St Peter's at Markby

St Peter's at MarkbySt Peter's is one of the few remaining thatched churches in England and it is thought to be the only thatched church in Lincolnshire. Glancing at the visitors' book reveals the interest shown in this ancient building.

As one enters the ancient church of St Peter, Markby, one feels rather to be living in a dream, for it is so unlike other local churches in many respects, as the visitor is rather breathlessly taken back several centuries in this old church. Today we hear much about ancient buildings which, when they are seen, do not always convey their great age to the eye of the beholder, but at Markby there is that definite 'atmosphere' of age from the moment one enters the door.

Inside on the left of the door will be seen several of the original benches and a very old oak chest. The late Rector of Saleby, Revd R C Dunning FSA stated that this chest was no doubt made by the village carpenter from monastic oak beams almost as old as the Priory itself. Similar timber from the breaking up of some stout old ship supplied beams for the whole district. The deal box pews are about a hundred years old. Later additions are the altar and the pulpit.

The font, which evidently belonged to the former church, is near the south doorway at the west end of the church, and is conveniently situated to allow freedom of movement.

The bell is thought to have been the actual refectory bell of the Priory, and it has been stated that the great bell of the former Markby Priory was the ancestor of 'Great Tom' of Lincoln Cathedral.

The original roof of the church was tiled, the thatch first being introduced by Richard White, churchwarden in 1672, who took the tiles for his trouble. The chancels of many of the neighbouring churches were thatched at that date to save the cost of lead, for local tiles when first introduced, were apt to be brittle and porous.

Edited from a leaflet to be found in St Peter's Markby

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