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All Saints, Bracebridge, Lincolnshire

(53°11′57″N, 0°33′8″W)
SK 968 679
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
  • Thomas E. Russo
24 July 1996

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The nave and tower are of the 11th century, the S aisle and chancel of the 13th century. The N aisle, N transept, vestry, and porch were added in the extensive restoration of 1874-75 carried out by J. L. Pearson. The W tower was restored in 1892 under C. H. Fowler. Romanesque features on the site are the font in the nave and the capitals of the mid-wall shafts in the west tower bell-stage openings. Additionally, the plain W tower doorway, the interior tower arch and the chancel arch may be very early Romanesque, possibly around 1100 or earlier.


The settlements of Bracebridge and Canwick are included together in a single entry in Domesday Book, which notes a church and a priest here in 1086 on land owned by Robert of Poitou. Stocker and Everson, analysing the layout of the settlements, conclude that All Saints is the church mentioned in Domesday and note that in the 12th century the church was given to Lincoln Cathedral by an Albert Grellei. Soon after 1148, Robert de Chesney, bishop of Lincoln, founded the Gilbertine priory of St. Catherine’s just outside of the city of Lincoln and endowed it with several churches including that of All Saints in Bracebridge (see VCH).


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches




The Taylors date the early remains of All Saints, i.e. the tower and the chancel arch, to around 1100. This fits with the post-conquest dating of the “Lincolnshire Tower” group by Stocker and Everson.

There are several intersecting arcade drum fonts in the county; for other examples see Ancaster (St. Martin), Frampton (St. Mary), or the fragment at Ewerby (St. Andrew). The Bracebridge font is one of the plainer examples in terms of sculptural detail. For comparison see the richly arcaded font at Ancaster with beaded arches and a variety of capital motifs or the ornate example at Silk Willoughby, St. Denis.


A. Betts, A Guide to All Saints Church, Bracebridge, Lincoln, Lincoln: Kingsley Printers, 1979 (1990).

D. Knowles and R. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. London: Longman, 1953 (1971), 198.

A. Mee, The King’s England: Lincolnshire. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1949 (1970), 247.

J. Morris (ed.), Domesday Book:31. Lincolnshire. Chichester: Phillimore, 1986, 16,47.

W. Page (ed.), VCH: Lincolnshire, Vol. II,London: University of London, 1906 (1988), 188-191.

N. Pevsner and J. Harris, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire. London: Penguin, 1989 (1990), 527.

D. Stocker and P. Everson, Summoning St. Michael: Early Romanesque Towers in Lincolnshire, Oxford: Oxbow, 2006, 108-112.

H. Taylor and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture, vol. I, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965, 85-85.