St Bartholomew


The church comprises (from east to west), a chancel, nave, south and north aisles, south porch, and a square tower. There is a boiler house. Nothing remains of the Norman structure the main part of the church dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. However, there remains in the church a fragment of an 11th century cross base with interlaced decoration. Restoration work took place in 1846, 1880, and 1893 and in 2000/1, the interior was being converted for secular use as the Bill Hemsley Community Centre, religious worship now being concentrated in the chancel.

Nave, Aisles and Chancel

The walls are coursed, square-faced ashlar stone. The chancel walls are made of the same material but are heavily buttressed in different stone indicting that the roof pitch may have been lowered at some time. The buttresses are largely 19th century. The nave has a chamfered and moulded plinth.

The roof is concrete, asbestos cement and slate tiled. There is no indication that the nave roof has been lowered. The nave has six double lancet clerestory windows which are 15th century displaying gargoyles and cusped ogee heads and a chamfered Tudor arch.

The north aisle is basically 14th century but with restored 15th century windows and rainwater head which carries a date of 1873. There is a 14th century doorway with hood-mould and a plank door.

The south aisle has three bays and appears to have been rebuilt in the 19th century with corner buttresses (this may be 1880 as the rainwater goods show this date).

The chancel from
the south

The chancel is mainly 15th century with three bays and rests on a partial chamfered plinth. The chancel has a crenellated coped gable with two crocketed pinnacles and a single centrally place crocketed pinnacle. There is a 14th century priest’s door double chamfered and rebated with ogee hood mould and finial. The easternmost bay appears to be an addition to earlier fabric, and there is evidence of a blocked doorway on the north side.

West Tower

The tower
from the

This dates from c.1425 and is in three stages with two string courses and an eave band with bosses and the remains of six angels and beasts. There are two water spouts and the parapet shows traceried panels with four restored crocketed pinnacles.

In the 19th century the west corners of the tower were strengthened by buttresses.

A brass plaque records the restoration of the tower in 1893:















South Porch

South porch South door

This is 19th century with two flanking buttresses but the doorway is 13th century with hood mould. The doors are 19th century.

The roof is 15th century scissor braced common rafter form with a Swithland slate covering.


Nave and arcades
looking east
Nave and arcades
looking west
Angel corbel Piscina

The nave arcades each have three 14th century octagonal piers with a variety of moulded capitals.

The nave roof is 15th century chamfered tie beam with double purlins but was matchboarded in the 19th century.

The south aisle has a lean-to roof of 15th century construction but has been restored at some time.

The entrance to the chancel has a 15th century coved and chamfered arch with angel corbels.

The chancel has a restored 15th century style roof with moulded timbers and ogee corbels. On the 30th September 1701 the churchwardens complained that the roof was out of repair but no work is recorded.

There is a 14th century piscina with cusped trefoil head.

Part of pre-Conquest grave cover

A stone, now located at the east end of the north aisle, was found reused as walling rubble in the north elevation of the west tower during the restoration of 1893. This is part of a mid-Kesteven group grave-cover with interlace decoration. It probably dates to the late 10th or early 11th century.

Technical Summary

Timbers and roofs

15th century roof with chamfered tie beams and double purlins; matchboarded above C19th, probably 1873.

Moulded timbers supported on ogee corbels, appears C15th in style but restored C19th, probably 1873.

Heavy angle tie-beam with subsidiary supporting angle beam. Raking rafters and planking above. The main timbers appear to be late medieval.
S.Aisle Lean-to design, but appears to retain C15th timbers; central purlin. Restored probably 1873. n/a  
N.Aisle Lean-to design with common rafters and centre purlin. All C19th, probably 1873. n/a  
Other principal     Ceiling of tower 1st floor appears to retain medieval timbers.
Other timbers      


The bellframe is an Elphick 'V', Pickford Group 6.B., 3-bay wooden frame. There is evidence of a date incised on one cill beam '1757'. There are a good set of carpenters' marks on the heads.

Scheduled for preservation Grade 3.


Plaster covering & date Plastered and painted, probably C19th. Redecorated 2001/2. Plastered and painted, C19th. Plastered and painted, C19th.
Potential for wall paintings Possible, under later layers. Possible, under later layers. Unlikely.

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

Trial test pits and excavations were undertaken at the eastern end of the chancel in 2001 ahead of work to partially convert the church into dual-use. Archaeological work was undertaken by Trent and Peak Archaeological Trust. Below 19th century rubble and destruction layers a straight north-south wall was revealed, to which had been added the curving wall of an apse. The whole was extensively disturbed by later works, and burials. A possible reused Roman building stone was located. At least two phases of work were identified with the straight wall pre-dating the apse. No artefacts were located to help to date the stratigraphy and so absolute dates and phasing remain problematic.

The standing fabric dates mainly from the C13th to the C19th. There were restorations in 1846, 1860, 1873, and 1893. It is expected that below-ground stratigraphy will be disturbed in the area of the nave and aisles, and is known to be disturbed in the chancel, although it is probable that these areas will all retain medieval deposits below the areas of disturbance, as has been demonstrated at the eastern end of the chancel. The tower floor may also be disturbed but is expected to retain complex stratigraphy at depth.

The standing fabric of the entire building has considerable medieval fabric, largely of C13th-C15th date. The nave, aisles, chancel, and tower all have medieval core fabric. The tower appears to be of a single phase and has been dated to c.1425. The tower interior roof appears to be late medieval, perhaps C15th.

The churchyard is roughly square, with the church positioned towards the south-east corner. Burials are on all sides with more recent burials located to the north in an area that may be an extension of the older churchyard.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard, is considered to be MODERATE-HIGH, comprising mainly burials of all periods, landscaping, and evidence of restoration and rebuilding in the C19th. Below the present interior floors of the nave, aisles, tower, and chancel it is considered to be HIGH-VERY HIGH below C19th disturbance layers. The standing fabric of the church is largely medieval and the potential for surviving medieval archaeology in the standing fabric is considered to be HIGH-VERY HIGH.

Exterior: Burial numbers are expected to be average. The area to the north of the churchyard may be a more recent extension.

Interior: Stratigraphy under the entire interior of the building is expected to comprise C19th disturbance with medieval deposits beneath. The floor in the body of the church may be punctuated by medieval and post-medieval burials, and vaults.