Holy Trinity


Everton and its hamlets of Harwell, Scaftworth, and Drakeholes lie alongside the Roman road from York to Lincoln which crosses the river Trent at Littleborough. Roman coins have been found in fields alongside the road. To the north of the village are the Carr lands, a large tract of marshy land which in the past frequently flooded and which affected the lives of the inhabitants of the village. The last major flood was in 1947.

Map of the village in 1886.
© Crown Copyright and Database
Right 2015. Ordnance Survey
(Digimap Licence).

The church with its tall tower is in the centre of the village with a large churchyard. Archaeological evidence suggests the settlement was much larger, with a village green and to the west glebe farm and cottage. There is no mention of a church in Domesday, nor is there any evidence of a preaching cross; however, the church probably dates from soon after the Conquest.

Dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity, the actual feast date was formerly observed on 3 October. Today the main celebration takes place on Trinity Sunday with a service in church at which the unique ceremony of ‘Clypping the Church’ is the main event. The word ‘clypping’ is of Anglo Saxon origin from the word ‘clyppan’, meaning to hold fast, embrace or surround, and halfway through the service the congregation, having encircled the church, join hands to ‘clypp’ or embrace the building.  

Carving of a grotesque
face on a roof beam

In its earliest form the church is likely to have consisted of a nave without aisles, a chancel with a square east end, and a short sturdy tower. Traces of herringbone stonework can be seen on the outside of the south facing nave. The entrance was originally through a narrow door in the west wall tower. On one of the roof beams of the chancel are two carvings, one of a grotesque face known as a ‘seamus na mogarie’ or tongue poker, possibly of pagan origin, and the other of what appears to be two mice.

The church was extended in the 14th century when north wall of the nave was removed and an aisle with an arcade of two bays built. A hagioscope or squint was inserted in the pier beside the chancel. It has since been blocked up and hidden under the plaster. A clerestory, south porch with a water stoup, a stone groined roof and an upper or belfry stage was added to the tower. It is likely that the pinnacles were added at the 15th century in the Perpendicular style.

The church was appropriated by Roger of Pont L’ Eveque, Archbishop of York, to the Chapel of St Mary and All Saints, York probably between 1177 and 1181. In 1258 Archbishop Sewall ordained that the vicar of Everton should have the altarage and the whole land of the church, with an enclosure in Harwell Inge or half a mark out of the purse of the sacrist and the tythe of the hay beyond the town of Scaftworth and the tythe of hay of Birthinge. The sacrist was also to find a dwelling house for the said vicar, or give him half a mark yearly for a house.

There is a suggestion that Everton might have been appropriated to Mattersey Priory which was founded in 1175, if so this appropriation was evidently short lived as it must have been granted to the Chapel of St Mary and All Saints, York, soon after this date.

In February 1281 Archbishop William Wickwane issued a mandate to the dean of Laneham to make inquiry about the vicarage of the church of Everton, said to be vacant, to which Master John de Luck', proctor of Sir Percival de Lavanna, sacristan of the chapel of the Blessed Mary and the Angels, York, had presented Roger de Weng', priest, and, if the inquiry was in favour of the presentee, to admit him.

The Close Rolls of Edward I 1278-1288 record:

‘Gervase de Clifton Sheriff of Nottingham delivered a writ to William Barn Clerk of Skaftworth who purged his innocence before the Archbishop of York in accordance with the privilege of clergy of the theft and larceny of 36s 8d of the King’s gift.’

At the 1291 taxation of Pope Nicholas IV Everton is listed as pertaining to the Chapel of St Mary of the Holy Angels, York; no separate valuation, however, is given. At the 1341 Nonarum Inquisitiones it was stated that the church was not taxed for the ninth of sheaves, lambs and their fleeces but that Everton along with the hamlets of Harwell and Scaftworth were worth 16 marks (£10 13s. 4d.) and no more, the tithes of hay were worth 30s., and mortuary and other dues were valued at 5 marks 10s. (£3 16s. 8d.). In the 1428 subsidy of Henry VI Everton is again listed as not being taxed.

During the period of William Greenfield's archiepiscopate, 1306-1315, he treated Everton, along with the other four churches appropriated to the Chapel of St Mary and the Holy Angels, York, as a distinct jurisdiction and were visited by him with his own manorial churches of Scrooby and Laneham.

