Wednesday, 3 September 2008

'who caused this church to be built'


Bag Enderby, Lincolnshire, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.

The atmospheric littlee church in the hamlet of Bag Enderby in the Lincolnshire wolds is a Perpendicular building built from beginning to end in one campaign. A simple brass inscription set into a slab in the centre aisle of the church records a rare thing, the approximate date of the building and the person who paid for it. It tells us that Albinus de Enderby, who died in 1407, built the church and tower at his own expense.

Bag Enderby, Lincolnshire

Enderby's brass recording the construction work: 'Orate pro anima Albinus de Enderby qui fecit fieri istam ecclesiam cum campanile obiit in vigilia sancti Mathie apostolari anno domini m cccc vij' (Pray for the soul of Albinus de Enderby who caused this church and tower to be built, he died on the eve of St Matthew the apostle in the year of Our Lord 1407)

This is just the sort of evidence of medieval patronage that I like and it is so very rare. It is a wonderful example of a medieval man of substance who through faith and devotion was willing to apply his wealth to the service of the church and facilitate the worship of God in his community. His action was repeated across medieval England, but rarely is it so well recorded. It is apparent that Albinus would have spent a considerable amount of money on the new building. It is built mostly of Spilsby stone carted from quarries twenty miles away with Ancaster stone dressing brought from the south of the county.

Bag Enderby, Lincolnshire

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