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St Lucia, Dembleby, Lincolnshire

(52°55′35″N, 0°27′5″W)
TF 042 377
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
medieval St Lucia
now St Lucia
  • Thomas E. Russo
  • Thomas E. Russo
15 October 2000

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=1879.

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Dembleby is a small, dispersed village in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, 8 miles E of Grantham and 5 miles S of Sleaford. Set in a tranquil, picturesque valley, this small church of a single cell with rounded chancel and a N chapel was built in the Romanesque style in 1867-68 by Charles Kirk of Sleaford. The original 12thc. church was taken down in 1867. The local church guide records that the “holy water stoup,” that is, the pillar piscina, and the chancel archway were reused in the new church, and they are the only Romanesqu features recorded here.


A holding in assessed at 1 carucate in Dembleby was held as sokeland of Folkingham by Gilbert de Ghent in 1086, having been held by Ulf before the Conquest. The population included 20 sokemen, 3 bordars and their families. A second holding of 1 carucate was held by Gunnkil from Kolsveinn, and a third was held by Guy de Craon as sokeland of his manor of Osbournby. This was assessed at 6 bovates. There is no mention of a church in any of these manors in 1086.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches


Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


Pevsner suggests that the capitals of the chancel arch are original, though “far too rudely scraped.” Certainly a recutting could be suggested by the very clean, sharp edges of these capitals, but the precision of the proportions of the decorative as they relate to one another and the precise cutting of the uncarved volutes looks 19thc. As the pillar of the pillar piscina is carved on only one side, it suggests that its original placement may have been such that the other sides were not in openly visible. Yet, then why carve all four sides of the bowl? Pevsner is accurate when he describes this as “what may well be the finest pillar piscina in the country.”


Anon, A Guide to the Parish Church of Saint Lucia, Dembleby. Privately published, n.d.

Historic England Listed Building. English Heritage Legacy ID: 192663

  1. N. Pevsner and J. Harris, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, Harmondsworth 1964, 511.