Burton-le-Coggles Church

Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Burton-le-Coggles
Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Burton-le-Coggles

Burton-le-Coggles is a small, pretty, traditional village located south of Grantham in south Lincolnshire. Originally “Byrton-en-les-Coggles” – named for the path of cobbles (or coggles) which ran through the area – the village is mentioned in Domesday, when it had several farms, extensive woods and a mill. Today the village is still mainly an agricultural village with a population of about 100 spread over 48 households.

The church usually has 12 services a year, with every third service being Holy Communion. The Church holds a Harvest Festival each year (a Harvest Service followed by a Harvest Supper) as well as an annual Carol Service.

The Church is open daily throughout the year – hours are advertised outside the Church.

The building

The Parish Church of St Thomas of Canterbury is Grade I listed and is set at the heart of the village’s Conservation Area, at the meeting of the two main routes through the village. It consists of a tower and Spire, nave with clerestory, aisles, chancel, and south porch, and dates from the 11th and 12th Centuries, with additions in the early 13th Century, early 14th Century, 17th Century, followed by an 1874 restoration. It is built from coursed limestone rubble, with ashlar quoins and dressings, and with an ashlar, lead and tiled roof with stone coped gables.

The oldest feature is the doorway within the Porch, which is “transitional”, or between the Norman and Early English styles (c. 1200). The Porch itself was built c. 1320 and shows the date 1624, which is probably when it was repaired. Within the Porch are two recumbent effigies of knights of the reign of Edward II (d. 1327), although they may also be Crusaders from the third Crusade (1190). They were found buried in the Churchyard during digging operations.

The five windows of the Chancel contain beautifully painted glass, by Hardman. The subjects of the windows are: Our Lord healing the lepers; two scenes from the life of St Thomas a Becket (his consecration and his reconciliation with King Henry), in the North window; and, in the South window, scenes depicting St Thomas’s murder in 1170, and his burial.

On the South wall (near the door) are brasses of a knight (c. 1590) and of a man and wife (c. 1620). These relate to the Cholmeley family, owners of the Manor at that time. In 1588, Robert Cholmeley gave £20 towards the cost of fighting the Spanish Armada.

There is a plain octagonal font, of the decorated period (pre-1400) set upon a plain solid square base.