THE PRIORY INVESTIGATES QUEST NUMBER TWELVE: LINCOLNSHIRE

  • St Margaret’s Church Laceby
  • St James’ Church Louth
  • St Botolph’s Church Skidbrooke
  • St Guthlac’ Church Market Deeping

So after a small break, early September found us travelling all the way to farthest Lincolshire; almost all the way to the Yorkshire borders in fact, on what was to be ‘Quest Number Twelve’. Traffic was bad, very bad and the journey was long and slow but this day, this quest was to prove to be very exciting and interesting indeed.

St Margaret’s Church Laceby: Laceby is a village and civil parish in North East Lincolnshire, situated outside the western boundaries of Grimsby and is an ancient place in terms of human occupation; being listed in the Doomsday Book in 1086. There is a Mesolithic flint working site to the North-East of the village, found in 1958 and finds of Anglo-Saxon pottery were discovered in Coopers Lane in 1969. Welbrooke Hill nearby, is the site of Roman pottery finds and there is an Anglo-Saxon cemetry just South of the village alongside Barton Street. Further Anglo-Saxon evidence can be seen in the remains of an Anglo-Saxon cross found embedded in the North wall of St Margarets’s Church. The oldest part of the church is said to be the lower third of the Tower; constructed in the twelth century. Among the many stained glass windows is a very small window, left of the main entrance, which depicts St Margaret of Antioch, of whom the church is dedicated to. She is depicted here with a dragon, which could denote strength and courage, or strength in battle or adversity. The other side of the doorway is depicted St John the Baptist.

imgp0126-1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laceby

St Margaret was a native of “Antioch” and the daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. imgp0142-1Her mother, it is said, died soon after her birth and Margaret was thus nursed by a Christian woman five or six leagues from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her ‘virginity’ to God, Margaret was then disowned by her father and was adopted by her nurse; she lived in the country keeping sheep with her foster mother (in what is now Turkey). Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her, but with the demand that she renounced her Christianity. Margaret refused and upon her refusal, she was cruelly tortured during which, various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these involved her being swallowed by Satan, in the shape of a dragon from which she escaped alive when the cross she was carrying irritated the dragon’s innards. This tale is said to represent Margaret’s escape from her fathers false beliefs of paganism and of her being born anew by escaping from the dragon’s belly. However the account never the less was not taken seriously, especially the last incident which was descibed as “apocryphal and not to be taken seriously” and thus sadly she was put to her death; attempts were made to execute her by fire and then by drowning but she miraculously survived and managed to convert many spectators who were also  subsuequently executed, before being finally beheaded, in AD 304.  Because of this tale she has become the patron saint of childbirth, labour and pregancy. As Saint Marina, she is associated with the sea, which “may in turn point to an older goddess tradition,” reflecting the pagan divinity, Aphrodite. But how interesting that a church in England would take her name and that she would be it’s patron but even odder and more interesting still, she has patronage to Cambridge too; what a fascinating connection with furhter stories to be told….

‘The Blacksmith’s Ghost’: Solomon Fenner it is said, is still around the area of Laceby to this day. Around 1710 Solomon Fenner lived in the village of Laceby where he worked as the local Blacksmith, but although highly skilled and profesional he was not a rich man as such, yet neither did he live in poverty. He had previously served in the army of King William and King Henry on the continent, before returning home to Linconshire to take up his trade of which he had apprenticed for as a youth. He was known as a pious man who attended church each Sunday and whom gave a little of what he earned to the poor of the parish.

He never married but fell under the charms of one Rebecca Pettitt; a beautiful, witty young woman with long red hair and green eyes, who lived in the market town of Caister. It is said she had many suitors but her father Wiiliam Pettit; a greedy man who owned land and several shops in Caister, was determined that his daughter’s husband to be, would be one who would be financially advantageous to William.

And so it was that one day Solomon Fenner, was walking the country road to Caister and showed himself at the Pettit’s home, asking William for his daughters hand in marriage. William Pettit was furious that a humble blacksmith should ask such a question and thus angrily denied him and threw him out onto the street where something inside the normally gentle and pious blacksmith snapped. So knowing William Pettit to be a man of habit who regularily drunk and gambled with freinds at a hamlet near Cabourn, on a Saturday afternoon, Solomon made note. It was always late, lonely and dark when William made his way home through the Linconshire fens and the next Saturday night the vengeful Solomon was thus to be found waiting in the shadows….

