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St Nicholas, Walcot, Lincolnshire

(52°54′10″N, 0°25′31″W)
TF 060 351
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
  • Thomas E. Russo
31 October 2000

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Set next to perhaps the most stunning churchyard tree in the county, this church, with its steepled W tower, three-bay nave with N and S aisles, and chancel is primarily from the first half of the 14thc. Pevsner notes a restoration done in 1907. Romanesque elements consist of six reset fragments in the S porch, reused fragments in parts of the 13thc N arcade, possibly the font, and part of the chancel arch.


Domesday Book records a church in Walcot in 1086 on land held by Peterborough Abbey as well as half a church in possession of Gilbert of Ghent.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches



Interior Decoration





In the S porch, fragments III.4.(i) and (iv) may also have had the chevron in the soffit as on III.4.(v) and (vi) but this area no longer visible in their reset context.

The waterleaf capital on one respond and the bell capital on the other suggest that the chancel arch is late 12thc. It is curious that the waterleaf capital has the deep notch cut into it, likely to provide for the placement of a screen, but the bell capital does not. This may suggest that the waterleaf capital was from an earlier chancel arch and the bell capital from a 13thc reconstruction that included the nave arcades?

The font is problematic. The SE and NW sections of the rim that were replaced were done so before the font was re-cut. This is evident from the current tooling marks that are continuous across the break between the inserted sections and the original sections of the rim. Replaced rim sections that are diametrically opposed to one another are likely due to damage from earlier iron pins or hinges that held a lid in place. Going to the trouble to replace these sections suggest that the font was old, held in esteem, and in need of repair. Pevsner describes the font as 'all badly re-cut, perhaps in the C18'. Supporting an 18thc re-cut is the style in which the heads are carved; they look remarkably similar to the 18thc death’s-head motif that was popular on tombstones at that time. The positioning of the leaf motifs so rigidly upright, upside down, horizontal, or on a diagonal, as well as the blocky carving technique raise serious doubts about the early dating of the font. The author finds the orant figure particularly suspicious, as the blessing gesture is performed with the left hand instead of the right. If this is a re-cut 12thc font, it is a botched job. To the author, the font looks rather to be a post-medieval attempt at the Romanesque.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 291.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Lincolnshire. London 1990 (2nd ed.), 780.