Grantham

Church of St. Wulfram

 

This small town of over 35,000 souls in the south of Lincolnshire was once a royal manor and by the time of Domesday had a population of over one thousand. The town flourished in the Mediaeval period and by 1290 there were Greyfriars just south of the market place. It developed into a coaching town on the great north road. Early on in the 19th century Richard Hornsby founded his Spitalgate Ironworks which lasted in the town in heavy engineering for over one hundred years until it was bought out and eventually moved to Lincoln.

Eventually the railway came to Grantham in 1850 and was followed two years later by it being made into the main North - South line.

There are at least five various churches in Grantham as well as a Salvation Army Citadel in London Road and other chapels.

These comprise a United Reform Church in Avenue Road. This was built by James Tait of Leicester 1869 - 1870.

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in North Parade. Built originally by E. J. Willson in 1832 but reordered and much altered in 1966.

The Church of St John The Evangelist in Station Rd was built in a plain Early English style by Anthony Salvin in 1840 - 41. It was altered by widening the aisles and rebuilding the chancel in 1883 - 84.

St Anne’s Church in New Somerby was built in 1906 - 07 by B. H. Tarrant with a chancel added in 1963 by Bond & Read.

Last but definitely not least is the Church of St Wulfram, said to be second by a very close margin to St Botolphs in Boston in the claim to be the finest church in Lincolnshire - but there again this is widely disputed. I certainly cannot describe the beauty of this building and its contents sufficiently in this couple of paragraphs or so but it will stand against any church in the first dozen claiming against it for its richness in all round beauty. It is said that the three middle bays of the nave are part of a 12th century church. The south doorway and porch date from about 1230 although a rebuild and new work was carried out from about 1280. The south aisle was not finished building until after 1330 along with many other large scale rebuilds towards the west end and the east window area is said to be anywhere from 1330 to 1360.

The earliest of this date range is also thought to be the time of building of the North Porch.

Sir George Gilbert Scott was commissioned to do a report on the church in 1863 and in 1866 work was carried out to replace the roofs and internal restoration, this went on until 1869 and then stopped until 1876 when the north porch was restored and the windows repaired. In 1878 Sir G. G. Scott died and his son J. O. Scott took over his father’s work. But little was done until the spire was repaired in 1884.

The furnishings are as follows :- The Chancel reredos was by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1883 and it was enlarged by Walter Tapper in 1901 as well as the Organ Case in 1906. . The Rood Screen is by Sir G. G. Scott in 1868 and the Parclose Screens were by his son John Oldrid Scott in 1884

The stained glass is as by Heaton, Butler & Bayne : Kempe1885, 1891,1897, :Kempe & Co 1920 and 1932 and still obviously old Kempe cartoons of the late 19th Century : Clayton and Bell 1863, 1875 : Wailes 1853 altered and reset in 1979, 1855,1856, Henry Harvey 1962, John Hayward 1970, 1974 : L. C. Evetts 1970.

The church contains many monuments attributed to such artists as William Stanton, Benjamin Palmer, Henry Cheere, Edward Stanton, Christopher Horsenaile, Christopher Staveley James Hickey, Bingham.

In the South Porch is a chained Library which was given to the church in 1598. As one can see from the above there is much to interest and please the church crawler with items by well known people as well as some not so well known.

 


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