About this church
Torksey is a place of great interest. Built at the point where the Roman Foss Dyke meets the river Trent, the Romans established a town here called Tiovulfingacester. In the 7th century St Paulinus baptised a great multitude of people in the river near Torksey, in the presence of King Edwin. At the time of the Domesday Book there were 3000 people living here and of all the settlements in Lincolnshire, only Lincoln and Stamford were larger. In the Middle Ages as well as St Peter's, there were two other parish churches in Torksey, All Saints & St Mary's and two monasteries, a house of Augustinian Canons and the priory of Foss for Cistercian nuns. The settlement has shrunk to a quarter of its former size and all that is now left of this rich ecclesiastical heritage is St Peter's church.
The rendered nave of St Peter's, with its windows of 1821 doesn't look all that promising from the outside, but fetching the key is well worth the effort, for the plain exterior belies an interior that has much of interest that reflects the rich history of the place. The north arcade is a fine example of Early English work, with glorious stiff lead capitals and the font of slightly earlier is also decorated with a beautiful band of stiff leaf. High up on the south wall of the nave is a rather battered figure with thin legs and its hands on its groin, clearly reset from elsewhere. Some believe that it's a sheela na gig, its purpose to teach young girls the facts of life before marriage.
If you go into the chancel lift the frontal of the altar and you will reveal quite a surprise, for the front of the stone altar is made from an incised slab of a woman with a dog at her feet, Lady Margaret, who died sometime in the fifteenth century. She is said to have been prioress of the priory of Foss, but this is far from certain.