In 1425 Juliana, widow of John Stillington of Everton gave lands, tenements and meadows in Everton to provide one penny annually to the Fraternity of the Hospital of St John in England for the health of John and Juliana, and to provide a light to burn before in the parish church before the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on all festival days at Everton.

In 1447 Richard Wentworth of Everton left 26s. 8d. to the making of a new bell. However, by 1488 there were already problems with the bell tower, when William Thrope of Scaftworth left 10s. to the repairing of the bell tower. Thrope also left ‘£4 13s. 4d. for the celebration of mass at Everton and in the chapel at Scaftworth for my soul and the soul of my relations and friends for a whole year after my decease’.

Mattersey Priory kept its links with Everton, and in 1487 the Prior Thomas Sutton of Mattersey Priory was Godfather to Thomas Wentworth, son of Matthew Wentworth of Everton. At the Reformation lands and tenements in Everton and Weston were recorded as yielding £7 6s. 10d. to Mattersey Priory.

In 1936 John Thornely Taylor wrote  

‘A copy from an ancient document in York Minster: ‘A Chapelle called Our Lady of Skaftworth in the Paryshe of Everton as by Survey thereof made particulery, it dothe appere  by yere, VIs IId due unto the incumbent there, who is name ys not presented, without paying any rent resolute. Memorandum. Goodes, ornaments, Plates or Jewellis remaining to the Kings Maiisties use by this Chapelle.

This parcel was not presented at the survey of the aforesaid Chantries but sins, that is to saye the XVII daie of Octobre Anno Regni Edwardi sixti secundo, by the othe of one Henry Drue being therof examined.

And not withstanding the saide othe of Henry Drue, he said that it was not presented was not presented before us for that yt was knowne to be a Chapelle of Ease and noe is pulled downe and employed upon the mending of the highway at Bawtry Bridge which was then in greate ruyne and decaye and no less noisome to the Travaylers.

Founded by whom is unpresented ye worthe in certain Rentes lying and being in Winares and sundry places in the said Paryshe of Everton’. 

In 1527 Thomas Magnus, warden of Sibthorpe College near Newark and Archdeacon of the East Riding, bought the Everton estate of Sir Thomas Wentworth using the income to establish a grammar school and choir school in Newark, thus diverting money from the village and church. It was not until the late 18th century that the Magnus Trust started to invest money in the village with the rebuilding of the farms, but even then no money was given to the church.

The Valor Ecclesiasticus entry for Everton records:

George Thorpe vicar there

Having a mansion glebe lands & a close of the yearlyn value of XXXIIIs IIIId
Easter Book XXXs IIId
offering day Xs VId
lyne XVs
piggs goose and chekens XXs
corne and haye XIIIs IIIId

Total £VII IIs IId

Xmas inde XIIIIs IId obq

The chapel of St Mary and All Saints was dissolved in 1547, and during the reign of Philip and Mary the patronage was granted to Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York. By 1568 patronage had reverted to the crown, in 1624 it passed to the Earls of Devonshire and remained in the family until 1847 when it passed into the Metcalfe family who transferred it to the bishop of Southwell on 28 April 1924.

In April 1598 the churchwardens and swornmen presented the following: 'the fence of the churchyard is faulty and is to mended by Widow Hides of Claworth, Thomas Woodcocke of Claworth and Roberte Houton, Roberte Wo[-] and John Vertunne of Everton; they have no service on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays or on holy days because the vicar, Mr Anthonie Phanne, is not resident'. In 1603 the minister and churchwardens presented that: '1. we have in our parish one Peter Haworth, our minister and a preacher of three years and a half standing in Queens College, Cambridge; 2. the value of our minister's benefice, being parcel of an impropriation, is in the King's Books as £7 2s; 3. he has no more benefices; 4. we have no recusants within our parish; 5. we have 200 communicants or thereabouts, besides those who are under age to receive the communion'.

In 1654 all the males in Everton signed the Protestation Returns, although there are several presentments by the churchwardens to the Archdeacon’s Court for non attendance at church, including William Barbour who in 1608 was presented for ‘being in the alehouse in time of service’. In 1674 a total of eight men and ten women were presented for ‘not coming to church and not receiving Holy Communion at Easter last past’. By 1676 parishioners were attending Quaker meetings when John Smith was fined 5s. and forfeited a pair of boots worth 8s. for payment of the same, whist the churchwardens were ordered to take five cows worth 13s. from Robert Spavauld and a heifer from Robert Nicholson for attending a Quaker meeting.

