St Martin, Waithe, Lincolnshire

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Feature Sets (2)


St. Martin’s is hidden in a wood off the A16 between North Thorseby and Holten le Clay. The church is primarily Victorian and dates from James Fowler’s 1861 rebuilding. However, the central tower, connecting with the nave to the W and the chancel to the E, is of the late 11thc.


Domesday Book lists Algar as lord in TRE and Ilbert of Lacy as lord in 1086, when tenant-in-chief was Odo of Bayeux. Waithe was taxable at 2.7 geld units. No church is mentioned. In 1203 the advowson of the church was confirmed as belonging to the nearby abbey of Humberston, a house of Benedictine monks of the order of Tiron.


Exterior Features


Central tower, bell-openings

Four openings, one each on the E, S, W, and N sides of the bell stage of the tower. Each double opening has a central, circular en delit shaft; the bases cannot be seen and appear to be embedded in the sills. All four capitals are of the cushion type and have roll mould necking. The E capital is almost completely weathered away. There is a chamfered impost above each capital and in the jambs; plain arch openings.


By 2002 the church had fallen into a state of dereliction and was declared redundant. In 2005 a major conservation project was initiated and St. Martin’s is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Everson and Stocker also date the capitals in the late 11thc, and have summarized the competing histories which seek to explain the building sequence of this tower in relationship to the nave and chancel. The question remains as to whether or not this was originally a standard Lincolnshire type W tower.


  • F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 291.

  • D. Stocker and P. Everson, Summoning St. Michael: Early Romanesque Towers in Lincolnshire, Oxford, 2006, 273-279.

  • The Victoria History of the County of Lincoln, vol. II, 1906 (1988), 133.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire. London, 1990, 779.

General view of the church, S elevation.
General view of the church.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TA 283 007 
now: Lincolnshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Lincolnshire
now: Lincoln
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: St Martin
medieval: St Martin
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Thomas E. Russo 
Visit Date
15 December 2000