Church of England Diocese of Lincoln Hale Magna with Hale Parva

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Great Hale. A pleasant place in blossom time, and indeed, at any time, its church, which belonged to Bardney Abbey 600 years ago land lost its chancel about the time of the Civil war, is a striking building with simple, rugged tower, long aisles and spacious porch.

The tower is its great feature for except for its 15th-century parapet and leafy pinnacles it was built by Saxons, probably a century before the Conquest. Largely of rubble, it has the usual Saxon belfry windows, deeply-splayed and with dividing baluster shaft, and an arch into the nave probably built by the Normans. At the north-east corner, in the thickness of the wall, is a turret staircase about 15 inches wide, its steps worn by the impress of feet through a thousand years.

The spacious nave, its east end serving as a chancel, has five pointed arches on each side borne up on slender 13th-century pillars. Both aisles still have their medieval piscinas and aumbries, and north aisle and chancel have ancient screenwork incorporated with new. Part of the roodloft stairway remains, and the fine font with quatre-foils and niches on its eight sides has been in use for 600 years.

There are two notable memorials to the Cawdrons who came to live here in the 17th century and saw the chancel, long ruinous, finally demolished. One shows Robert Cawdron, who dies during the Commonwealth, with his two wives and ample family; nine sons and seven daughters are behind the parents, and five more children in swaddling clothes lie in the foreground. Another Robert Cawdron who died in the year of the Great Plague and was probably one of those 21 children, has a sculptured memorial showing him kneeling at a prayer desk with one of his three wives, while the other two kneel discreetly in their long dresses and veils in separate compartments below.