In 1743 when Archbishop Herring made his visitation he asked ‘is there a school in your parish?’ to which John Foss the vicar replied ‘we have a school in which ten to a dozen children are taught at the expense of their parents and instructed according to the doctrine of the Church of England and daily brought to church’. Nothing is known about the school or its whereabouts, although the churchwardens accounts for 1732-3 lists ‘for nayles & lock for ye school door’. No further mention is made to the school, and in Archbishop Drummond’s visitation of 1764 the vicar, John Ella, asserts that ‘there is no publick charity school in my parish’.

In 1804 the vicar Robert Evans noted in the baptismal register ‘this year a school was purchased near the mill for one hundred pounds which was raised by voluntary subscription amongst the inhabitants’. The school continued for about fifty years until soon after the arrival of the Rev William Metcalfe as vicar. He considered the school by the mill too far from the church and vicarage and gave his tithe barn to be used as the school. The principal subjects were to be ‘Bible Catachism, grammar, arithmetic, general history and geography. All should be conversant with the Doctrines of the Church of England’. Divine Service would be compulsory at least once on the Sabbath. After much arguing the school was opened with the proviso that ‘no child should be compelled to receive instruction in the Catechism or any particular doctrine or principle of the Church of England’.

During the 18th century, accommodation was increased by building wooden galleries, two at the west end of the nave and one on the north side near the east end. In 1841 a further addition was built. The chancel was extended eastwards and finished with an octagonal apse and seating was increased by building out an annexe at the side of the chancel.

When the large organ was installed behind the choir stalls, the annexe was effectively screened off to form the vestry. In 1963 the organ was removed and a smaller organ placed at the east end of the north nave, the annexe becoming the south transept once more. The mullions and tracery windows of the extension are made of wood and painted to imitate stone, whilst the walls of the apse were plastered over with Roman cement and pebble dashed.

19th century sketch of
the church interior
showing the squint to
the left of the arch
19th century sketch of
the church showing the
pinnacles on the tower

A drawing of the interior made just after the apse was built shows the squint, the box pews, and pulpit on the south side of the nave and the Royal Coat of Arms over the arch leading to the chancel. A drawing of the exterior was also made at the from the vicarage garden at the same time it shows the pinnacles still in place.

In 1849 a faculty was requested for the removal of the galleries which were ‘very decayed & inconvenient to clean and repair the stonework & windows & to provide new seating estimated cost £500. The galleries were removed and the floor lowered disclosing the column bases and much of the original Norman work and the box pews were replaced by plain pine seating.

Sir Stephen Glynne visited on 10 December 1850 when he described ‘an irregular church of different ages, and much altered’. He was particularly taken with the porch which was ‘low and rather elegant, entirely of stone, with battlement and pinnacles’. He was less enamoured of the nave which had ‘a flat ceiled roof and is much encumbered with galleries’, suggesting that the work approved in 1849 had not yet taken place. He added that ‘the principal feature of the church is the very fine Norman arch between and nave and Chancel’. ‘The church has been much modernised and an apsidal addition made to the east end’, he added.

The religious census taken on 25th March 1851 recorded a population of 307 males and 355 females. The parish church had 200 free spaces and 200 other; on that day the congregation at the morning service was 125 and at the evening service, 55 Sunday scholars attended morning service and 49 the evening service.

Fewer than ten Terriers have survived; they are for the years between 1728-1886. However, they give information about the church and people of that time with good descriptions of land holdings, who owned the land and who occupied it. Many of the field names are still in use today. The Terrier for 1781 is typical:

