Friday, February 24, 2017

Haugham, Lincolnshire


Homage

Not far from the A16 in Lincolnshire is the small village of Haugham.* It’s a place that means something to me because, long ago, before I was so much as thought of, my newly married parents lived there. The view from their house took in the village church and it was impressed upon me, when my parents reminisced to me about their early years, that the spire of this church was special because it had been built in imitation of the great and graceful spire at Louth, the local market town (where my mother had worked before she was married), and Louth, as we all knew, had and has a very special spire.

Well, it’s true. All Saints’ Haugham was built between 1837 and 1840 to designs by George Willoughby§ at the behest of (and with funds provided by) the vicar, George Ascough Chaplin.¶ It’s very small, this church, and modestly constructed of brick with cement render. But the spire is similar to the one at Louth in its overall outline – the large pinnacles, linked by buttresses to the crocketed spire, together with the generous window on the upper storey certainly create a similar impression. It’s not a direct copy, but is certainly a homage.

The setting is outstanding. The church is in the middle of a field, approached by a green lane. In my parents’ time, rabbits jumped around the field, entertaining my mother as she took breaks from housework and remembered her young years working in an office in Louth, in the shadow of the greater church whose design the one at Haugham echoes. Such is the stuff of memory.†

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* Pronounced ‘Haffum’.

§ Some give the architect as W A Nicholson; Pevsner attributes the building to Willoughby (a Louth architect), saying that he may possibly been have assisted by Nicholson. 

¶ The Chaplins were local landowners and some members served as MPs in Lincolnshire. They certainly were landowners at both Haugham and nearby Tathwell in the 19th century, but I don’t know whether George Ascough Chaplin was squarson or if he was a benefice-holding younger son of this illustrious family.

† All Saints, Haugham, is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. There is more about the church here.

4 comments:

Annie ODyne said...

Coincidentally, just minutes ago, here at the bottom of Australia we watched Michael Portillo in a 'picturesque Lincolnshire' edition of his Train Journeys and we are about 10 kms from a town named after Digby Lincolnshire [it has no trains sadly].

Then I logged on to check my blogger linkees and found you via Hels excellent - Art & Architecture mainly.
cheers to you.

Hels said...

Annie

Thanks sister! Now where shall I send that $100 cheque I owe you? :)

Philip

It might be a small church in a relatively unknown town, but the pinnacles and spire look very sophisticated. Plus, of course, the connection with mum and dad makes it historically significant as well.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Cheers to you too, Annie. I'm glad you have found my blog. Michael Portillo's programmes are rather good, though I've not seen the Lincolnshire one. Few places in Lincolnshire now have trains - most of the small town and village stations were closed in the 1960s. That's a shame, but even in the railway era Lincolnshire was a very quiet place. Few people visit it and it's mostly agricultural - there's little industry. And that means, at least, that places like Haugham preserve their tranquility.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Thank you, Hels, for recognising this important historical connection!!