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St Mary, Wrangle, Lincolnshire

(53°2′7″N, 0°7′20″E)
TF 424 508
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
  • Thomas E. Russo

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The church consists of a 13thc. S doorway; N and S nave arcades and chancel of the 14thc. (as per inscription once in E window of chancel noting patronage of 'Thomas de Wyversty' (see Holles), the abbot of Waltham from 1345-71); clerestory and W tower later medieval. Ewan Christian restored the chancel in 1875-78. The billet frieze on the S and E exterior chancel walls and the tower arch are of the 12thc.


Though Wrangle is cited in the Domesday Survey, there is no mention of a church here in 1086. In one entry it is noted that part of the land in Wrangle was 'waste on account of flooding by the sea.'


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

String courses

Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

Whether the string course on the chancel has been reset or not is a puzzle. The chancel restoration dates to the 14thc. according to the E window inscription as well as the reticulated tracery style of the windows. Yet the W and central segments of the string course appear to continue behind the buttresses and the horizontal alignment among the three segments of string course is consistent. Given that the string course does not extend all the way to the E wall, one wonders why it would be reset. On the other hand, the buttress/string course relationship suggests that the string course is in situ, predating the buttressing, and that perhaps the 14thc. renovation did not encompass the complete rebuilding of the chancel walls. But the segment of string course in the E wall does appear to have been reset. The mortar coursing, while fairly regular below the string course, becomes irregular above the string course as if to accommodate for the insertion of the string course; the coursing becomes regular again from the base of the gable to its peak.

The tower arch is unusual in its use of foliate forms as a 'beakhead' motif. But the outstanding element here is surely the label with its very complex geometric design. Though some lower portions of the label are clearly renewed based on their sharp edges, the upper portions are still good.


Domesday Book, 57, 36.

G. Holles, Lincolnshire Church Notes 1634-1642, ed. R.E.G. Cole. Lincoln: Lincoln Record Society, vol. I, 1911, 161.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, London, 1990, 814-15.