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Searby Church in Lincolnshire Pictures & History

St Nicholas church in Searby Lincolnshire sits resplendent on the edge of the Wolds between Caistor and Brigg.
It’s a beautiful and peaceful spot

As can be seen from the picture it’s a relatively, in church terms anyway, rebuild, 1832 to be precise. The rebuild has used a white stone / yellowish brick but the remnants of the original tower can still be seen and appear to be medieval.

The style is Gothic and the architect was one Richard Colton of Moor Town and he made a solid job of it, the polygon shaped apse being a nice touch.
In 1821 there were only 39 houses with 247 residents so it’s a church which served a small congregation and it was valued for the king’s books at £8.

The site goes way back though as it is in the Domesday Book of 1086 under the name Seurebi and Sourebi they state that there was a church and also a mill. The names mentioned are Count Alan and Durand Malet (possibly brother to William Malet of Norman Conquest fame)

Searby church

Searby Church in Lincolnshire

Both Pvsener and Mee make particular note of the woodcarvings inside which were the work of T.J.M. Townsend who was vicar there for 44 years.
There are also two fine tablets to Richard Roadley and Richard Dixon Roadley dates 1820s.

One thing worth looking out for is the shelter across the road from the church - it too is Gothic in design and is dated 1866
A nice touch indeed - it caught my eye immediately

How to get there
Searby village is on the A1084 which can be accessed via the A46 on the Caistor side or A18 or M180 from Brigg.

It is well worth a visit and you’re right in the middle of a very interesting area with plenty of other places to visit all within easy driving or cycling distance
If you know anything at all about Searby church please do leave a comment - we should be very grateful to hear anything at all

All the best
See Our Complete List Of Churches in Lincolnshire


  1. John Sleight said,

    March 8, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    St Nicholas Church is the burial place of my gt, gt, gt, gt grandfather John b. 1742 Searby d. 1780 and his father Robert also from Searby. John, his wife Alice(nee Towl b. Keelby 1745) Their daughter Ann b.1780 and and his father Robert all died within a few months of each other 1n 1780. The resident Vicar at the time was a Robert Hudson. As they were ag labourers it’s unlikely they had a headstone and if they did, it was probably cleared during the rebuild in the following centuary. I can only assume that some type of disease took them but their youngest son Michael survived and went on to a great age, married twice and produced 17 children.
    John Sleight

  2. Rod said,

    March 8, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    Hi John,
    thanks for the very interestinng comment and welcome to the site.
    Sleight is a very well known surname around these parts.
    If/when I get back to the church I’ll have a look round and see if there are any signs of stones
    All thebest

  3. Elaine Turkstra nee Searby said,

    March 29, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    Hi Rod.
    Very interesting info. Just started tracing the family tree. I live in Canada but was born in Oldham, Lancashire. Do you happen to know which town hall would store the records for the Searbys living in and around the town of Searby? I think it would be a good place to start.

  4. Rod said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 8:19 am

    Hi Elaine,
    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site - I personally wouldn’t know I’m afraid but perhaps somebody else coming across this may be able to leave a comment and help one day
    Regards from England

  5. Leaning said,

    October 3, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    Hi Rod
    On with family history research and have traced my family back to searby in 1576 Richard Leaning. Would you have any details on the area going back that far, eg what the population would have been? would the original church from that era have been on the same site? I know in his sons will that he left £15 to each of his children and was a “Yeoman” believe maybe a farmer. From your report of £8 for the church in 1800 guess £15 in 1600 was a large sum of money.

    Regards Kev

  6. Rod said,

    October 3, 2010 @ 8:56 am

    Hi kev,
    thanks for the comment and welcome to the site - if anything turns up, and a lot of stuff does here, then it’ll be sure to go on here.
    I’m not sure of the population that far back Kev, if anybody has any ideas then perhaps they’ll chime in
    All the best

  7. History Hunter said,

    October 3, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    From a quick little look for details, the Parish Church, St Nicholas, has been in situ since 1441. There is evidence of a much earlier site as there is mention in the Domesday Book of 1086 of a church and mill being in the village. The current church was rebuilt in 1832 and further restored in 1860.

    Regarding the population, I cannot find anything exact. For Searby I can only go back to 1801, but comparing other villages of the area the population will have remained comparatively steady because a lot of the villagers, or should i say a lot of families would have been involved in farming which for centuries was/is an ongoing thing. A lot of villages whose population is known from circa 1576 tend to have the same number, give or take 2 dozen, of inhabitants as at the beginning of the 19th century. The population in 1801 was 244.

