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Holy Trinity, Swallow, Lincolnshire

Holy Trinity Church, Swallow, Caistor Rd, Swallow, Market Rasen LN7 6DL, United Kingdom (53°30′38″N, 0°13′40″W)
TA 176 030
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
  • Thomas E. Russo
  • Thomas E. Russo
30 July 1998

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Feature Sets

Swallow is a small village in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, 9 miles NE of Market Rasen and 7 miles SW of the coast at Grimsby. The church is in the village centre, and is an ironstone rubble and ashlar building with a late-11thc. W tower, a 13thc. nave with a N aisle, and a chancel. The top of the tower was rebuilt in 1868 with a pyramid roof; the rest of the church was restored in 1883-4. The W tower door may be early Romanesque.


The picture of Swallow in Dmesday is of a settlement with many tenants. In 1066 Eadgifu held 2 carucates in Great Grimsby and Swallow, held in 1086 by Richard from his overlord Ralph de Mortimer. There was a church there with a priest as well as a mill and a ferry, but these were presumably in Great Grimsby rather than further inland. In 1066 Stenkil and Earnwine held 1 carucate of land in Swallow that was held by Wimund from his overlord Roger de Poitou in 1086. The Archbishop of York held 1 carucate of land in 1086, sokeland of his manor of Cuxwold. Another carucate was held by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux as sokeland of his manor of Grasby, and 3 bovates were held by Count Alan of Brittany as sokeland of his manor of Aylesby. Bernard held 3 bovates of land from Alvred of Lincoln, possibly as sokeland of his manor of Healing.

By the early 13th century a manor in Swallow had been granted to the Augustinian abbey of Wellow in Grimsby and a second estate to the Cistercian nuns of Nun Cothan priory.


Exterior Features



While the tympanum is clearly a new insertion, it raises the question of whether it is a faithful copy of the original. What is interesting is that the central opening, now a window, has a close parallel with the Priest’s doorway in the S wall of the chancel at St. Medard in Little Bytham. The foliate forms flanking the window here also find a parallel in voussoir #10 in the N doorway at All Saints in Beckingham.

  1. P. L. Everson, C. C. Taylor and C. J. Dunn, Change and Continuity Rural Settlement in North West Lincolnshire, London HMSO, 1991, 30, 38-39.

Historic England Listed Building. English Heritage Legacy ID: 196376

Lincolnshire Historic Environment Record MLI51740

  1. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, Harmondsworth 1990, 734.

Victoria County History: Lincolnshire, Vol. 2 (1906), 161-63 (on Wellow Abbey)

Victoria County History: Lincolnshire, Vol. 2 (1906), 151-53 (on Nun Cotham)