Church of England Diocese of Lincoln Cowbit

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01733 211763

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The settlement at Cowbit can be traced to pre-Roman Britain. It is probable that on the naturally formed bank of land at Cowbit the cow grazed and thus gave the place its nameby compounding two words of Old Norse; "kua" (cow) and "beit" (pasturage). Nothing is known until 1360 when a Chapel and cemetary were provided by the prior of Spalding within whose oversight the area fell.

The present brick nave (to within 10' of the tower) is a part of the original building. The record of the Church's consecration is in a deed dated 1384 which gives the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (February 2nd) as its feast of title.

Down to the dissolution of the Monasteries, Cowbit was a dependency of Spalding Priory which would provide the necessare spiritual ministrations. In return Cowbit supplied the priory with fish, fowl and swans. These swans would have been branded with the "Swan Mark" which may be seen in the east window of the south nave wall.

Around 1480 this simple church was considerably enlarged. The nave was extended and the tower added. At the East end an opening was made and the chancel added. The removal of the altar to the new east end necessitated the re-consecration of the church on May 11th 1486 by John Russell, Bishop of Lincoln.

The porch was added circa 1540. The stone above the north door was perhaps the base of a heavy parapet at Spalding Priory.

A drawing in the "Spalding Gentlemans Society" shows the church in the early 19th century covered with a thatched roof. A new lead roof was constructed in the 1830's.

In 1984 the church celebrated its 600th anniversary.

 


 

 


Barrier Bank
Cowbit
PE12 6AL

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