I left Barholm with some very good memories, despite having trouble finding this tiny, quiet village. Barholm can be found not far off of the busy A15, about eight miles from Bourne. On the way there coming in from Tallington, and exiting the village on the way to Braceborough, I never saw a single road sign with Barholm on it! Whilst in Barholm I found street signs at a premium as well! A helpful note in the church porch gave an address for the church keyholder. Great...if only there were corresponding street signs then all would have matched beautifully!!
This is a very ancient structure, with the oldest identifiable part being a blocked doorway to the East of the porch. This is Anglo Saxon, and dates from the first half of the 11th Century.
The church here is dedicated to St Martin of Tours. A carving of St Martin can be found over the superb Norman doorway on the south side of the church, and dates from the first quarter of the 20th century. Martin of Tours was born around 315 AD in what is now Hungary. He served for several years in the Roman army and is famed for his compassion after he cut his cloak in half and gave half to a beggar. After living for many years as a hermit he became the first Bishop of Tours. Barholm is one of 173 medieval parish churches in England to be dedicated to this saint.
A nice quirky inscription is to be found on the south side of the tower. The tower was largely re-built above the foundations in the 1640's, when Civil War was raging all around. An amazing feat this, recorded by the following inscription.....
"Was ever such a thing, Since the Creation, A new steeple built, In the time of Vexation"
Much of the original building is Norman, with a superbly carved Norman doorway in evidence in the South Porch. This work is remarkably well preserved, due to the fact that it had been plastered over in days long gone. The plaster was removed in 1855 by the Rev'd William Turner, at the same time that the belfry part of the tower was re-built.
Whilst on the subject of the belfry, this church has three bells with a quite remarkable combined age. One bell is from an unknown founder and dates from the 15th century. The other two both have the stamp of Robert Newcombe of Leicestershire and both date from circa 1550. Amazing to think that this is the same peal of bells that would have rung in this part of South Lincolnshire in the days of Elizabeth I!
The clock on the south side of the tower dates from 1919, and is in commemoration of Charles Cyril Stapley who was killed in the Great War.
This church is kept locked, with a note in the porch indicating an address for the keyholder. As mentioned earlier, an absence of street signs proved to be a slight obstacle. Quite embarrasing having to ask for directions in a village this small. Found the keyholder eventually and a knock on the door sparked an incredible amount of barking. It sounded like a entire pack of dogs, and I was staggered to find out that there were only three small dogs in there! I was handed handed a key that was nearly as big as one of the dogs, and I let myself in for a look around.
The font is made of Barnack stone and dates from the 12th century, with a rough dogtooth design, as well as flowers and circles. It is thought that this font might have come from the church at nearby Stowe which was pulled down in 1780. It was found by a local woman who used the font as a tub for pickling pork until 1916.
Most of the furnishings in the church are from Victorian times. Several angel carvings are to be seen in the ceiling. Pleased to see these, and unusual to see them in such a small church in such a small village. Similar, but considerably older, angels can be seen locally at Castor and March.
The north arcade of three bays dates from the late 12th. The arches feature zig zag mouldings that are characteristic of that period. The chancel arch dates from around the same period.
Church grounds are well maintained, and there is a churchyard cross to the south side of the churchyard. This commemorates one Thomas Carew Trollope who was killed in 1915 during the First World War.
A nice church in a lovely part of South Lincolnshire. A pleasure to visit, and I enjoyed my stay....but if you are planning on visiting here make sure that you take your map!