When he saw the drunk and helpless William Pettit coming along on his own, he leapt out at him and bludgeoned him to death with a hammer. When his ‘red mist’ cleared and Solomon Fenner realise what he had done, he was filled with instant remorse and ran to the nearest farmhouse to confess to the sleepy inhabitants what he had done. When the body of William Pettit was discovered, bloody and battered, there was no doubt to Fenner’s confesion and so in due course he was of course hanged, as was the way in those times. Before his death it is said he wept bitterly, cursing his actions of that night, expressing fear for his imortal soul. His body was gibbeted on a hill near Cabourn overlooking the scene of his crime and to this day, if legend is anything to go by Solomon Fenner is still not at rest. For according to local folklore, travellers walking between Cabourn and Caister late at night will be approached by a tall and robust looking man, stepping out of the shadows to confront them. He wears dirty apparel and caries a blood-stained hammer in his hand. His red eyes do not lie; he has been weeping, yet he tells the travellers not to be afraid; he will do them no harm as he sadly recounts his story of his crime, adding that they must remember that all life is sacred and his punishment for forgetting this is to spend all enternity telling others of his crime…

We were unable to carry out any filming inside the church on this occason due to an afternoon ‘tea’ social and community gathering going on in the church, but we did manage to take some interesting photos which once again showed a great deal of Templar and Masonic symbolism and even from further beyond; symbols that are certainly not ‘christian’. Though sadly the church has very little of it’s former ‘energy’ alive to this day…

Masonic and Templar symbolism in St Margaret’s Church, Laceby, also showing a reference to the ‘Neville’ linage (click on images to enlarge)

A short video taken from outside of St Margaret’s Church, Laceby; here you will discover the beginnings of the ‘Neville’ line and more references to the symbolism inside the church (as shown above in the photos)

Laceby as mentioned in the clip above is actually where the ‘Neville’ line originated; and interestingly our lead researchers 18th grandmother’s father has a connection here. People always asume that the Neville line started from France (de Ville in France); going back to Geoffrey De Neville who was actually granted, by King Henry 3rd on 26th Dec 1234, an act, was given permission for this area, the right to hold a fair on the 24th July, as anyone at that time had to have the King’s permission to do so. Interestingly though, for some reason the locals were not tuned into the history of their church…..

St James Church Louth: Louth is situated at the foot of the beautiful Lincolshire Wolds, at the point where they meet the Lincolshire Marshes; it is known as the Capitol of the Lincolshire Wolds. It developed where the ancient trackway along the wolds, known as Barton Street, crossed the river Lud. The town is east of a gorge carved into the Wolds that forms the Hubbards Hill. This area was formed from a glacial overspill channel in the last glacial period; the River Lud meanders through the gorge before entering the town. Various interesting archeology finds have been unearthed in the area including hand axes dating from between 424,000 ans 191, ooo years ago, indicating inhabitation in the Paleolithic era. Bronze age finds include a ‘barbed and tangled’ arrowhead in the grounds of Monks Dyke, Tennyson College. There is an Anglo-Saxon burial ground, northwest of Louth, which dates from the fifth to sixth centuries. It was  first excavated in 1946 and with an estmated 1200 urn burials is one of the largest Anglo-Saxon cemetries in England.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louth,_Lincolnshire

This mainly fifteeth century parish church with the tallest medieval parish church spire in England, is the third building on the site here, succeeding the previous eleventh and thirteeth century structures. The chancel and nave were rebuilt in 430-40 but the very tall spire was not completed until 1515. This was the site of the Lincolnshire Rising, the first serious rebellion that threatened the crown which was followere by the Pilgrimage of Grace. These occurances were the results of the national discontent resulting from Henry V111’s taxation and ecclesiastical changes; sadly both rebellions failed and serious represions followed; the church then being swept clean of its richest, icluding the dismantling of the rood screen.

The unusual happening here is said to be of the appearance of the ghost of St. Hererith, the Bishop who died in 873, killed at the hands of the invading Danes and whom is also known as Louths ‘forgotten Saint’. Sadly due to being delayed by the trafic on the road on this particular day, the church was closed when we arrived so we were not able to prove or disprove any ‘tales’ but we managed some very useful video and photos from outside…

St James’s Church, Louth showing the tallest medieval spire in the counrty and an interesting sigil carved into the church wall; often know as the ‘Awen’ sign in the modern druidic world, more can be read about it here:-

To most people this symbol represents the modern day ‘Awen’ sign, yet the truth and meaning is very far removed as the symbol goes back much further in time; it was adopted with the re-birth of the ‘old ways’ in the 1960’s. In Templarism it actually represents the ‘three pillars’

Earth: Body & Love,
Sea:Mind / Wisdom,
Air:Spirit / Truth

The ‘Awen’ symbol is also said to represent ‘Inspiration of Truth’ and it is further suggested that without Awen (inspiration) one could not understand truth, so the original truths have stuck and been passed down. What is further interesting is the three rays (three pillars) also represent the universe in balance, meaning:

Left Ray:Female
Centre Ray:Balance
Right Ray:Male

One needs to attune to the three rays (or rather the ‘three pillars’) to fulfil their understanding of the world within them and all around them (the without)  (There is much more on the original metaphysical meaning of this symbol within Templarism in The Knights Bible found on Amazon)

Follow the link to our youtube channel for some interesting historical comments on the history of this spendid church and of its Knight Templar connection…

