Contact Details

St Mary's Church, Church Lane, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 5HW

Tel. 01507 525 600

Ashby Puerorum

Ashby Puerorum

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St Andrews is open for worship at 1000 on the first Sunday of every month.

There was no church mentioned in the Domesday Book in ASCHEBY or a farmstead with ash trees.  In 1066 there were 25 houses with a tax value of £3 per annum, rising to £7 in 1086.

It is not exactly clear when the church was built but it is believed to be mid 13th century (1250/60 ish).  It is built of greenstone that, along with Greetham All Saints, could have been quarried at Holbeck.

The name Puerorum came about when Bishop Olive Sutton (bishop 1280-1299) assigned some of the revenue from the vicarage to the upkeep of Lincoln Cathedral choirboys.  The church's farm also provided a scholarship for one of the choirboys at the cathedral.  Hence "Puerorum" which is Latin for "of the boys" became attached to Ashby – "Farmstead of the boys".

We have 2 bells in the tower which were originally rung in an upright position on wheels; they now swing chimes since they were re-hung in 1990.

The tenor bell was cast in Lincoln in about 1150.  It was originally intended for the new Norman south west tower of Lincoln Cathedral but when the central tower was completed in 1311, the cathedral bells were reorganised and the tenor bell became redundant.  We believe it was given to St Andrews in 1315 when our own tower was built together with a new treble to mark the tower's completion.  The tenor bell is believed to be one of the oldest in the diocese and at 3 cwt is believed to be one of the biggest pre-1200 bells in the country.  Fewer than 50 pre-1200 bells are left anywhere.

The Anglican parish was not registered until 1657.  Lincoln Archive holds parish records from the mid 17th century.  There are baptism and burial records dating from 1653.

In 1657 the records have for the church Ashby, Greetham and Fulletby a net value of £574 including 332 acres of glebe land.

About 1676 the church acquired our Caudle Cup; it is not known whether it was purchased or was gifted.  It is one of only two such cups in the county and would have been beaten.  It was originally used for warm ale or wine mixed with bread, gruel, eggs, etc., that was given to invalids.  It is now 336 years old and still in service as our communion cup.  It has a London goldsmith's mark.  A wafer server was gifted by W. Elmhirst of Spilsby in 1788 (224 years).

It is recorded that in 1794, a labourer cutting a ditch found a Roman sepulchre of a stone chest holding a green glass urn.

In 1814 George Clayton Tennyson (clergyman 1801-31) was stipendary curate at St Andrews; he was the father of Alfred Lord Tennyson and lived at Somersby.

1850 underwent extensive repair at a cost of approximately £300 raised by rate and private subscription – finished 1878.

Late 1920's more restoration.  Tower was restored in 1930 (bricks).  At this time the wrought iron gates were made by Mr Denham – forge next to church.  Gates constructed mainly using rivets with minimum of welding.  Presented to St Andrews by Mr Neil Green of Holbeck Manor.  New organ installed kindly donated by Mrs Phyllis Neil Green.

1959-60 Church closed for urgent repairs to roof, windows and tower and the electrics were also rewired.  All done by same builder as used in 1930 – L.M. Bond of Grantham

1989-90 Tower was releaded and new timbers installed so bells were sent away to bellfounders Taylors of Loughborough.  On nave wall there is a group of 7 brasses of Richard Lytleburye (d.1521) a knight from Stainsby and his wife Ely (d.1523).  Also shows their 10 children: Humphrey, Thomas, William, John, Robert, Edmond, Elizabeth, Jane, Anne and Mary together with 2 coats of arms.  There is a second brass by the door of a knight in arms (1560) who is thought to be one of Richard Lytleburge's  sons.

Nave floor has a grave slab for John Stocks of Halifax (d.1717).

Under the altar there is a 14th century incised floor slab of a priest – brass has gone from this.

Just outside the porch as you go towards the gates and on top of the window nearest the door is a likeness of Derek Storr who was churchwarden for over 40 years.

There is one war grave of 19 year old Sergeant (Air Gunner) Bernard Sandall (d.1944).



Churchwarden details for Ashby Puerorum can be found in the 'Who' section.



Peter Snell 01507 533270

© The South Wolds Group 2013