‘A Terrier of the Vicarage House Glebe Tythes and Dues belonging to the vicarage of Everton – One House with four rooms on a floor with chambers over them and two small outshots with chambers in them built with bricks and covered with Tiles – Three of the Chambers and one low room floored with Firr, three with plaister & the rest with bricks – no Wainscot or cieling – a Barn sixty three feet long and sixteen feet wide, part bricked and part studded & daubed with Clay and tiled, a Cart Horse Stable with a Chamber over it, a Foal Stable bricked and tiled another Stable with four stalls & with Chambers over it bricked and tiled, a Hay Sty and Hen house – two necessary Houses -  A small Court before the House fenced with brick, a Garden to the north of the House about thirty five yards square brick fenced on the West & quick fenced on the North & both maintained by the Vicar, Brick fenced by Joseph Wilkinson on the East and bounded by the House  the four stated stables, Hay Sty and Hen house & two gates opening into the Garden on the South. Ten Acres of land in the North Field allotted to the Vicar in Lieu of open arable land the aforesaid Garden Part of the Church Yard John Laughtons House Robert Kitchens Garden Joseph Wilkinsons Garden and John Drews Croft south Pinfold Lane east, John Drews Land West & the Allotment made to the Vicar in the common North, the long Furlong Way lying across – the Vicar keeps in repair the east and west Fences and also the fences where the said Long Furlong Way crosses the said Land- A Piece or Parcel of Ground upon Everton Common called the Panns south, Skirts and part of the Hills adjoining containing Eighty nine Acres and two roods having the Pinfold Road East The Wharf Road West, the Cross Way North and the North Field South, allotted to the Vicar as satisfaction for his Right of Common  and for the small Tythes and Dues belonging to the said Vicarage for or in Respect of Houses Gardens Orchards Turnips Wool Lambs Cows Calves Pigs Turkeys Geese Ducks Chickings Doves and Bees within the Townships of Everton and Harwell, the Vicar keeping in repair the East West and North Fence.

Viz one half acre  in the Field at Thick Carr Side Mr Acklom West Mr Spavold East Thick Carr North Mr Listers Headland South, one half rood in three roods Mr Dickinson north John Padley south Troughs east & John Padley west, one half acre on the Reding Hill Mr Lister north and south Hullings  east and in the field west,. One Land above an acre in the Holme Mr Acklom east and west Old Meer north and Little Carr south, one half acre in the Breath in field Mr Acklom south Mr Lister north Wickerton Hill east & Mr Spavolds Farworth west Four Wands of meadow in the long Swaithe John Birks west John Padley east Mr Dickinson north and the River Idle south a modus of two Pence pr year payable to the Vicar in Lieu of tythes of Hay in certain Closes called Flagg Pieces Tythes of Tofts & Crofts and Lam except what is satisfied by Act of Parliament one lamb is due as six according to Custom of the Parish allowing the owner an half penny piece for the rest up to ten. Easter offerings two pence each communicant. Composition for a farm is six Pence for a cottage is four Pence., Composition for a for a calf is two shillings and one cow to be taken as six allowing for three half pence for the four calves wanting to make up ten One shilling for five calves, a farthing for each Servants Wages. Each handycraft man four Pence in Composition.

A Dovecote is two Shillings for a Dove Chamber one shilling One Penny for a Swarm of Bees one Penny for a foal, pigs, Turkies Geese Chickins in kind Fruit in kind. Churching seven Pence Wedding with Banns one Shilling, with licence five shillings Burial Sixpence Mortuaries two Shillings and sixpence for each ten Pounds up to forty pounds.

In the church one Flaggon of pewter and a silver cup & a cover to it the weight not mentioned, a silver plate for the Communion Bread with the following Inscription upon it Ex Dono Doma Elizabeth Gilby, a cloth for the Communion Table, The Commandments, Creed and Lords Prayer, Three Bells a clock a Bible & a Surplice. In the Churchyard twentyone Elm trees. In the courtyard before the House four Lime trees and in the north part of the six more a small orchard & five small plantations of trees of various sorts and a small one.

To the Parish Clerk’s Office belong six Acres of Land in that part of the late Common of Everton called Greatmire Close, Row Road south Francis Wainwright east Francis Wainwright north and John Metcalf west four Pence for each Family by Custom Eleven Pence for a Burial six pence for a marriage with Banns & with a Licence two shillings and sixpence.

The above Terrier allowed and signed by us the Eleventh Day of July One Thousand seven hundred and eighty one.

J Ella vicar                                 Jno Parkin

Thos Williamson                        Jno Drew

J Laughton Churchwardens        Thos Fisher

Note; 5 Shillings per annum is due to the Clerk acct of Joseph Wilkinson’s Brick Kiln Close.

Bishop Hoskyns visited Everton on 28 January 1913, when there were 75 children on the Sunday School roll, and over the previous twelve months there had been nine baptisms and 21 confirmations.

By 1923 the tower and bell frame of the church were in danger of collapse. The lower half of the tower had been built of inferior stone and rubble rather than interlocking stone or ashlar. In addition the belfry stage had been built with much stronger stone which combined with the bell frame was too heavy for the lower half. The Lincoln cathedral surveyor called in to inspect the extent of the damage called it ‘the wreck of a tower’ which he blamed on excessive bell ringing: ‘the violent and continuous change ringing has become a cult’.

