St John the Baptist Church, Temple Bruer

Photo by Cllr Richard Walker

St John the Baptist Church, Temple Bruer

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Ashby de la Launde

Ashby de la Launde is a small village in North Kesteven, west of Digby and east of the A15 and the B1191. The suffix to the name comes from the family who held the Lordship of the Manor the de la Laundes. A fragment of an incised slab to Isabel de la Launde c 1400 is kept in the church which is dedicated to Saint Hybald.

The church tower and north doorway are Early English and the Spire c 14. The nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1854-5. Inside the church is a hexagonal font decorated with fleurons which is early c14 and a Hatchment which is late c18 for John King. Five bells hang in the belfry. These were cast in 1834 at the same time as Lincoln Cathedral’s ‘Great Tom’ by Mr Thomas Mears of London. St Hybald is one of seven churches which are part of the Digby Group.

Ashby Hall is an imposing building surrounded by trees and a lake. It was built in 1595 for Edward King. It remained in the King family until the late 19th century although between 1814 and 1835 it was let as a girl’s school. In 1841 the estate passed to John William King who was known as the ‘Racing Parson’. He bred racehorses at his stud at Ashby Hall and in 1874 his filly ‘Apology’ won the Triple Crown. In 1925 the Hall and Estate was bought by Lord Garvagh and was sold in 1961 and became a Country Club. The Hall features a fine c18 bow window and a c19 Tudor Gothic stable block around a courtyard. It is now a private home and business premises.

In Main Street other buildings include a range of picturesque Gothic cottages of c1840 and a farmhouse early c18. At the crossroads there is a lodge and also a house converted from a school which was established 1877 and closed in 1969. There is also a Village Pump and a stone drinking fountain bearing the inscription: ‘Wash thy sin not thy countenance only’.

The timber Village Hall was erected on its present site in the 1950’s.

Regular events include an Over 60’s Club, a Book Group, Pop up Pub, Village Walks and a Wine Club.

Bloxholm

Bloxholm is a small hamlet, part of the civil parish of Ashby de la Launde and Bloxholm, lying about a mile south west of the village of Digby. It is at the edge of the limestone dip slope of Lincoln Heath as it meets a narrow zone of clays and gravels that disappears eastwards beneath the fens. It is a distinctive area, sandwiched between the B1188 and Car Dyke and is more sheltered than the heath with its straight–sided Enclosure Act fields, crumbling dry-stone walls and isolated farmsteads. There are small fields with hedges stocked with timber trees, coppices and plantations and lanes and droves clustered with settlements which are features of medieval.

St Mary’s Church has a medieval core with 3-bay arcades of c1300 and Gothick restoration of 1812. It is currently undergoing restoration.

Close to the Church is Bloxholm Hall. The original house was built in the 1600s but, despite subsequent enlargement, most of it was pulled down three centuries later. All that remains are the kitchen wing and stable block (now private), plus parts of the elaborate gardens, laid out over 150 years ago.

Temple Bruer

 

Temple Bruer was once one of the wealthiest Templar preceptories in England. The surviving 12th century tower originally formed part of the Templar church.

The 12th century tower is one of a pair of towers that was once attached to the chancel of the circular-naved Templar church. It is one of the few Templar sites still to have standing remains and its importance is recognised by the fact that it is a Scheduled monument and a Grade I listed building.