West Keal Church, Lincolnshire

The villages of West Keal and East Keal stand on a dramatic ridge which marked the end of the Lincolnshire Wolds before the land drops down to the Fenland around Boston. Views from here are spectacular on a clear day.

Both villages have a church dedicated to St. Helen, and although that at East Keal appears older, it is merely less restored and in fact West Keal church predates it by around two centuries.

The first church here was consecrated in 1186. The current building was made of local Spilsby green sandstone and brick around 1623, quite late in period for a church of this look. Unfortunately the stone is not great, particularly for such an exposed position, and by 1866 a large program of rebuilding was started. This rebuilding clearly was not as effective as it might have been  because the tower fell down in 1881 and had to be rebuilt again by 1884.

If you stand atop the tower and look east there is nothing higher until you reach the Russian Ural Mountains! Views from the churchyard looking south are spectacular and the view from the top of the tower is truly astounding.

One odd little tale is connected to the clock in the tower which stopped working in the 1980s and no one could find a way to repair it for over twenty years! It was finally working again in 2001.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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