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Holy Trinity Church

the sights

    This is the parish of Barrow upon Humber in the Diocese of Lincoln. The sister church was Christ Church New Holland but this church has since been closed. Since 1984, this parish has been a United Benefice with the neighbouring parish church of All Saints, Goxhill and is served by one Priest and a band of extremely hardworking, caring laity.
    The Patron is the Lord Chancellor and the population of the whole United Benefice is in excess of 5000.
    There was a church here in Barrow (though not on this site) as far back as 677 in the time of ST CHAD. He had received the Bishopric of Mercia and Lindisfarne and the King, Wulfastan, gave him 50 hides of land to build a monastery. Some trace of this monastery was found some years ago in an excavation in St Chad, north east of the church, where a plaque outlining the site can be found on the south wall of Number 5 Martin’s Close (situated on the east side of St Chad).
Extracts from the excavation can be seen at “Baysgarth Museum” at Barton upon Humber (3 miles west of the village).
    It seems likely that the church in existence at the time of ST CHAD was destroyed by invading Danes in 871 and that the present building of Holy Trinity began around circa 1000.
    There are clear evidences of the NORMAN style being incorporated into the building as it was changed over the years. Prior to the year 1140, the church was a rectangular building with a tower and it was around this time that the North Aisle was originally built.

    The first chancel may well have been apsidal (semi circular) and the present chancel was added when the church was enlarged eastwards around 1240, the responds (half pillars) being removed and an early English arch added north and south. Typical of this early English architecture are the Lancet widows on the north side of the chancel.
    At some time in the medieval period an extra eastern bay was added (now the organ chamber) and a low pointed arch and panelled door (now a dedicated prayer area on the north side of the chancel).
    This area as with many medieval churches seems to have fallen into some state of disrepair and was subject to several restorations – 1450, 1760 and 1870.
    The chancel is under a ‘LEY RECTORSHIP’ historically the owner of Barrow Grange Farm and the door on the south side (now permanently locked) was for his use. The pew arrangement in the chancel was taken up on the north side by the ‘Impropriators Pew’ and the south side by the ‘Uppleby Pews’ named after the family who resided at Barrow Hall.

    This was originally built around 1140. The aisle had a slope roof and was supported by cross beams and described as being, “divided into 3 parts by 4 Buttresses”, presumably one at each corner and two along the side. In the eastern division are square headed windows of three lights with trefoil heads. On the other division one square headed window of two lights and a plain pointed doorway.
    The west wall had a pointed window of three lights with perpendicular tracery in a sweep. In 1842, the Rural Dean described this aisle as being in a “threatening condition” and the north wall was described to lean outwards by Archbishop Bonnet. This aisle was totally rebuilt in 1868.

    This was originally built around 1220 and is very similar to the north aisle and was probably done by ‘piercing’ the existing walls (note the Norman pillars and arches). In the restoration of 1868 the aisle roof was raised and adopted a steeper angle thus covering the Nave clerestory walls and windows and in 1964 at the east end of this aisle the present piscine was discovered which suggests the existence of a Chantry.

    Nattes’ drawing of 1796 shows Holy Trinity to have had south clerestory windows of eight nearly square lights (in pairs). Each pair of windows were separated by a ‘corbel head’, each window had a centre stone mullion which forms two divisions of quarrels. These were covered in the 1868 restoration. The outline of these windows can still be seen today under the existing plaster (south side). The Nave altar was placed in its present position in 1979 and the choir pews moved back to the north and south walls.
    An account of Barrow Church in 1867 stated that “very little had been spent on the fabric for many years” and the church was apparently in a state of great dilapidation! There was a Chorister’s Gallery filling in all the breadth of the west end of the Nave, of four seats all the length, which held a ‘good organ’. It was very neatly painted and supported by four wood pillars; the way to it was by a wood stair of seventeen steps.
    A series of essential restorations were carried out in the second half of the nineteenth century. Works were encouraged by the revived interest and enthusiasm in the prayer book and pulpit style of worship. It is historically interesting to describe a parish church as it appeared before these major changes.  Luckily, enough information has survived here at Holy Trinity to allow this. These can be found in the Lincolnshire Archive office at LINCOLN covering a period from 1796 to 1850.

    The tower has a good hipped roof of oak and was originally arranged internally, as today, with a chamber for the ringers, an upper chamber and belfry, which for many years housed a ring of six bells, four of them dated 1636, 1638, 1649 and 1674.
    In 1953 Taylors of Loughborough supplied a new metal frame and fittings, recast the 1 & 2 (the lightest pair) of the existing 6 and added two trebles.  The 3rd of the original 6 was later found to be cracked and was also recast.  The former wooden frame dating to 1729 was one of the earliest known to have been made by James Harrison I who was commissioned in 1733 to construct a new frame and rehang the 12 at York Minster.  This too was later replaced.  The 7th is the only bell supplied by Lester of Whitechapel to Lincolnshire.
    In December 2006 the eight bells were rehung in a frame for 12 by Taylors Eayre & Smith and at the same time the ringing chamber was completely renovated. In August 2007 two trebles were added, making a ring of ten and in the spring of 2008 two further bells were added to make a ring of twelve bells and complete the augmentation project.  
There are only two other rings of 12 in the Lincoln Diocese;  Lincoln Cathedral and Surfleet.
    Holy Trinity has a very active band of bellringers and is home to one of the Central Council of Church Bellringers' recognised Ringing Centres, where one can be assured of good quality tuition in the ancient English art of Change Ringing.  Bellringing is far more than just pulling a rope - it's a complete mental and physical workout in excellent company and can be learned by anyone over about 10 years of age.   It is also a massive social network; ringers routinely travel all over the country to ring with friends (there are no strangers in ringing, just friends you haven't yet met!).  If you are interested in finding out more, please visit ""

    This was originally sited at the west end of the south aisle near the entrance. It was an octagonal cup with a stalk on a square pedestal and was lead lined and held a “white metal basin”. Over the font there was a pyramidal wood octagonal cover.
The font you see today is from about 1750/1800 and has had restoration work. The railings are probably of 1750/1800 and it was at about this period the font was put in its present position.

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