Carlton in Lindrick

The church could well have been founded as early as the seventh century when Bishop Wilfrid (d.709/10) was exiled from Northumbria and became bishop of Mercia (692-702).  It is suggested that the nave of Brixworth may also be of this era.  Carleton church is mentioned in the Domesday Book when it was noted that under the Confessor (1042-66) the vill had 6 thegns living in 6 halls. 

Carlton consists of a Saxon tower claimed to be eleventh century, but possibly much earlier.  This consists of 4 stages, rising from coursed rubble blocks to herringbone and finally herringbone interspersed with more coursed rubble.  It would seem that the base has been refaced and herringbone work still survives around the base of the south front.  The tower summit, above a string course, is topped by an ashlar fifteenth century storey which was built for William Chaumbre between 1417 and 1443.  The upper two floors are also divided by a string course, but this is encased by 2 corner buttresses to the west which, like the upper string course, appear contemporaneous with the upper floor.  At ground floor level the church south door of 3 columns was inserted to the west in 1831.  In the Saxon summit to east and west are 2 fine double Saxon twin bell openings with a plain shaft - bulged or tapered shafts are thought to be younger.  Both have been blocked and were only reopened in the nineteenth century.  Unusually there is an early fifteenth century spiral stair in the north-west corner of the tower which allowed access to the upper floors.  Between the tower and the nave is a fine arch of 3 orders and a hood supported on 3 shafts with decorative imposts.  These have a degraded Roman motif known as ‘tongue'.  Above them is a standard Saxon doorway leading to a gallery in the current nave over the tower arch.

The nave is alleged to be Norman and has fine Romanesque arcades to north and south where aisles have been added later.  Within the chancel north wall is a singular blocked Romanesque light and in the Victorian vestry a sun and moon stone, apparently from the pagan era.


Copyright©2021 Paul Martin Remfry

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