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Church of the Month (April 2024)

The church of All Saints, Harby with Swinethorpe, is the featured church for April 2024. The village of Harby is on the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire border, 10 km (6 miles) west of the centre of Lincoln. Swinethorpe is a short distance to the south and is in Lincolnshire.

The current church has a cruciform plan and was built in Early English style in 1874-7 to a design of the London architect John T. Lee. It consists of south tower (with shingled octagonal broach spire with 2 tiers of lucarnes), nave, chancel, north vestry and south porch. The old church, which contained several medieval architectural features, was demolished in 1877. It was located 30 yards to the south of the new one.

The vestry door contains the oldest surviving masonry from the old church, a plain Norman 12th century doorway, formerly the south door of the old church.

The reredos, by James Powell and Sons of Whitefriars, is a mosaic showing the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and four archangels, with a white marble cross in the centre.

The three-light east window depicts major events in Christ’s life is by Heaton, Butler & Bayne and probably dates from the 1880s. Other stained glass windows in the church may also have been produced by the firm.

A window in the north wall of the nave is by the Lincoln Cathedral glazier, Stephen Lewis, and commemorates the death of Eleanor of Castile (Queen consort of King Edward I) at Harby Manor House in November 1290 and celebrates 2000 years of Christianity.

At the west end of the nave there is an octagonal 15th century font with traceried panels on the stem and shields in quatrefoil panels on the bowl.

Further information on the church can be found at the Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project website.