All Saints Church

Photograph of all saints church, theddlethorpe

The church has earned the name “The Cathedral of the Marsh”, it is the result of one built in the Early Perpendicular style about 1380-1400 although some Norman remains are to be seen. The old porch shelters an ogee-headed doorway backed by an earlier round headed arch, probably Norman.

On entering the church by courtesy of a 10 inch key one sees that it consists of a chancel, nave of five bays, aisles south and north chapels and a broad and massive western tower containing six bells. The nave and aisles have embattled parapets finish with pinnacles and grotesques. The Rood Screen, which has been restored, is a fine example of 15th century work showing traces of medieval paint. In the chancel is a marble monument to the Honourable Charles Bertie and his first wife Dame Mary who both lye in a vault which is built under the communion table. There are also other memorials within the chancel, mainly past owners of the land within the village.

Anchored to the north wall of the church are rows of narrow pews reserved for “sick and poor of the parish” Thus the saying “the weakest to the wall”. These pews are 14th century, the same period as the rood screen.

In the 1880s the nave and chancel was restored at a cost of £1173 mainly paid for by the estate owners. Under the leadership of the Rev. John Swaby in the 1950s extensive repairs costing £8000 were undertaken.
The last regular service was undertaken in November 1971. The church together with the graveyard was declared redundant and is now maintained by The Churches Conservation Trust.

A stroll around the churchyard is worthwhile for buried there, so legend has it, is a man who at the turn of the 19th century was found drowned in rum in a nearby farm kitchen. The unlucky man, as the story goes, turned on the tap of the rum barrel and was so enjoying its contents that he forgot to turn it off again, gradually intoxication and the flow of rum overcame him and he was drowned. His tomb, close   to the east end of the chancel is so weather beaten that its inscription is barely decipherable, but across the top can be seen the words “Alas poor Will”.

The most unusual tombstone in the graveyard is in the form of a willow tree, about four feet high with broken branches and a large toadstool growing from the trunk. The inscription reads “Rebecca French died 1862”. The best time to look around is in spring when there is an abundance of spring flowers.