St. Mary’s Church, Roxby
About the Church
The Church was largely rebuilt in or about the year 1875 under the direction of James Fowler of Louth, but the 14th century south arcade of the Nave with two windows, one at the east end of the North aisle and the other at the East end of the South aisle, remain, as also does the sedilia. in the chancel. In the exterior west wall of the North aisle there are a few large stones which may have formed part of an earlier church.
The approximate dimensions :
17’9″ x 35’0″ with a vestry on the North side housing the organ.
18’6″ X 35’4″
7.’9″ X 35’4″
8’0″ X 35’4″
A South Porch and low tower at the West end of the Nave complete the building.
Materials of Construction
The Church is built of local stone, with limestone dressings, and all roofs are covered with slates. The floors of the vestry and under the pews are boarded. Stone flags in the tower and elsewhere the floors are of tiles.
In the chancel there is an aumbry in the North wall, a piscina in the South wall and a very fine two seated canopied ogee sedilia with tall pinnacles. There is also a piscina in the South aisle, and in a recess in the south wall a recumbent figure of a priest in vestments with a canopied niche over the recess. There are small altars at the East end of both North and South aisles.
The lectern, pulpit and font are modern.
In a shallow cupboard on the West wall of the nave there is a framed print of a drawing in colour of the Roman tessellated pavement found in the village.
Two windows in the South wall of the chancel and the East and West windows of the South aisle are coloured – there is no ancient glass.
The organ by Forster and Andrews dates from 1875.
The clock in the tower was given in memory of the men of the village who served in the 1914-18 war.
The tower contains three bells, one dated 1709 in an oak frame – these require re-hanging in a metal frame. A restoration fund is in existence for this purpose.
A Little of the History of the Church
lt was most interesting to read, in the latest excellent publication ‘Summoning St Michael’ – Early Romanesque Towers in Lincolnshire by David Stocker and Paul Everson, the Tower of our little church at Roxby a Grade 1 listed building is said to be a puzzling and problematic structure. At 35 feet (1 0.67m) high it has none of the height or proportions typical of Lincolnshire Towers, yet it owes its consideration within this book principally to the first floor window placed centrally within the South wall. lt is a small loop window with crude jambs and a monolithic lintel. This is the only surviving architectural detail from the original Tower and has been judged by some to be of pre-conquest (or at least of late 11th or 12th century 11 00 -1150) date.
Just above the West window is an inscription recording the work of Robert Ramsey Church Warden in 1704. Such plaques often mark the completion of restoration and it is likely that the Tower owes much of its present appearance to work done at that time.
The Tower post dates the Nave since its East wall sits on the West gable wall of the Nave. The evidence of restoration is complex, probably of later 14th century date and is a genuine medieval feature since several of the stones are clearly original. The Church was restored under the direction of James Fowler of Louth in 1875.
The owner at Domesday Ralph Pagnell gave the Church to the Benedictine Priory of the Holy Trinity York (1089). In the mid 12th century ownership was split between the Priory and the newly formed Drax Priory, later passing totally to Drax. The first vicar at Roxby was inducted in 1223.
Extensive work has just been completed in renewing and refurbishing all the rainwater goods including all gutters and down pipes for the whole of the Church. This work was undertaken by Railton Price of Winterton.
Funding of this work has been made possible by kind donations from the following charities:
- Marshall Charity
- Historic Churches Preservation Trust
- Lincolnshire Old Churches Trust
- The Veneziana Fund
- All Churches Trust Ltd.