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St Julian, Benniworth, Lincolnshire

(53°19′6″N, 0°11′11″W)
TF 209 817
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincolnshire
now Lincolnshire
  • Thomas E. Russo
24 July 1992

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This church is built of coursed greenstone and consists of a nave with shallow transepts and chancel. Between 1874 and 1875 James Fowler rebuilt almost the entire church. Fragments of Romanesque sculpture are found on the W doorway of the nave and on the font.


Domesday Book records a church in Benniworth in 1086 on land owned by the archbishop of York, Thomas of Bayeux (1070-1100). Osbern, a priest, is also mentioned as owning 2 ½ carucates of land in the village through the benefaction of Archbishop Thomas and he may have been the incumbent at the church of St. Julian. The dedication to St. Julian is rare in the England but, if it refers to the first bishop of Le Mans, the French connection between the land with Archbishop Thomas, may explain its use here.


Exterior Features





With the exception of a few of the severely weathered lower chevron blocks in the jambs, the entire W doorway can be attributed to Fowler’s late 19thc. restoration.

As for the font, it is clear from the change of stone colour and the smooth surface texture that the majority of it, which is carved from a dark beige limestone, has been replaced, probably as part of Fowler’s major reconstruction of church. Only the lower portions of the column shafts and their bases, carved from the lighter, grey-white limestone, are original. From the internal evidence it is not possible to ascertain whether or not the restored portions of the font are true to its original design. However, the Romanesque fonts at All Saints, West Torrington, and at St. Andrew, Donnington-on-Bain, demonstrate the use of the intersecting arcade motif on fonts in the local area. The West Torrington font in particular, with its intersecting arcade and columns with scalloped capitals and attic bases is a close parallel for this font.


F. Arnold-Foster, Studies in Church Dedications of England’s Patron Saints. London: Skeffington and Son, 1899. Book review in “Church Quarterly Review,” Vol. 50, London: 1900: 379.

J. C. Cox, Little Guide to Lincolnshire, 2nd ed., 1924, 61-62.

D. S. Davies, Lincolnshire Notes & Queries, v. 13 (1914): 133.

Lincolnshire County Sites and Monument Record #40377, County Archives.

J. Morris (ed.), Domesday Book:31. Lincolnshire, Chichester,, 1986, 2,16.

N. Pevsner and J. Harris, The Buildings of England. Lincolnshire. London, 1989 ( repr. 1990), 142.