St Andrew

Stainfield St Andrews celebrates the rich heritage of this beautiful Queen Anne church, built on the site of an early12th century Benedictine nunnery, now medieval parkland in the Lincolnshire Limewoods.

About this church

St Andrews church is dated 1711, a Queen Anne church. Its design has been attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, who is said to have visited Stainfield Hall at about this time. The church lies north south, so that it forms a pleasing view in the parkland. It was built on the site of the only Benedictine priory in Lincolnshire; finds of sculptural and architectural fragments from the 14th century indicate the site of the priory church and buildings.

An interesting feature is a series of cross stitch embroideries. There are five panels in all, containing the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed. Originally, these were worked by the ladies of the manor as part of the church fabric and formed the altar reredos. The two smaller independent tapestries of the Creed and Lord’s Prayer are the originals from approximately 1711; the central Ten Commandments panels were reworked at the time of moving them in 1887 to the rear of the church, at the same time as the gallery was removed and altar window was added. Extensive conservation work was carried out in 1999 by the Textile Conservation Consultancy, Burghley House, Stamford.

Tattered banners used to hang in the church. Some say they were the battle standards of the Drake family; others that they were embroidered by the ladies of the Tyrwhitt family, and others believe they were the clothes of a wild man, who lived in the woods. The Wild Man of Stainfield, so the legend says, was asleep on a bank by a pit, but his presence had disturbed a plover’s nest. The parent birds made such a noise that they attracted the attention of Tyrwhitt-Drake as he rode by, who saw the man and killed him. No one seems to be able to set a date when he was supposed to have lived in the woods and kill cattle, sheep and, according to some versions, people too; explanations differ, but whatever the answers to these questions, the story of the wild man of Stainfield continues to interest those who hear it.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access throughout
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Ramp or level access available on request
  • Car park at church
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

RichardCroft
LincolnshireAPLEYStAndrew(richardcroftCC-BY-SA2.0)1

St Andrew

By 1816 a brick shed on the site had been converted for use as a mortuary chapel and when the graveyard was enlarged in 1871 it was replaced by the small brick building which we see today.

LincolnshireBARDNEYStLawrence(explorechurches.org)1

St Lawrence

The church has close associations with Bardney Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 697 by King Ethelred of Mercia.

Help support ExploreChurches by becoming a Friend of the National Churches Trust