St Michael


At the Norman Conquest William Peveril was made Lord of Nottingham by William I and was given lands, part of which was the village of Linby. In 1086 Domesday records that Linby had a priest. William Peveril's son, William, founded Lenton Priory which he granted to Pontius, Abbot of Cluny whose abbacy extended from 1109-1125. William also granted 'to God and the Church of the Holy Trinity at Lenton ... the town which is called Lyndeby ... with the church of the same town.'

The first recorded incumbent, c.1170, was Robert, priest of Edingley. Master Ralf was 'parson of Lindeby 1213-1214'.

In August 1252 the dean of Nottingham was ordered 'to relax the sequestration of the church of Lindeby' to the following Easter; Archbishop Walter de Gray granted the custody of it to Master de Steinford who was presented to the benefice.

On 14th May 1267 William de Wiham was presented by the prior and convent of Lenton to the church of Lindeby.

Michael, rector of Linby, was given leave to study in England for three years from Easter 1293. A further leave of absence for two years was granted in June 1294.

In 1291, the taxatio of Pope Nicholas IV records that the church was assessed at a clear annual valuation of 8 marks (£5 6s. 8d). The church was appropriated by Lenton Priory and a pension of half a mark (6s. 8d) was paid to the prior: 'pensio prioris de Lenton in eadem ecclesia'.

In 1341, the nonae rolls, a taxation of ninths, states that that church of Lynedby was taxed at 100 s. (£5) and the ninth of sheaves, lambs and their fleeces were worth 5 marks 7s. 6d. (£3 14s. 2d) a year at true value and no more, 30 acres of arable land belonging to the church were worth 8s. 8d., 3 acres yielding tithe to the church were worth 6s. 8d., and oblations, mortuary fees, and other small tithes were worth 15s. 6d.

In 1378 John de Syleby, chaplain of the chantry at the altar of St. Mary's, Newark, was presented to the church of Linby in the diocese of York in the King's gift by reason of the alien Priory of Lenton being in his hands on account of the war with France, on an exchange of benefices with Richard de Tuttebury.

An archiepiscopal commission in October 1401 inquired into the vacancy and patronage of the rectory of Linby, to which the prior and convent of Lenton had presented William Vale of Linby, priest. An inquisition had been held of neighbouring rectors, vicars, and chaplains, who had confirmed the patronage. An official of the Archdeacon of Nottingham had instituted and inducted Vale to the rectory, vacant by the death of John Syleby.

At the 1428 subsidy of Henry VI, the payment, after deduction of the pension to Lenton Priory, was recorded as 6s. 8d., i.e. the annual valuation had fallen to £3 6s. 8d.

On 6th August 1548, after the dissolution of Lenton Priory, the advowson of the rectory was granted to Robert Strelley and his wife Frideswide. Within 30 years, it was held by John Byron and in the 18th century it passed, with the manor, to the Montague family. In 1800 Frederick Montagu bequeathed it to Fountayne Wilson and his heirs. However, a condition of this bequest was that they used the name of Montagu. Fountayne Wilson refused to comply and so he conferred it on his son. The patronage remained with this family until 12th April 1920, when James Fountayne Montagu of Cold Overton, Leicestershire, conveyed it to Albert Ball. On 31st December 1938 Albert Ball passed the patronage to C.W.Chadburn of Papplewick Hall, Nottinghamshire.

In 1596 swornmen presented that 'the church and chancel have been in decay but are now in repairing'.

In 1597 churchwardens presented the following: 'our parson is resident, keeps hospitality and relieves the poor; Wednesday and Friday service is done and the people come to it; suppers on Wednesdays and Fridays are forborn, and the poor are relieved; there is no flesh eaten on forbidden days within our parish; our collectors make gatherings of money for the poor and distribute the same accordingly; to our knowledge none of the articles have been broken since our parishioners had warning and were charged to keep and observe them.'

In 1602 churchwardens and swornmen presented the following: 'the outward house of our parsonage house is in decay in the default of Edward Holt our parson, and also our chancel is in decay in his default; our churchyard fence is in decay in default of Richard Brougrave, gent.; the said Richard is presented for not receiving communion since his coming to our town.'

In 1631 Frances Clarke, wife of Thomas Clarke, was presented 'for abusing our church porch and making a bed and a fire in it, and refusing to leave it and abusing us in words.'

It was reported in 1637 that the sum of 33s 4d was disbursed for the repair of the church since the previous visitation.

In 1650 Richard Walker was ‘preaching minister’ but he was, according to a Parliamentary Survey, 'a Drunkerd and a common swearer.'

In 1684 churchwardens reported that 'our church walls want whiting; the goods of the church were not delivered to us "by bill indented" [by the former churchwardens]; our chancel wants drawing with lime and hair; the parsonage barn is out of repair.'

