St Edward, Barlings, Lincolnshire

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Feature Sets (3)


Isolated in a field, this unusual looking church consists of a nave and a chancel.  The coursed, rubble, nave walls may be 13th century, like the shafted bellcote.  The design of the south window in the nave and the font points to renovation work in the 14th century.  In 1876 Charles Kirk, Jr. rebuilt the east end of the nave and chancel at a greater height than the west part of the nave; hence the unusual look of this church.  Lewis mentions in 1848 that the church lay “in ruins” which suggests that Kirk’s renovation was a major overhaul. The Romanesque features here are the south doorway of the nave and a loose pier base.


Domesday Book mentions a church in Barlings in 1086 on land owned by Kolsveinn, the lord of Brattleby, Lincolnshire and tenant-in-chief of more than fifty manors in the county.  In 1154, when Ralf de Haya, the son of the constable of Lincoln Castle, founded nearby Barlings Abbey (of the Premonstratensian order) he included in the foundation gift the vill and the church of Barlings.  


Exterior Features


S doorway

Round-headed and of a single order.  The arch and the chamfered imposts, embedded in the south wall of the nave near the west end, are all that remain.  This doorway is now blocked.

Loose Sculpture

Column base

A Romanesque column base leans against the exterior west wall of the nave just north of the west doorway.  It has a square plinth and a round base with a simple roll mould.  There are angle spurs at the four corners.  One spur is circular with four incised petals in Greek cross form extending from an incised circle with a drill hole in its center.  A single band of drilled holes accentuates the perimeter of this spur.  The diameter of this spur is 0.10m.  A second spur consists of two volutes abutting the roll mould of the base; the corner of this spur is broken off.  A third spur retains two fluted scallops near the roll mould of the base; the rest of this spur has disintegrated.  The fourth spur is badly damaged but appears to have been triangular in shape, perhaps a chevron point, and was larger than the other three.  There is a dowel hole in the center of the base.


Length of each side 0.57m


The diminutive nave of the original church suggests that St. Edward’s may have begun as a field chapel for the small hamlet of Barlings.  The expressive angle spurs on the column base suggest a 12th century context; perhaps a rebuilding of the original church into a stone one around the mid-12th century when the church came into the possession of Barlings Abbey.


  • S. Lewis, ed., 'Barkwith - Barnacre', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), 145-148. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50778;  date accessed: 09 March 2012.

  • J. Morris, gen. ed., Domesday Book: Lincolnshire, vol. 31, Chichester: Phillimore, (1986), 26, 7.

  • W. Page, ed., VCH: Lincolnshire, Vol. II, London: University of London, 1906 (1988), 204.

  • N. Pevsner and J. Harris, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire. London: Penguin (1989), 1990, 117.

  • “Saint-Sauveur, Chapelle Saint-Saveur, Kolsveinn and De La Haye”.  URL: http://mauriceboddy.org.uk/Sauveur.htm; date accessed: 9 March 2012.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TF 075 748 
now: Lincolnshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Lincolnshire
now: Lincoln
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: St Edward
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Thomas E. Russo 
Visit Date
25 July 1992