All that’s left of a medieval village

013bWhat do you see? A couple of gravestones, a fence and sign and open fields?

Nope. This is a medieval village. At least it was.

Depending on what period of history you are looking at, in a different time zone you may have seen a Roman settlement here … or an Anglo Saxon hall with a ditch and ramparts with a village of more than 30 crofts, or a motte and bailey castle.

This was once a thriving community, one of around 20 in the surrounding area. By the end of the medieval period, all were deserted.

All that remains of the village of Goltho today is this tiny church in its graveyard in the middle of a farmer’s field in Lincolnshire.

017bThis is St George’s Church at Goltho, one of Lincolnshire’s lost medieval villages and one of the Churches Conservation Trust churches I have been visiting as part of my Fifty before Fifty challenge.

Goltho apparently means ‘place where the marigolds grow’. Now it’s surrounded by rapeseed.

I’m not sure whether anyone reading this has ever played Xbox games, but to me, if you gave this a church a coat of whitewash it would look just like the Mexican chapels in Red Dead Redemption :) … but, as usual, I digress.

006bThe interior of this little place is clean and painted, rustic in style and beautifully simplistic.


The red brick building you see now is Tudor, at least the nave is, the bell tower is a Victorian edition. But there are remains of tombstones set into the floor that are 13th century and archaeological evidence of a much earlier chapel.

I loved the fresh simplicity of this place.

007bI also very much like the balconies you see in little places like this. It’s like sitting in the gods in a theatre and you can imagine peering down at the preacher while he delivers his sermon :). We go and have a sit down when we come across a balcony like this. Just like we go and stand in the pulpit just to see what the view is like there.

015bIn the graveyard is this memorial to Lieutenant John Bailey Mawer a member of the Lincolnshire Yeomanry Royal Flying Corps who died in 1918 in Greenwich. Google him and you can quickly discover he was a farmer, and the son of a farmer, from this area of Lincolnshire. He emigrated to Australia in 1911 and returned in 1913. I wonder why? When he died, apparently from natural causes, he left £300 in his will to his dad. It’s amazing what you can find on the internet.

But, if the village that St George’s Church served became redundant at the end of the medieval era, and 20 villages in the area also deserted at the same time, why did someone build the belltower in Victorian times? Why is Lieut Mawer buried in this remote field? And where is the community this church served until it was declared redundant and handed over to the CCT?

Mysteries :) I do like to have questions to find answers to.







  1. A very well kept little church all by itself out in a field with a few memorial stones….I think it is wonderful that you are visiting these places and telling others about these historical and spiritual treasures. What a boost you are giving to these special places. I can imagine people of the little community and farms from long ago because the permanence of the little church evokes a very strong and simple energy.

  2. Lovely interesting post……I wonder how many lost villages there are…we have a lot in the Norfolk mostly due to the plague…lovely church :)

    • Thank you. It was such a lovely day and you could see for miles to the horizon and then, suddenly, there was just this little chapel in the middle of a field. Very pretty :)

  3. Lovely lovely post Dory, and wonderful pics both of the empty landscape, and that simple beautiful little church. You bring us such poignant personal histories of places and people… the past IS poignant so often in these deserted places.
    These posts are such a joy, thank you

  4. Hi, Dory. A wonderful post and so true. Yesterdays mysteries. The existence of our existence. Everything does connect to everything else, it’s just in figuring out the connections (re: the past), I love a mystery too … waiting to be solved! Great (as always with you) photographs and of course your written words – Hoping all is well with you and yours, Penny

    • Thanks Penny, it’s so nice to hear from you :) Hope everything is well with you and your lovely family :)

      • Thank you for asking Dory. Doing great over here, spring has sprung, and busy being busy! All’s well! And you?

      • Good thank you. Spring is finally blossoming here too and it’s cheered everyone up :)

      • Excellent, don’t work too hard Dory! Keep taking those wonderful photographs and … take care of you! :)

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