The vicar’s mother, Mrs Curtis, organized an appeal and eventually six tons of liquid cement were poured into the tower to stabilize it. Three years later the bell frame was lowered and the bells re-hung. The re-dedication of the bells and the dedication of a new clock were performed by the Bishop of Southwell on 18 October 1926.

Fifty years later the tower was again in danger of falling, pieces of masonry were dropping into the churchyard. Bell ringing could only continue after £6,000 had been spent on new groins and re-facing the west wall of the tower. Today bell ringing continues but the passing bell for the dead, three muffled stokes for a man and two for a woman followed by a ring for every year of the life of the departed, was discontinued in 1956.

A plaque under the tower records the terms of the Ducklin Ella charity:


To the Poor of the Parish of EVERTON

The Impropriator pays to the poor of the township of Everton equal payments at Easter and Christmas Day yearly the sum of £1-6s-8d.

To the poor of the township of Scaftworth by two equal payments at Easter and Christmas Day yearly the sum of 13s- 4d. Payable out of the estate of Everton in the occupation of William Boot and formerly purchased of Richardson by the late Josiah Boot, to the poor of the township of Everton at Christmas Day yearly the sum of 10s-0d.

Everton Pound now the property of John Laughton to the poor of Everton at the anniversary of the interment of Richard Ducklin the Donor, yearly the sum of 5s 0d.

Mrs Elizabeth Ella by her last will bequeathed to her brother John Ella and his successors, vicars of Everton the sum of £100 upon their ---------- and it is further directed and it is futher directed that the said vicars should apply the lawful yearly sum of interest in the manner following,

One moiety for the benefit of poor married women residing in Everton during their lying in.

The other moiety of the said interest touching the poorest children of the said township of Everton

Robert Evans vicar

John Birkes

Thomas Williamson Churchwardens 1807

Funds for the Wells charity was derived from one third part of the rectoral tithes. The tithe formerly belonged to Miss Eliza Wells of West Stockwith and was bequeathed by her for charitable uses in the parish of Everton in a deed of gift in December 1875. In 1907 became the Wells Educational Foundation with the sum of £20 being provided annually for further education. By authority from the Charity Commissioners administration of the Ducklin Ella charity with the Wells charity was taken over by Everton United Charities on 1st December 1913.

By the middle of the 20th century the Wells Charity was used to provide money to buy school uniforms for children who had gained scholarships to Retford Grammar and High Schools. It also helped with the school fees of children who had just missed out on the scholarship but were considered worthy of help.

Children who went to Sunday School benefitted from the Philip Lord Wharton Bequest administered by the Diocese of York to provide prayer books and bibles.

One such prayer book has the following inscription inside the front cover. It gives a brief description of how the charity came into being.

‘the memory of the just is blessed’

Died February 4 1696, aged 83, and by his
will left to his Trustees certain estates in
Yorkshire, the proceeds of which are to be
Devoted each year to the distribution of Bibles
and other books.
This book is given by direction of the present Trustees  to-----
Jean Pond
Of the Parish of
F B Wardle vicar                 Special for full attendance at Sunday school

On 7th February 1941 the vicar reported that the Sunday school had become very crowded with over 90 pupils due to the large number of evacuees in the village. They had come from Leeds, Birmingham and Great Yarmouth with a wide diversity of accents. With few teachers it was becoming difficult to maintain discipline and he appealed for help from members of the congregation.    

Parish registers, churchwardens’ accounts and PCC/Vestry minutes

The parish registers date from 1567 and are deposited at the Nottinghamshire Archives.

Churchwardens accounts exist for 1732-1893 and 1913-48 and the PCC & Vestry Minutes 1894-1913 and 1939-76. The keys to the Parish Chest had been lost for many years. During the 1970s it was decided to cut through the three locks when it was found that it was full of mouldy and decaying ledgers, minute books, a decayed map of the village, of varying dates. Unfortunately much had to be thrown away. The early accounts show how important the road from York to Lincoln and the Chesterfield Canal which linked up with the river Trent at West Stockwith, 42 passes were issued in 1808 particularly to women and children passing through the village. The main concern in 1732 appears to have been getting rid of vermin: ‘paid Jno Clark for 2 doz. Sparrows 2d, to Tom Winteringham for one weasel 1d. This practice continued into the 19th century, in 1823 the total sparrow kill was £7-4s-4d. Payments to the poor are recorded, in 1800 a regular dole of £5 10s a year was paid to poor widows. In 1820 14s-8d was paid for the Visitation Court.