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St Michael, Stragglethorpe, Lincolnshire

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Feature Sets (2)

Description

Small church with 11thc. stone work in W wall of what was originally a single cell structure of nave and chancel. Rest of church, including the added N aisle, appears to be of c. 1200. There are three fragments of a Romanesque pillar piscina and a drum-shaped font in the nave.

History

The church of St Michael in Stragglethorpe was subordinate to All Saints in Beckingham, its mother church. A 1349 visitation to Stragglethorpe records the inhabitants complaints about their struggles to carry corpses through flood waters for burial at Beckingham.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

The font is located on the chord between the nave and the N aisle, adjacent to pier 1. It is drum-shaped and the colour of the stone is tan. It is set on a round, chamfered base (h.: 0.20 m) which in turn is set on a round, chamfered plinth (h.: 0.11 m) of a larger diameter. Font is decorated with an arcade of twelve round-headed bays. Arcade columns stand on simple, chamfered bases. The columns are rounded and divided by a vertical quirk that runs onto the face of the capitals. Simple bell capitals with plain, squared necking. Plain arches in the arcade. Arch on centre of N face is broken off. L side of arch on SE face is missing due to iron dowel, which was once inserted here and caused stone to fracture. Font was at one time broken into three horizontal pieces. The top fragment, containing the arches, has a stippled surface. The lip of the bowl is plain except for to straight lines across from each other that traverse the lip at a right angle on the SW and NE sides.

Dimensions
ext. diam. 0.74 m
h. of bowl 0.48 m
int. diam. 0.55 m

Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae

Pillar piscina

The pillar piscina is broken into three fragments consisting of the base, part of the colum shaft, and the capital/basin. Colour of stone ranges from creamy to tan. It is currently stored in the NW corner of the N nave aisle along with other broken bits of sculpture. The base fragment is chamfered with quirk and has polygonal roll mould necking. The column fragment is polygonal. The multi-scalloped capital has polygonal roll mould necking. There are four scallops on each side with varied decoration. Two sides have sheathed scallops, fillet, and hollow chamfer abacus. Another side has sheathed scallops with a single flute down the cone, square billet above cones and hollow chamfer abacus. The last side has sheathed scallops with descending step ornament on the shields, square billet above and hollow chamfer abacus. Basin on top of capital is a fluted quatrefoil with centre drain.

Dimensions
Column:
max. h. 0.25 m
Capital:
max. h. 0.215 m
max. w. 0.27 m
Base:
max. h. 0.185 m
max. w. 0.20 m

Comments/Opinions

The stippling of the font surface occurs only on the upper fragment. This is not regular and occurs only under the arches, not on the capitals or on the arches themselves. This same stippling effect is seen on the pier immediately adjacent to the font where it is used for enhanced decorative effect, particularly on the top two courses of the pier where the stippling contrasts with areas left smooth. The two lines on the lip of the font are nearly centred over arches and may perhaps have once been guidelines for the sculptor; it is possible that the unusual quirk running up the columns may have served the same purpose.

Bibliography

  • D. Owen, Church and Society in Medieval Lincolnshire. History of Lincolnshire, Vol. 5. 1971 (2nd ed. 1990), 16.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire. London, 1990, 725-26.

Exterior, general view of church
Interior, general view

Location

Site Location
Stragglethorpe
National Grid Reference
SK 914 524 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Lincolnshire
now: Lincolnshire
Diocese
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Lincoln
Dedication
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Michael
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Thomas E. Russo