Kirton Church, Lincolnshire

Kirton – sometimes called Kirton-in-Holland to differentiate it from the other Kirton (Kirton-in-Lindsey) which is north of Lincoln – is recorded in the Domesday Book as being owned by Earl Allen, the son-in-law of the Conqueror and a church is referred to at this point.

Earl Allen died without an heir and incredibly the right to the church at Kirton remained in dispute until 1244 when it was granted to Brother Ferricus-de-Mussa of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem. This was finally given Papal approval in 1299 some two hundred years after Earl Allen’s death!

The earliest surviving stone work dates to around 1140 which is the west door, which is now inside the church as the tower was moved during restorations in 1804. The main parts of the church are 13th Century. In 1616 the Worshipful Company of Mercers became patrons of the church and they still hold the benefice today.

Everything was later very heavily rebuilt, the transepts were demolished, the chancel shortened and the former central tower was demolished with a new one being added around 1804 at the western end of the church. By 1810 the first wave of renovations was over, but it was then followed by a second restoration around 1897 leaving us with a handsome if heavily altered church today.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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