In 1718 the churchwardens presented that ' the church wants beautifying; we want a flagon, a basin, a plate, a new carpet for the communion table and a poor man's box with three locks and keys.'

The burial registers of the late 18th to the early 19th centuries contain frequent entries for the burials of 'London boys' in the churchyard. During this period a large number of boys from St. Marylebone Workhouse in London were sent to neighbouring Papplewick to work in George, James and John Robinson's cotton mills on the River Leen and the entries are records of their deaths. In 1801 14 of 19 burials which took place at Linby were those of London boys and they were buried close to the north-east boundary wall of the churchyard. In total there are 41 entries in Linby's parish registers relating to the interment of 'London boys'. 

Some idea of the life of the church and the village in the 18th century can be gained from the returns to the questions of Archbishop Herring's Visitation of 1743. The answers to the questions were given by the rector Andrew Matthews (1723-1762):

1.    In this Parish there are Forty four Families & one Hundred & Eighty-five Persons, & no Dissenters of any Kind
2.   There is no Meeting House of any Sort in this Parish
3.   There is no Charity or Publick School in the Parish 
5.   I do reside Personally upon my Cure & in the Parsonage House

Archbishop Herring’s eighth question was:

How often is the public service read in your church? Is it performed twice every Lord's Day? And how comes it not to be twice done as the Act of Uniformity and Canons of the Church require?

To which the rector replied:

Publick Service is read in this Church every Lords day once one Sunday in the Morning & the next in the afternoon & the reason why ’tis not performd twice every Lords day is because I read Service every Lords day one part of the day at Annesley.

By 1764, when the individual parish returns were completed for Archbishop Drummond's visitation, the rector was Robert Stanley. He reported there were about 30 familes and no dissenters in Linby. Stanley was also vicar of Blidworth and he stated that 'whilst my house in this place has been repairing I have lived in my vicarage at Blidworth, but I am now upon the point of removing.' He had no curate at Linby but Divine Service was performed at Linby and Papplewick churches every Sunday; morning service was on alternate weeks. The sacrement of the Lord's Supper was administered four times a year and although the number of communicants was about 120 only 10-12 received the sacrament.

John Lawrence Prior became rector in 1853 but was also serving as curate at Papplewick. In 1855 when the two parishes merged, an arrangement which still persists, Lawrence remained as rector for both churches.

At the time of the 1851 religious census the church had 260 sittings and an average general congregation of 45 at Morning Service (plus 30 Sunday Scholars) and 75 (plus 30 Scholars) in the afternoon.

On 15th May 1862 Sir Stephen Glynne wrote in his notes on Linby church:

'The church has a nave, S. aisle, Chancel, Western Tower, North Porch. The church is in fair repair, but much mischief has been perpetrated in the alteration and mutilation of windows and in the repewing and other injudicious changes about 1805.'

One of these changes was the addition of a gallery across the west wall of the nave, obscuring the tower arch. This feature was described by the Nottinghamshire Guardian as 'a most uncouth looking gallery, which accommodated but few while it disarranged the symmetrical proportions and obstructed the original windows, while to give light to the unsightly gallery a few hideous openings were made in the walls of the church, glazed over and called windows, this latter innovation very much injuring the outside of the building.'

In 1877-78 the gallery was removed, the 'hideous openings' blocked up and original windows reinstated. The building was 'thoroughly cleansed and repaired, the old fashioned pews and benches removed, and open but comfortable seats of best red deal, varnished, with foot rails and book desks' installed.

Also in the late 19th century a lean-to vestry with two buttresses and coped gables was added to the north chancel wall. It later became an organ chamber.

Further work at the church took place in 1913-14. This included the fitting of oak panelling in the chancel (with a gradine behind the altar), the installation of choir stalls in the chancel and a pulpit and lectern in the nave and the insertion of two memorial windows, gifted by the late Major Herbert Morres Prior. The interior walls were stripped of plaster and proud pointing with dark cement was used.

Vestries were built in 1934 at the west end of the south aisle.

The east end of the south aisle was restored as a Lady Chapel in 1958 and 1972. In 1997, the organ chamber, vacated for some years when a new organ was installed in its present position became the vestry and the old vestries became a Church Room.

In 1998 a new gallery, which acts as a ringing chamber, was inserted in the tower. The inscription on a glass panel reads:


to the
glory of god
in memory of the
gray family

EVELYN MARY GRAY 1902 - 1996

In 2002 there was extensive re-pointing of the exterior of the building.

The Parish Registers begin in 1692.

The Communion Plate is 17th century. In the 19th century this plate was lost for some time, a note in the vestry book tells us that the then Churchwarden’s wife discovered it under a feather bed at home and it was thus happily restored to the Parish.