St Mary, Old Leake, Lincolnshire

Feature Sets (2)

Description

A very large parish church consisting of a 14thc. S doorway, a six-bay nave with N and S aisles and clerestory primarily of the 14thc./15thc.; a long four-bay chancel of c. 1300; and a short W tower begun in the late 15thc. and completed in 1547. There was a restoration by Temple Moore in 1914-15: the chancel was restored in 1926 by his son-in-law and successor, Leslie Moore (Brandwood (1997)).  The E and W responds of both nave arcades are Romanesque.

History

Old Leake is referred to as 'Leak' in the Domesday Survey; there is no mention of a church here in 1086. However, it must have been a rather prosperous settlement as the Domesday Survey does list forty-one salt-houses, 32 freemen, 40 villagers, and 16 smallholders in Leake.

Features

Interior Features

Arcades

Nave

N arcade

Dimensions
W triple respond capitals, central capital:
h. (incl. necking) 0.37 m
max. w., E face 0.67 m
max. w., N face 0.225 m
max. w., S face 0.24 m
W triple respond capitals, S capital:
h. (incl. necking) 0.37 m
max. w., E face 0.22 m
max. w., S face 0.23 m
E respond capital
h. (incl. necking) 0.34 m
max. w., N face 0.33 m
max. w., S face 0.20 m
max. w., W face 0.71 m
W triple respond capitals, N (no capital):
h. 0.36 m
max. w., E face 0.27 m
E respond:

Again, no base evident. All is as in the E respond of the S arcade except this capital is much better preserved, still retaining its N and S faces.

W respond:

Altered triple respond with shafts that continue at least another 0.28 m below the current floor level, hence the absence of bases on the other three responds. S nook-shaft is detached, but there is no nook-shaft on the N, just ashlar. C capital on semicircular shaft is the same as the C capital on the E respond of the S arcade except no incised lower edge on the shields. S nook-shaft capital is double scalloped with sheathed scallops and shields delineated with incised lower edge; flat necking. There is no capital on the N side, but there is a band of plain scallops with wedges between cones. Impost continuous and is same as on E respond of S arcade, that chamfered with a single reed on the angle. The N impost is separate from the others and has been reset.

S arcade

Dimensions
W triple respond capitals, central capital:
h. incl. necking 0.33 m
max. w., E face 0.675 m
max. w., N face 0.265 m
max. w., S face 0.25 m
E respond capital:
h. (incl. necking) 0.34 m
max. w., N face 0.37 m
max. w., S face 0.42 m
max. w., W face 0.73 m
W triple respond capitals, N capital:
h. incl. necking 0.35 m
max. w., E face 0.20 m
max. w., N face 0.28 m
W triple respond capitals, S capital:
h. (incl. necking) 0.34 m
max. w., E face 0.195 m
max. w., S face 0.23 m
E respond

No base is evident; semicircular shaft carries square, nicked, multi-scallop capital with flat, wide necking. Between the cones are cylindrical rolls and the shields are delineated by incised lower edge. The N and S faces of the capital have been cut back. Chamfered impost with single reed on angle. There is an additional section of an elevated impost block, with same profile as impost below, on the S side of this respond capital.

W respond:

Again, no base is evident. Triple respond with semicircular central shaft and detached nook-shafts. Capitals and imposts as on E respond except that the shields on the nook-shaft capitals do not have the incised lower edge. Slight misalignment of the S nook-shaft capital with its shaft suggests that it has been reset. There has been much cutting into the nook-shaft imposts.

Comments/Opinions

As Pevsner notes, the in situ E and W responds of the long, six-bay nave arcades demonstrate the large size of St. Mary's in the 12thc. Given the evidence provided by the Domesday Survey of a strong salt industry in Leake in the late 11thc., it seems clear that the church owes its large scale to the prosperity of the local salt trade.

Bibliography

  • Domesday Book, 12, 64.

  • G. K.¬†Brandwood, Temple Moore: an Architect of the Late Gothic Revival,¬†Stamford, 1997, 240.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, London, 1990, 593-4.

Location

Site Location
Old Leake
National Grid Reference
TF 407 502 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Lincolnshire
now: Lincolnshire
Diocese
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Lincoln
Dedication
now: St Mary
medieval:
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Thomas E. Russo