St Botolph’s Church Skidbrooke: This very interesting, hidden away, redundant Anglican church situated near the village of Skidbrooke, seven miles northeast of Louth in Lincolnshire is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. This isolated church is nestled well off the beaten track in a woodland copse, in the heart of rural Lincolnshire and totally not what any of us was expecting at all… Upon arriving, the site was very open, the fields were bare and the harvet was in, all in all a typical scene of the English countryside. The apearance of the church on the horizon, as it looms from under its secret cover of lush surrounding trees could easily be mistaken for a very atmospheric and eerie film set and indeed tales of ghosthunters, witch covens and satanic ritual still freshly abound and entice to this very day. This once, and i can only assume beautiful church, is now a vast empty shell; a ghost of its former self yet strangely very beautiful and compelling. The stained glass windows and what were probably wonderful church fittings etc have now all been removed and yet the ceiling still remains fairly intact as do surprisingly some of the carvings and significant writings which we may learn about later.

imgp0188-1

As said , an isolated church standing in the flat Lincolnshire marshes, St Botolph’s is early medieval, dating from the early thirteeth century with various renovations covering the Decorated and Perpendicular Gothic periods.This spacious building is composed of a nave with clerestory, north and south aisles, south porch, chancel, and an embattled west tower. The interior of the church is almost completely bare and unadorned, with unplastered walls letting the bones of the building show. The nave arcades are Early English, with wide, slender arches and nicely carved column capitals. The south arcade, built circa 1400, has it’s columns built up on bases several feet high. The tower arch is much narrower, in Perpendicular style. The church is constructed in limstone and brick with some rendering and the roof is in slate with stoned coped gables. Once inside it really opens out and has the feeling of a large hall; light pours in through the many glassless windows and the many fine arches all the way along the inside of the building hint at older different times. The piers of the arches are octagonal in construction representing ‘the eight points of perfection.’

 St Botolph’s; an abandoned yet beautiful chuch…..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Botolph%27s_Church,_Skidbrooke

If the building is used for rituals and gatherings, and by the looks of things remaining and clues opon the ground, it most probably is, one can immedietly sense why; the whole place most certainly have a feel to it; an atmosphere not of this world. Skidbrooke has been the subject of much publicity due to reports of paranormal activity at the church. Several ghosthunters have reported unusual goings-on at the building, and the church was nicknamed ‘the Demon church’ after it became popular with groups of Satanists in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Visitors have reported seeing a ghostly monk on the site, seeing odd lights and hearing sounds of storms in calm weather, and hearing strange, unexplained noises at night. Also reported at the sight are the cries of screaming satanists, a headless knight and demons from a specific tomb, where it is said is an entrance to ‘dimensional changes’.

Some of the symbols still left in this abandoned church <click on any image to enlarge>

Follow the link to our youtube channel for a tour around St Botolph’s Church and hear of scary tales old and new, of gatherings still taking place here…

We all experienced many different feelings here; feelings of the atmosphere changing, sensing the atmosheric presure changing, sensing hot and cold; in fact great activity all around us, feelings of breathlessness and tight chestedness. The ‘energies’ of the site constantly changed from knowing ‘others’ were there to a quite openly unfriedly, unwelcomed feeling; a deep and oppresive atmosphere that manifested in a physical way upon us. So certainly we were definitely not alone here but i get a true sense that the ‘guardians’ here are a tad fed up with it all and just want to be left in peace guarding ‘their truths’….. I myself loved the place and was very reluctant to leave, although it is not for the faint-hearted. I loved the whole experience of being there with communication from other dimensions, although some folks say that even today events of a ‘not nice’ nature are still practiced to this very day……

St Guthlac’ Church Market Deeping:  And so with nightfall well and truly upon us we arrived at St Guthlac’s Church in the pretty town of Market Deeping, for what was to be our first full night time visit. This church is largely fifteenth century and is the only church in Market Deeping, being part of the Church of England Anglo-Catholic tradition. On the south face of the tower is a very unusual sundial with ‘The Day is Thine’ enscribed upon it, while on the north face is a similar one enscribed with the words ‘The Night Cometh’; very compelling indeed… St Guthlacs is a grade 1 listed building that has been contiuously in use in Market Deeping for at lest eight hundred years. The site was clearly a centre of worship long before that as Anglo-Saxon religous masonry had been discovered in the grounds. It has a fascinating history, not only the building but also of St Gutlac himself. As we intend to return in the daytime for a more indepth look at this fascinating church; much more will follow…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_Deeping

Of interest to us is the fact that demons are said to roam the grounds and torment the living. Wandering around these church burial grounds at night, one certainly gets the direct sense of not being alone, of being watched and of experiencing very intense ‘energies’ in certain parts of the grave yard. Some of our team experienced hearing and seeing unexplained movements and sounds emancipating from certain areas, an orb was seen and also figures at the upper church windows when the security lights did not turn off. We did manage a few night-time photos and all will be continued….

In the graveyard of St Guthlac’ at night; look closely for the orbs….

If you wish to join us on our quests, especially if you love uncovering untold histories, please leave a message here in the comments section.

To find out more about The Priory, who we are and what we do please see the following link:-  http://priory7.wixsite.com/priory

“It is not the falsety of religion to rely upon for there is no meaning. It is Dumuzi, the son of Enki whom shall rise as a King amongst the wolves”

“The Keeper of Scrolls”