Church & Community Centre



[Mrs. E.M.Brett’s extracts from Rev.R.Dudding’s Lecture 1935]

Probably built c1200 A.D. in the Early English style. The East Window of the Chancel is a lancet with two lights and the quatrefoil window above them has old stained glass. There is a double piscina on the South side of the altar and an ambery on the North side. There is Early English scroll work on one of the North window cills. The North Chancel door(priest door) has two unusual drip stone terminations.

The Tower is built of local sandstone and has been used as a look out post in times of danger and as recently as the last war.

The South aisle was used as a school until 1863, when the Church School - now the Larches - was built.

In 1858 the roof blew off doing much damage to the handsome oak roof and old benching. It was restored by James Fowler, Architect of Louth, in the style of the times !! Cost £930.

Much restoration work (particularly the Tower, East End and the Chancel Arch) has been done during Canon Holt’s incumbancy but sadly the money ran out before they got to the South Aisle.

The name of Barman is carved on the present altar, date 1618, he probably gave it and may have lived at the manor. Mr. Holt thinks that the stone by the South Door is the pre- Reformation altar.


In 1086 Ludborough formed part of the Estates of Robert de Toden who had been standard bearer to William The Conqueror. It passed by inheritance to the de Clere family who gave the advowson  to the Priory of North Ormesby.

The first priest we hear of is Robert who witnessed a Charter of Gilbert of Ormesby, the founder of the Priory

 c 1150. It remained in the gift of Ormesby Priory until the dissolution of the priories in 1530 something !! It escaped impropriation and remained a Rectory.

1291  - The value of the Church was £26-13-4

1340 - It was £12 but the assessment was the result of an inquisition taken on oath of the parishioners in every Parish for the purpose of assessing a subsidy to pay for King Edward 111’s Wars. This was a 9th of all corn, wool, lambs etc.

1391 - It was taxed at 11 marks, the greater part of the value said to consist of glebe, hay, flax, hemp, milk, tithes of mill and any other small tithes they may have overlooked !!.

1526 - The subsidy was levied on individuals and not on livings. George Gyles was Rector, the last to be presented by the Priory of Ormesby and the value was said to be £20-19-4 1/2.

In a review of the Diocese gathered from answers to visitation questions 1705-1723, it says that Ludborough Church was up to the best standards of the times. The parish contained about 150 souls with only 1 dissentant, a woman an anabaptist. Mr.James Bond was resident curate, at a salary of £30 p.a.. Services were held twice on Sunday and on feasts, catechising in Summer and Lent and continually in the school. Holy Communion was held four times a year.

At the dissolution of North Ormesby Priory, the advowson and much other property was granted to Robert Heneage, a Commissioner of 1539 and a Surveyor of Woods North of the Trent. His son, Sir Thomas Heneage, was treasurer of Queen Elizabeth 1st’s Privy Chamber.

In 1571 Sir Thomas Heneage presented the living to John Graye who was aged 36, married, knew but little Latin and moderately versed in sacred learning !! Ludborough was a well endowed living and much sought after.

Thomas Morrison bought the living on Sir Thomas Heneage’s death. There were 120 communicants and its yearly value was £20-14-8 1/2.

In March 1593 he appointed David Allan B.A. to the living - he was a very determined puritan as were many of the neighbouring clergy. His churchwardens were reluctant to present him at the Bishop’s visitation. They only did so in 1604 under threat of ex-communication. He wouldn’t wear a surplice, missed out part of the Common Prayer and wouldn’t use the order of the book of sacrament. He was full of excuses. In 1604 it was the plague. In 1605 it was a grievous fever and he lost “ one towardly “ child and then his wife was taken with a very sore ague on her neck which turned to jaundice !!. Nevertheless, he continued to be Rector until his death in 1615 and is buried here.

Christopher Dobson was Rector from 1661-1680, he married Frances Clipsham of Cadeby and had 12 children baptised here !

From the Dobsons, the living passed to the Cressays of Ravendale - Richard became Rector here in 1707 but lived at Ravendale. He married Alice Thorold. The advowson was bought by the Thorold family whose last presentation was to the Rev. Augustus Gedge in 1854.

The living of Ludborough is unusual in only having 4 Rectors since 1825 viz,

          Charles Thorold B.A. Instituted 9th March 1825
          Augustus Gedge B.A. Instituted 30th June 1854
          John William Nesbit M.A. Instituted 16th November 1909
          Frederick Albert Holt  L.Th. Canon. Instituted 3rd May 1933.

of the 45 Rectors or so who have served this parish for some 800 years; some seem a little surprising.

On 20th December 1232 John de Burgo was instituted. On his death, Philip de Burgo was assigned the living by the Bishop on Papel Authority (where is Burgo?)

In 1248 Bishop Grosseteste institued James son of William of Poitou, citizen of Genoa. In 1251 Manuel son of Henry of Poitou, citizen of Genoa was granted a papel licence to hold the Rectory of Ludborough without any obligation to reside or receive Orders !!

1353. Thomas, son of Richard Berteviel of Ludborough, was presented by the Prior and Convent of Ormesby. Thomas is the only priest from the village. Were they short of priests after the Black Death ?

Dom Alexander Lamyman came in 1472 and the name is still around.

The Church was built soon after the Crusades; its Bishop witnessed the Magna Carta. Its Nave was the meeting place for village happenings both grave and gay. It survived the trauma of the Reformation and the stringency of fanatical puritanism. It was a place of frequent prayers in the bloody wars of this century.

Surely this heritage is worth preserving !