory of Wilksby, the joint value of the two being about 300 pounds a year. They are held by the Rev. P. O. Ashby, Chaplain of Revesby.

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