Monument record MLI52638 - Church and churchyard of St Peter and St Paul, Caistor


Church and churchyard of St Peter and St Paul, Caistor

Type and Period (3)

  • (Early Medieval/Dark Age to Modern - 1000 AD to 2050 AD)
  • (Early Medieval/Dark Age to Modern - 1000 AD to 2050 AD)
  • (Medieval to Modern - 1315 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

PRN 52638 Most of the church is medieval. There are some Norman features and much Early English work, as well as 14th and 15th century work. {1}{2} Two service trenches were archaeologically excavated and recorded. The service trench along the north wall of the tower revealed a chamfered plinth which suggests a Norman rather than Saxon date for construction of the tower. Removal of the modern floor levels inside the tower revealed a lead working area and the sandstone rubble foundations of the tower. The foundations of the present tower were found extending either side of the modern threshold of the tower west door. {3}{4} The parish church dates from the 11th century with 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th century additions and alterations. The chancel was rebuilt in 1848, and restoration was carried out in 1862 by Butterfield. The roofs were painted in 1862. The church is constructed of ironstone and limestone coursed rubble, including some Saxon stonework, and has slate roofs. The interior includes numerous monuments including a fragment of a 12th century grave marker. The famous Caistor Gad Whip is kept on the north wall of the Hundon Choir. For the full description and the legal address of this listed building please refer to the appropriate List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. {5} The late Anglo-Saxon church of SS Peter and Paul, Caistor, stands within a Roman fort on the western slopes of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Recent research and fabric recording suggests that it was constructed in the mid eleventh century as a free-standing tower, with no associated nave or chancel. The limited capacity of this tower together with its elaborate form strongly suggests that it was a private, aristocratic chapel rather than a public, congregational church. It probably lay within the fortified residence of an Anglo-Saxon lord, namely the enclosure defended by the Roman walls of the former fort. Thus in this interpretation of the tower, it is seen as a high status lord's tower and a strategic watchtower over the Ancholme valley and Ermine Street dating to the late Anglo-Saxon period. {6}{7} Five coffin lids found during restoration work were said to have been decorated with 'Greek' crosses. These may have been similar to cross types of 11th century date. {8} On a modern plinth, under a pointed arched recess in the north wall of the north aisle is the defaced limestone effigy of a knight. He has his arms raised in prayer and his feet resting on a lion. The effigy wears realistic mail and a broad sword belt. The craftsmanship is not of particularly high quality. The effigy dates to about 1315 but the identity of the knight is not certain. M. Downing suggests it might be either Sir William de Hundon or John Hundon. {9}

Sources/Archives (9)

  •  Bibliographic Reference: Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris, with Nicholas Antram. 1989. Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (Second Edition). PP 205-6.
  •  Index: OS CARD INDEX. CAISTOR. TA 10 SW:13,1962, DA.
  •  Index: Department of the Environment. 1985. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 9/47.
  •  Verbal Communication: Shapland, Michael. 2012. (Lecture) SS Peter and Paul, Caistor: a lordly tower in the Anglo-Saxon landscape. 6 October 2012.
  •  Website: 2012. Abstracts from New Work in an Ancient Diocese, A SLHA conference. Accessed 22 November 2012.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Paul Everson and David Stocker. 1999. Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. Lincolnshire. p.299.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Downing, Mark. 2010. Medieval Military Monuments in Lincolnshire. p.36.



Grid reference Centred TA 1166 0127 (66m by 111m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

May 15 2023 9:34AM


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