The Church of St. James at Louth with its soaring tower are always cited amongst the greatest in the country, let alone Lincolnshire itself.
This is the third recorded church on the site, replacing an 11th and 13th Century version. The majority of the church was built in the mid-1400s giving it a very uniform look. The tower and spire – the tallest medieval parish church spire in England – were not completed until 1515. It represents the absolute apex of the medieval craftsmen and certainly lives up to its reputation.
In October 1536 the Church became the mustering point for the Lincolnshire Uprising against Henry VIII’s ecclesiastical changes which turned into the Pilgrimage of Grace – one of the last serious uprisings against the Monarchy in England before the Civil Wars of the 17th Century.
After the protest died down the leaders from Lincolnshire, including the vicar of Louth, were hanged at Tyburn, alongside others from Yorkshire. A second uprising in 1537 was brutally put down and that ended any further protests against Henry’s new church.
St. James’ Church remained largely unchanged externally until the roof was rebuilt in 1825, but the interior was changed in the 18th and 19th Centuries in common with many parish churches. Most of the stained glass dates from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods.
Louth is one of those hidden Lincolnshire gems, a pretty
little town nestled amongst the glorious Lincolnshire Wolds and St. James’
Church is the jewel in its crown.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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