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High Toynton Church A Historic Guide with Pictures

A heavy mist, near fog, descended as I drove once more through the Lincolnshire Wolds - this time to a village just outside Horncastle
High Toynton Church a great spot and some nice photographs

High Toynton church is certainly a little different to look at, dedicated to St. John the Baptist (gets me thinking now as do those to Mary Magdalene) , it was rebuilt by Ewan Christian in 1872 and replaced the original 13th century building. There are a variety of stones used in the build though primarily greenstone and I did spot one piece of engraved stone that had been re-used near the footings of the tower.

Inside it is superbly kept up, a real credit to all those involved. No paint peeling from the walls here as one sees so often. Indeed not only painted but actually lime washed as well with a lovely wooden vaulted ceiling. It was a pleasure to see also an exhibition which the locals had put together depicting the village history at the time of Remembrance Sunday.
This was especially poignant as High Toynton has the remarkable and unique distinction in Lincolnshire - every one of the brave young men who left the village to fight in World War I returned alive !

High Toynton Church

High Toynton Church in the Mist

It was only last week I was talking about my confusion as to why churches are not put to greater use within village communities. It seems a natural meeting place and ideal not only to foster a neighbourly spirit but also a chance to use the most prominent building in any village.
Here they are doing just that and it is a credit to those involved who not only organize these things but help with the upkeep of the church.

Strangely, it seems like the biggest barrier in getting people to use these beautiful buildings more are the church authorities themselves.
It is a mystery to me as to why - perhaps the subject for a separate article

St john the Baptist

High Toynton Church St John the Baptist

Although much changed and renovated there are still some of the original carved Norman stones extant and they can be seen jut above the door inside the porch.
Overall a fabulous place and one in which I was made very welcome - it is certainly well worth a visit and I hope everyone’s efforts there abouts continue to bear fruit.

All the best

See Our Complete List Of Churches in Lincolnshire


  1. the dinosaur said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

    Rod, nice photos, very dramatic, well done!

  2. Rod said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 7:40 pm

    thanks for that - this is also a good opportunity to break some very exciting news . . .
    The list of Lincolnshire Churches is now complete - phew !
    I printed it off and it ran to 45 pages of A4 :shock:
    Some job typing, checking and researching . . . that was the easy bit though - now all I have to do is visit them all !

  3. Amiguru said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

    Hi Rod,

    This thread rang yet another bell from my past. About 40 years ago I used to visit the well known antiquarian and archaeologist Ethel Rudkin at her home in nearby Toynton-All-Saints. She was into her eighties then but had a magic charm and knew just about everything to do with Lincolnshire from about the year Dot!

    Thanks for the memories you stir Rod :)


  4. Little Brother said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

    Good work fella, you’ll be rewarded come judgement day :mrgreen:
    Love the photos.


  5. Donald ( South Australia ) said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

    Hi Rod,

    A very interesting account. I’m amazed by the statistic of no lives lost from the enlisted villagers during WW1. What a wonderful and gladdening result.

    Definitely on my visit list next time in the Lincolnshire Wolds (next year ..).



  6. Chris Keyworth said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

    arghhhh good old rudkin spent many a night reading about her… well done nev brought a few memories back about old sites long lost….


    Rod have you got the little church at swinhope on that list? TF 2160 9620

  7. Rod said,

    November 12, 2009 @ 8:25 am

    Hi Neville,
    what a fascinatig lady she would have been to meet - can you imagine what could have been preserved !

  8. Rod said,

    November 12, 2009 @ 8:26 am

    you’ll be rewarded come judgement day

    No chance of anything sooner is there :)

  9. Rod said,

    November 12, 2009 @ 8:28 am

    St helen’s at Swinhope is indeed on the list but not yet visited - but it shall be
    All the best

  10. Rod said,

    November 12, 2009 @ 8:30 am

    Hi Donald,
    the fact struck me as well.
    Two men were injured but did come back alive. I see so many graves and memorials in churchyards to young men who have lost their lives in wars it makes this a really heartening story.

  11. Rob Jolley said,

    January 18, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    Hi Rod
    I’m looking for any information on a Thomas Richardson born, High Toynton 1824, and died there about 1885. He was a farmer, and my GGG Grandfather. I’m planning a trip up there at some point, but could you please tell me if the family have a plot in the Churchyard, or any other information would be great.
    Kind regards Rob.

  12. Rod said,

    January 19, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    Hi Rob.
    I don’t know personally I’m afraid, though perhaps anyone seeing this who lives in High Toynton could perhaps take a look and leave a comment.
    The dates make it probable that family gravestones would still be there if that is indeed where they were buried.
    All the best

  13. Lee Mason said,

    January 11, 2012 @ 4:20 am

    Hi Rod: My brother Earl Wallace Mason J/15009 crashed his Hurricane in the field a few blocks east of this church on the north side of Spilsby Rd Sept 15 1941 while flying with the American Eagle Squadron out of Kirton in Lindsey. I visited the site with my brother Glen Mason and our escort Gordon Maltby who was originally from Horncastle.Gordon is a guide at the British Air Museum where they have a flyable Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane. If anyone that reads your fabulous website knows anything about this crash, I would be very interested knowing about it. Best regards and greeting from Beaverton Oregon

  14. Rod said,

    January 11, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site. If anybody does know anything about the tragic loss of your brother Earl Wallace Mason in J/15009 then I hope they’ll leave a comment.
    For others, see related information and comments here

  15. rick said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    by all accounts the hurricane was on a training flight when the pilot tried to fly under some low cables it went wrong, and he crashed, the engine out of the hurricane landed in a nearby ditch and for years the hedge would never grow in that spot.

  16. Rod said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    that’s a fantastic coment, many thanks and welcome to the site

  17. brenda said,

    July 21, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

    Hi, I am currently updating the grave stone for High Toynton and can tell you that there are some memorials still in the churchyard some more readable than others. there is one fro Ann wife of Thomas either 1825 or 1823. Thomas Richardson died Mar 30th 1834 aged 67. Elizabeth Relict of Thomas 1870, Thomas son of Thomas and Elizabeth 1871 aged 43. They are all to the south of the church

  18. Rod said,

    July 22, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    thanks for the comment, really appreciated and welcome to the site
    All the best

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