Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Earthwork remains of St Bartholomew's Church, High Risby

A Scheduled Monument in Roxby cum Risby, North Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.6208 / 53°37'14"N

Longitude: -0.6122 / 0°36'44"W

OS Eastings: 491889.307988

OS Northings: 414700.144703

OS Grid: SE918147

Mapcode National: GBR SV5K.7S

Mapcode Global: WHGG6.K8P2

Entry Name: Earthwork remains of St Bartholomew's Church, High Risby

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016931

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32630

County: North Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Roxby cum Risby

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Roxby St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of St Bartholomew's
Church and churchyard, located adjacent to the west of the farm at High Risby.
The medieval settlement of High Risby extended to the north east, but is not
included within the monument as few remains survive.
Risby is one of the few places where the Domesday Book of 1087 lists the
existence of a church. The main land holder in Risby was recorded as being
Roger de Bully, who had possession of a church and priest in Risby along with
31 villagers, 2 smallholders and 31 freemen, all as part of an estate valued
at ten pounds. Two smaller holdings in Risby were in the possession of the
Bishop of Bayeux and St Peter's Abbey, Peterborough. The church is thought to
have passed into the possession of Thornholme Augustinian Priory sometime
after the mid-12th century until the priory's dissolution in 1536. Vicars
continued to be instituted at St Bartholomew's until 1631; however, the
vicarage was united with that of Roxby in 1662 and in 1696 Abraham de la Pryme
recorded that only the church's foundations remained. In addition he noted
that the earthworks of the depopulated village could also be seen.
The earthworks of the church measure approximately 35m east-west and 15m
north-south and survive up to 1.5m high, rising to their highest at the
eastern end. They indicate the position of the church walls which had
dimensions of approximately 30m long and 10m wide. The church lacked
transepts, although Abraham de la Pryme recorded that the church had a tower
which the earthworks suggest must have been sited on the main axis of the
church. The adjoining churchyard is flat, very slightly higher than the
surrounding ground and defined by a stony bank up to 0.8m high. It measures
60m north- south and 95m east-west at its greatest extent. The northern and
eastern sides are straight and form an obtuse angle, with the remainder of the
circuit completed in three curving sections.
The post and wire fence is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and
containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for
Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on
Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated
into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in
its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and
are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides
accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the
priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes
provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional
altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west
end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon
and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish
churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south
or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation
were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were
rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of
the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little
fabric of the first church being still easily visible.
Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the
density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed
settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest
clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of
1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New
churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to
around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches
have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for
their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later
population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour
and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are
identified to be nationally important.

The earthworks of St Bartholomew's Church will contain valuable archaeological
information about the construction and design of rural medieval churches that
has often been lost through renovation at churches which have continued in
use. The monument is thought to include rare features of a Saxon church which
was recorded in the Domesday Book. The church and surrounding churchyard will
also contain medieval burials undisturbed by later inhumations and these will
retain important information about the population of a small medieval village.

Source: Historic England


SMR record cards, North Lincolnshire SMR, 1989, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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