St Nicholas, Walcot, Lincolnshire

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Feature Sets (3)


Set next to perhaps the most stunning churchyard tree in the county, this church, with its steepled W tower, three-bay nave with N and S aisles, and chancel is primarily from the first half of the 14thc. Pevsner notes a restoration done in 1907. Romanesque elements consist of six reset fragments in the S porch, reused fragments in parts of the 13thc N arcade, possibly the font, and part of the chancel arch.


Domesday Book records a church in Walcot in 1086 on land held by Peterborough Abbey as well as half a church in possession of Gilbert of Ghent.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

Of one order, pointed.

First order (shared) has semi-circular responds L (N) and R (S). On the S side, the respond has an attic base and waterleaf capital. The necking has a top and bottom chamfer. The impost has a hollow chamfer with a quirk, and a plain upright with a quirk abacus. Capital and impost are all of one stone. A deep notch is cut into the N face of the capital.

On the N side, the entire respond base is mostly missing, though a small fragment of an attic base remains at its W side. The bell capital has an impost similar to that on the S respond but with a much wider hollow chamfer.

In the arch: one chamfered step (shared). No label.

S capital, circumference 0.625m
S capital, height 0.25m
Width 3.60m



N arcade

The three-bay N arcade of the nave is 13thc but reuses Romanesque fragments in pier 2 and in the W respond.

Pier 2, circumference, taken at the abacus 0.96m
Pier 2, height of base 0.2m
W respond, circumference of base 0.97m
W respond, height of base 0.2m
Pier 2

This is a 13thc column, but the base is an earlier, reused round capital placed upside down. The capital has upright fluted leaves, some with a furled tip like a waterleaf, and plain necking with top and bottom chamfer. The abacus has a hollow chamfer followed by a quirk on the plain upright. The plinth is chamfered.

W respond

This too is of the 13thc but the base is a reused 12thc multi-scallop, semi-circular capital. The shields are emphasized by a quirk and there is a rounded dart between each cone. There is a plain band, once above, and now below the scallops. Abacus and plinth as on pier 2.

Interior Decoration


Fragment 1: Reset chevron block, in S porch, E wall

Located 2m above porch floor and 0.26m from the N wall. Four rows of chevron frontal to the face, with thick and thin rolls alternating.

Height 0.19m
Width 0.155m

Fragment 2: Reset nook-shaft capital, in S porch, E wall

Located 2.17m above porch floor and 1.12m from the N wall. Nook-shaft capital carved with waterleaf. The volute of the L furl is drilled and there is a drill hole on either side of the central leaf at its base. The abacus has a chamfer. To the L of the capital is a partially preserved sundial. There appears to be a rudimentary line of horizontal chevron to the R of the drilled sundial hole.

Height 0.11m
Width 0.285m

Fragment 3: Reset nook-shaft capital, in S porch, E wall

Located 2.175m above porch floor and 0.9m from S wall. Same as fragment 2 but without the sundial. Some necking of the waterleaf capital is preserved and it has a flat face with a top and bottom chamfer.

Height 0.155m
Width 0.26m

Fragment 4: Reset chevron block, in S porch, E wall

Located 1.985m above porch floor and 0.47m from S wall. Same as fragment 3.

Height 0.185m
Width 0.145m

Fragment 5: Reset chevron block, in S porch, W wall

Located 1.98m above porch floor and 0.51m from S wall. Same as fragment 1 but better preserved; with surviving quirked roll hollow chevron on the soffit.

Height 0.195m
Width 0.145m

Fragment 6: Reset chevron block, in S porch, W wall

Located 1.975m above porch floor and 0.34m from N wall. Same as fragment 5.

Height 0.19m
Width 0.125m




Drum-shaped font located at the W end of the S aisle; set on a new plinth. The pictorial zone on the drum is divided by a hollow chamfered band into two horizontal bands of differing height. The shorter, lower zone is filled with variations of thick, blocky furled leaves. In the taller, upper zone, leaf motifs are set within an arcade of eleven pointed arches (no columns) and their spandrels. The back plane of the pictorial zones is stippled. The SE and NW sections of the rim have been replaced. The bowl is lead-lined and has a drain in the centre.

Diameter of exterior 0.79m
Diameter of interior 0.595m
Height of bowl 0.57m
E side

There is a standing orant figure, its L hand making the gesture of blessing.

NE, W sides

The lower zone has a human face flanked by cusped shapes that follow the curve of the head, thus partially framing it. Similar head, but flanked by larger leaves can be found on the N side.

One of the spandrels of the NE side contains a quadruped type creature seen in profile, with a large head and one large eye visible.

S side

There is a human face in an arch similar the two found in the lower pictorial zone with the exception that this head has stylized hair that looks almost like a cap on the top of the head.


In the S porch, fragments III.4.(i) and (iv) may also have had the chevron in the soffit as on III.4.(v) and (vi) but this area no longer visible in their reset context.

The waterleaf capital on one respond and the bell capital on the other suggest that the chancel arch is late 12thc. It is curious that the waterleaf capital has the deep notch cut into it, likely to provide for the placement of a screen, but the bell capital does not. This may suggest that the waterleaf capital was from an earlier chancel arch and the bell capital from a 13thc reconstruction that included the nave arcades?

The font is problematic. The SE and NW sections of the rim that were replaced were done so before the font was re-cut. This is evident from the current tooling marks that are continuous across the break between the inserted sections and the original sections of the rim. Replaced rim sections that are diametrically opposed to one another are likely due to damage from earlier iron pins or hinges that held a lid in place. Going to the trouble to replace these sections suggest that the font was old, held in esteem, and in need of repair. Pevsner describes the font as 'all badly re-cut, perhaps in the C18'. Supporting an 18thc re-cut is the style in which the heads are carved; they look remarkably similar to the 18thc death’s-head motif that was popular on tombstones at that time. The positioning of the leaf motifs so rigidly upright, upside down, horizontal, or on a diagonal, as well as the blocky carving technique raise serious doubts about the early dating of the font. The author finds the orant figure particularly suspicious, as the blessing gesture is performed with the left hand instead of the right. If this is a re-cut 12thc font, it is a botched job. To the author, the font looks rather to be a post-medieval attempt at the Romanesque.


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

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Lincolnshire. London 1990 (2nd ed.), 780.

General view.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TF 060 351 
now: Lincolnshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Lincolnshire
now: Lincoln
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: St Nicholas
medieval: St Nicholas
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Thomas E. Russo 
Visit Date
31 October 2000