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The sequence above uses a 360 degree camera to photograph the inside of the building and then link together to create a tour. Click on the icon to start the tour. Further icons give more information or expanded photograph.

Best viewed in ‘full screen’.

The church can also be viewed by a technique called which creates a 3D model. These models are an accurate depiction of the building and it enables accurate measurement

Click HERE to see our model

The settlement of Quadring

The village of Quadring has always been relatively small, one of the numerous settlements clustered around the marshy coast of The Wash estuary in Lincolnshire.

In Domesday Book of 1086 it lay in the hundred (wapentake) of Kirton in Holland, having three listed owners, including the Bishop of Lincoln, and only eleven households, making it one of the smaller settlements recorded. It is named as Quadheveringe, which may refer to the muddy nature of the local environment.

Today the church of Saint Margaret of Antioch stands virtually alone in a field, some distance from the main road and the main part of the present day village, its only companion being the school.

Links to Lincoln and the Percys

It is known that a church has stood here for well over 700 years; in the Lincoln diocesan records there is an account of the induction of a vicar to Quadring dating from 1250. 

Being a major landowner in these parts, the Bishop of Lincoln would have built a church and it would seem the Percy family were also involved, founders around 1154 of the Benedictine nunnery, Stainfield Priory near Lincoln, to whom the church was bequeathed.

However, like all monasteries at the time, Stainfield Priory was dissolved in the late 1530s, although Henry VIII’s successor son, Edward VI, did allow the bishop of Lincoln to retake possession of the church and thereby appoint priests.

During the reign of Elizabeth I, the church records reveal a rather sad story of one vicar and his young family, all of whom died within a couple of years of his arrival, including himself.

A complete looking church

Saint Margaret’s church is Grade 1 listed, dating largely from the 14th and 15th centuries, in a mixture of decorated and perpendicular gothic architectural styles. However, the chancel was largely rebuilt in the mid Victorian era by Charles Kirk of Sleaford. This was restored once more by Ewan Christian in 1880. 

Overall, the church has a very complete look about it and has been described as looking almost like a model. 

On entering the church, there is a strong sense of light and space, afforded in part by the impressive clerestory. To the left of the door lies an ancient ‘hood’, or graveyard shelter, a fenland curiosity which would be taken outside to keep some of the more inclement weather conditions from affecting the vicar during burials.

In the south transept on the right lies the chapel of Saint John, where the piscina (the shallow basin near the altar) still remains, an indication that the chapel was used for sacramental worship.

Look above this, there is a fine modern stained glass window, designed by Brian Thomas and dedicated to one time resident of Quadring, Mary Randall.

The case of the stolen chest

Continuing towards the chancel end, on the left lies a very old ironbound chest, once utilised for the storage of parish registers. Interestingly, this chest could not be opened by one person alone; it had no less than three locks which had to opened by the vicar and two churchwardens. In 1836 the chest and other items were stolen, the chest being found later in a ditch with its lid broken, following a five Guinea reward being offered for its safe return.

By the entrance to the bell tower (which contains six bells) lies the font with a dedication in Latin to a member of the Percy family, translated as: ‘Pray for the soul of Robert Percy who caused this font to be made’. However, the font shows signs of more recent repair; damage was caused when the tower was struck by lightning in 1939 and masonry fell on it.

Signs of a singing gallery

Look above the font and you will see key crevices in the wall, a sure indication that there was once a ‘singing gallery’ here which would have been utilised for choir and instrumentation prior to the installation of an organ.

In the chancel roof there is evidence of newer wood in one of the beams, with the carved date of 1698 and initials of IP and NC – thought to be churchwardens at that time. On the chancel pillars are faces and heraldic coats of arms, maybe of the Derby family; it was around the year 1400 that this family increased the number of windows in the nave to eight.

Rood-stair and loft

At some stage there was clearly a rood-stair and loft, although all that remains today is the interestingly placed turret, with fine decoration around the doorway. The Robinson family donated the organ to the church.

There is an interesting brass plaque on the wall by the pulpit, including a latin inscription which reads:

‘Here lies Bristovius Brown a perfect child the

eight-fold hope of noble parents, while he lived

a joy. Who departed in the third year of his birth

January 9th year of our Lord 1685/6.’

A former vicar of Quadring, Reverend Ashwin and his family, are honoured in the east window of the nave. Another earlier vicar is honoured to the left of the main altar floor, an almost illegible incised slab dedicated to Richard Peresone, dated 1472. In the nave there is also a tablet by Blackwell to Thomas Duckett who died in l822.

There is a fine marble wall plaque in the chancel, dedicated to Edward Brown, who died in 1739. This has fluted Corinthian pilasters and escutcheons created by Palmer.

The Lady Chapel contains an aumbry, a kind of wall cabinet to store chalices and other items, plus a very old piscina for washing vessels during worship.

Fine stained glass

The stained glass windows above the altar contain images of the church, Lincoln Cathedral and Stonehaven, which was the home of the Robinson family who gave the window, including three other window to the right depicting the life of Christ. The reredos contains three painted saints, plus a cut out of Saint Cecilia.

That the chancel and sanctuary once extend further east is evident in the blocked doorway, possibly a priest’s door, which would have led to a further part of the chancel, quite possibly involving an originally rounded apse from the Norman period.

At the rear of the church there is also an interesting ancient bier, once used to carry the deceased or the coffin containing it.

Look for the ‘scratch-dial’

An interesting feature on the outside wall to the right of the south door, are the hours of the day inscribed on the stonework, sometimes referred to as a ‘scratch-dial’, a device used commonly before the introduction of clocks. This would work by fixing a straight piece of metal in the centre of a dial, allowing shadows to be thrown on the markings to reveal the correct time of day.

The church of Saint Margaret of Antioch is indeed a remarkable building and still very much prized by the community of Quadring.

Sources:

‘The Buildings of England – Lincolnshire’ Pevsner, Harris and Antram. Penguin.

https://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101147013-church-of-st-margaret-quadring#.XY4YGKjYqgA

http://www.gosberton.org/churches/church-of-england-churches/quadring-parish-church-st-margarets/the-history-of-st-margarets-quadring.php

http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/13460

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadring