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St Mary, Old Leake, Lincolnshire

(53°1′50″N, 0°5′47″E)
Old Leake
TF 407 502
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
  • Thomas E. Russo

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Feature Sets

A very large parish church consisting of a 14thc. S doorway, a six-bay nave with N and S aisles and clerestory primarily of the 14thc./15thc.; a long four-bay chancel of c. 1300; and a short W tower begun in the late 15thc. and completed in 1547. There was a restoration by Temple Moore in 1914-15: the chancel was restored in 1926 by his son-in-law and successor, Leslie Moore (Brandwood (1997)). The E and W responds of both nave arcades are Romanesque.


Old Leake is referred to as 'Leak' in the Domesday Survey; there is no mention of a church here in 1086. However, it must have been a rather prosperous settlement as the Domesday Survey does list forty-one salt-houses, 32 freemen, 40 villagers, and 16 smallholders in Leake.


Interior Features



As Pevsner notes, the in situ E and W responds of the long, six-bay nave arcades demonstrate the large size of St. Mary's in the 12thc. Given the evidence provided by the Domesday Survey of a strong salt industry in Leake in the late 11thc., it seems clear that the church owes its large scale to the prosperity of the local salt trade.


Domesday Book, 12, 64.

G. K. Brandwood, Temple Moore: an Architect of the Late Gothic Revival, Stamford, 1997, 240.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, London, 1990, 593-4.