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St Mary, North Cockerington (Alvingham), Lincolnshire

(53°24′2″N, 0°3′16″E)
North Cockerington (Alvingham)
TF 367 913
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Thomas E. Russo
13 Dec 2000

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North Cockerington’s parish church of St Mary is actually situated in the adjacent village of Alvingham and shares the same churchyard with Alvingham’s parish church, St Adelwold. St Mary’s is a small, primarily 13th and 14thc church with a chancel, nave of two bays, and S aisle. The SW tower was rebuilt during the 1841 renovation of the church. The church was declared redundant in 1989 and is now in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust.

A small window fragment in the chancel may be late 11thc. The capital of the pier in the S aisle arcade is from around 1200. The base of the font has also been attributed to the Romanesque period.


The Domesday Survey does not differentiate between a North and South Cockerington, recording that Cockerington's lands were divided between the Bishop of Durham, the Bishop of Bayeux, Kolsveinn, Alvred of Lincoln,and Rainer de Brimeux.

St Mary’s was founded between 1148 and 1154 as a chapel for the double house of the Gilbertine Priory at Alvingham. The house was surrendered to the crown on 29 September 1538; at that time there was a prior and seven canons together with a prioress and eleven nuns at the priory. After the Dissolution, St Mary’s became the parish church for North Cockerington.


Exterior Features


Interior Features






The window fragment in the chancel is similar to the tower window at the church of St John the Baptist, Great Hale, in terms of its small scale and monolithic manufacturing process. Everson and Stocker (1999), 311, date the Great Hale window to the late 11thc, the period of transitional overlap between the Anglo-Saxon and Romanesque periods. The stone block above the North Cockerington window fragment is badly weathered, but, based on its undulating surface, it too may have carried carved ornamentation in the form of a row of semi-circular cusps.

According to the church guide, the font base is a 12thc column base from the Gilbertine Priory that once stood nearby. The diameter of the base is quite large at 2.54 m and, if it did once form part of the old Priory, it was surely a plinth to a column system rather than the base. However, there are no indentifying characteristics to substantiate this speculation.


P. Everson and D. Stocker, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture: Lincolnshire. Volume 5, London 1999, 311.

D. Knowles and R. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales, 2nd ed., London 1972, 194.

N. Pevsner, J. Harris and N. Antram, The Buildings of England, Lincolnshire. 2nd New ed., New Haven and London 1989, 581.

St Mary’s Church, North Cockerington, Lincolnshire, The Churches Conservation Trust, Series 4, no. 48, London 1996.

Victoria County History, A History of the County of Lincoln, Volume II, William Page (ed.), London 1906, 192-194.