Stow (Sometimes referred to as Stow in Lindsey)

Church of St. Mary

A small village just a few miles North West of Lincoln with a "Minster" or large church which is in a class of its own. Named "St Mary’s" it is one of the largest & oldest Parish Churches in England. Now partly Anglo Saxon and partly Norman its size has not altered since the Saxon build took place. Ralph de Diceto attributes the church’s foundation to Elnothus Lincolniensis almost certainly Bishop Aelfnoth of Dorchester round about 975 A.D. Another report by Florence of Worcester and his followers state that the builder was Bishop Eadnoth in office from 1034 - 1050 A.D. It is said to have been re-founded and re-endowed in 1054 by Leofric and Godiva (Yes that Godiva of Coventry fame) encouraged by Bishop Wulfwig as a Minster of Secular Canons with the Bishop at its head.

In 1091 Remigius re-founded it as an abbey and brought monks to it from Eynsham and described the church as having been a long time deserted or ruined. In five years his successor had transferred the monks back from whence they came and St Mary’s became a Parish Church. The fabric shows evidence of a number of fires

In 1865 J.L. Pearson built the stair turret outside of the Church. This was originally inside the church in the Nave up against the north side of the tower arch. At the same time some windows were altered and the church was re-roofed. The font is Early English on nine supports wit a dragon or some such monster on the base. A new Vestry was added in the early 1990’s and skeletons and a 13th century floriated Cross slab of limestone was found in pieces.


This site is a work in progress. This page last updated 12th April 2000.

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