St. Nicholas Parish Church

Recorded in the Domesday Book, Haxey Church and Parish are over 900 years old. The Church of St Nicholas is a prominent landmark near the highest point in the village and visible from most of the parish. It was founded in the 12th century by the Earl of Mowbray, the then Lord of the Manor but little can be seen of the original structure, the church has been changed and remodelled several times since then. It was first extended in about 1200 A.D., but the great transformation of this Norman church into the Perpendicular style of architecture took place in about the middle of the 14th century and into the 15th century, including the new tower, 90 feet high, which was built in the 15th century.

A notable feature are the six bells the first three installed in about 1510 and a rare, ancient carillon or chimes, dating back to 1707. The carillon is a bit like a large music box made specifically for the parish and it plays three hymn tunes. A tune is played at 9 a.m. noon 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.The first clock must have been installed at the same time to regulate the chimes.

Between 1500 and 1800 little addition was made and some damage was done during the time of the Reformation. There seems to have been some inadequate upkeep until 1827 when major repairs cost £3000, (estimated at about £250,000 now) and in projects in 1865 when once again addition and maintenance were tackled seriously. There were further major improvements made at the beginning of the 20th century, as the pictures show, including the renewal of the pews. The present organ was installed in 1912.

In the churchyard a major change we can see the result of today was in 1968  the moving of the old, unstable tombstones immediately around the church to a safe position. Burials around the church have been made for many hundred years (skeletons were found during road improvements) but tombstones were expensive and uncommon until the late 16th and 17th century. Amongst those left is the Parish War Memorial erected in 1920 and the sundial, the top of which dates from the 18th century, the oldest legible stones in the yard are pictured.

Information drawn from “Nine hundred years of Haxey Parish Church” published by The Haxey and Westwoodside Heritage Society.

You can see a large detailed image by clicking on any of the thumbnail pictures.