It had been another gloriously sunny Sunday evening. My friend and myself had taken to visiting some churches during Sunday afternoons and taking in an evening service somewhere in the process. We had taken in an evening prayer at Crowland Abbey and decided to visit the church of St Nicholas at Deeping St Nicholas afterwards, before heading home to Peterborough.
This was my first ever visit to Deeping St Nicholas, which is sometimes referred to as Deeping Fen in older publications. The parish of St Nicholas was formed as recently as 1845, at which time the church was built, being designed by Sleaford architect Charles Kirk. The village is either five miles long and one of the longest in Britain or seven miles long and the longest in the whole of the country, depending on which bit of internet trivia you care to go for.
The church here, which stands out for miles over the flat fenlands, consists of nave, chancel, north aisle and north west tower. The tower is four stage and the tower and spire are well decorated with a large selection of grotesque heads. Some of the heads are human, with the male figures having long flowing hair and beards, the female figures having their heads covered. In amongst the human figures is a cartoon like depiction of a man with massively pointed chin and bulging eyes. Elsewhere, two winged beasts appear to be in the act of pouncing upon their prey. Have seen similar at the church of St Martin Of Tours at Lyndon, Rutland. A short distance away a smaller beats, again with wings, peers from around a corner, fangs exposed in what appears to be a non threatening manner, having said that I would not like to stroke one!
There is no real history to the church bells here. When North complied his study of Lincolnshire church bells in the 1860's this church had only been built for around 20 years. There was just a single bell hanging here then with North giving no further information. Today there are six bells hanging here with all six being cast by Taylor of Loughborough in 1908. According to a newspaper report from 1909 the original single bell was found near to Boston and was used by the contractors building the church to summon their builders to work each day. When building was completed the bell was installed in to the church itself
The church here was closed to visitors when we arrived. As it was well past 7pm on a Sunday evening, I am not surprised at all! The porch was locked, but peering in between the bars we could see a couple of huge grotesques, one being in the shape of an ape. Very interesting these, as they looked as if they might pre date the church. If so, where did they come from?
With there being no real age to anything here, there was nothing of huge interest in the church grounds. It proved very difficult to get any really clear shots of the exterior. Always seemed to be trees in the way. The few clear shots available were a little damaged by the late evening sunshine so apologies for the lack of decent exterior shots here.
This website started off in 2006 and this September 2013 visit to Deeping St Nicholas was the penultimate church to be visited within the catchment area of this site. With Deeping St Nicholas ticked off it just needed Ramsey St Mary to be photographed to complete the set, this allowing for the fact that I do not photograph city centre churches or modern buildings.
Those who know me will know that I love to be somewhere with real age to it. This church has very little in the way of age, but it is well worth a visit. Reninded me somewhat of Pondersbridge. Sunlight was starting to fade and the evening was drawing in so we packed up and headed off back towards home.