St Laurence



The exterior stonwork of the church is chiefly blocks of ‘skerry’ sandstone, Magnesian limestone and Lincolnshire limestone, but there are other stones present in small quantities. The majority of stones come from quarries in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

The main church building, including the tower and footings, is made of large pale grey blocks of Dolomitic ‘skerry’ sandstone. This stone is hard and difficult to work and is resistant to weathering. The stone may have come from local quarries such as Tuxford, Maplebeck, Laxton or Kneesall. It has not been available for the last 100 years.

The following stones are also found:

Magnesian limestone (Dolomitic). It is hard and difficult to work and would have come from a Mansfield quarry. It is found in quoins, window surrounds, buttresses and the south porch. Much of it is likely to have been put in at the restorations.

Lias (Lower Jurassic limestone) in small quantities in the south wall of the chancel. This comes from Collingham and is also found in Newark Friary.

Lincolnshire limestone (Middle Jurassic) in the tower string course and in some of the restoration work in the west window of the south aisle, the south porch and the south door of the chancel. It comes from Ancaster and is more easily worked than the stone mentioned already.

Tufa is found scattered in the south wall, including the south wall of the chancel. It is porous and light and is likely to have been found locally. It can still be found along the Beck between Norwell and Caunton, and is used abundantly in Caunton church.

Purbeck limestone. There are small blocks in the south porch, possibly parts of a reused tombstone.

Westmorland slate. On the chancel roof; part of the nineteenth century restorations.

Skerry ashlars Magnesian limestone window surround Tufa stone


Most of the internal stonework eg south doorway, pillars and the aumbry in the north transept are made of Magnesian limestone; this also includes the detached head in the north transept. The chancel step is of Carrara marble.


Most of the headstones are made of Mansfield limestone, although there are a few made of Welsh and Swithland slate.

Comparable Buildings

Ashlars of skerry are found in buildings throughout the village. These may have come from an earlier building. A possible source is the prebendal manor house of Norwell Overhall (the moated site to the south of the church) of which nothing remains. Examples of where the stones can be seen are given below.

Old Hall Dovecote

Brick building with a base of skerry, some Mansfield stone, small pieces of lias.

Church Farm

Base of skerry, some Lincolnshire limestone (limestone could possibly have come from Belvoir)

The Old House

Shaped skerry with brick below.

The prebendal manor house of Norwell Palishall has ashlars of skerry in its south west corner suggesting the existence of a medieval tower building.

With thanks to Dr Graham Lott for his help with identifying the stones