    Hopefully Nev may be able to come up with a more accurate figure as he has an uncanny knack of dropping in odd little details like that.

  8. Leaning said,

    October 3, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    Thanks Rod and HH for such quick replies and the info. Looks like I have dropped onto a wonderful site, look forward to looking thru past blogs or whatever they may be regards the history of Lincolnshire.

  9. History Hunter said,

    October 3, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    We aim to please. You will find the full range of deranged (in some cases) personages on this site.

    From Lord Rod at the top (our Lord and Master)

    Amiguru the Sage (calming with his words of wisdom)

    Sir Chris the gallant knight ( surveying the lands)


    many more worthy soothsayers and wizards


    right down to me,



    Baldrick the bog cleaner!

  10. Leaning said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    guess thats Lincolnshire folk for you.

  11. Rod said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 8:39 am

    they’re all odd - apart from me that is :)

  12. Leaning said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    To get a better understanding of the rest of the team could you arrange a group photo> I hate using the phone with people I dont know as I have no visual image of whom I am talking to. Pretty much the same as this site That is apart from u Rod
    Keep up the good work u all

  13. chris keyworth said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    that may be slightly dificult as we are all well scattered about there is more chance of spotting a puma in your garden then getting an accurate uptodate photo of me, i beleive that if my photo is snapped that it captures my spirit and then inprisons it in a box so i always decline photos.


  14. Rod said,

    October 4, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    arrange a group photo
    as Chris says - a tricky one - also with over 2.5million hits last month you’d need a lot of room and a very wide lens :)

  15. Ben said,

    February 18, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    I think most of Searby was owned by my ancestor Edward Weston, Esq. I think his house was at Somerby.

  16. Rod said,

    February 19, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    sounds like a very interesting family connection - thanks for sharing it and welcome to the site - hope you’ll return
    All the best

  17. History Hunter said,

    August 31, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    Talking to one of my friends the other day, having told him that i had been through Bigby to get to Barnetby Church, he asked me if i had been to the church at Searby. ‘No’ was the answer. And then he told me that he was told by an ex-clergy of the parish that there were grave markers still in the churchyard for victims of the Black Death! Considering there has been a church on site since 1441 there has been many opportunities over the years for outbreaks of various plagues and diseases. The Black Death was first recorded in Britain in the 14th Century, which decimated the population of Europe. It allegedly killed over a quarter of the population of the whole world. It has returned on a few occasions since, including in 1603. So with as many as 60% of Europe dying during the initial outbreak and it lasting for many years with each subsequent outbreak, it wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if there are burials in the churchyard.

  18. Rod said,

    September 1, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    that’s very interesting and is well worth checking out - I not so sure about it myself, I’d be very surprised if they were there.
    There’s a coped stone with a cross in the churchyard which is circa 14th century - it was used in the early 18thc as a gravestone for the wife of a parish clerk - I wonder if people think that may be it
    We could have another myth like the Pirate’s Grave here.
    Worth checking out I think - nice find HH

  19. saffy2003 said,

    October 1, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    It is true about the black death in searby. My nan, grandad and big brother are buried in the churchyard in the picture above. They are buried where you can see the flowers at the end with the christmas wreaths and on the right of them, there is a big empty patch which is suppose to be where all of the black death victims are buried. And also in the 1950s/60s Mr and Mrs Neil owned a lot of searby and where the big mannor house is they owned that for many years and Mr Neil is buried just outside of the house. Hope that cleared up the questions about the black death. :)

  20. John Weston Underwood said,

    June 29, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    Ben is correct. Edward Weston was a politician who owned both Somerby and Searby, and his son Charles Fleetwood Weston was vicar of both. The Underwood family married the Weston heir and only left Somerby in 1904. Somerby Hall was demolished around WW11 and a new modern house builton the site.
    I hope Ben sees this and gets in touch with me

  21. Ben said,

    February 26, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

    Hello John,

    Only just seen this.

    I am related by to the Weston’s by a Rev Charles Fleetwood Weston, they married into my great grandmother (the Marsden’s of Barnsley) family.

    I have never been to Somerby but would love to visit the former estate. Its all knowledge now, no family air looms!

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