Church History


In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is recorded that Sigglesthorne had a church and a priest, although no other details were given; no name for the priest and no description or valuation of the church.

The current building is not the one mentioned in the Domesday Book, but it almost certainly occupies the same site. It may date in part from the thirteenth century, and the style is Early English. The tower was built outside the nave and was not originally part of the main building. It may have been added in the fifteenth century. There may have been the intention to extend the tower or build a spire but perhaps the weight may have been excessive. There is a tendency for the tower to lean to the south, but during restoration in 1966, it was decided that this had ceased.

There has been so much repair over the centuries that it is difficult to identify what is original; at least it is possible to say there has been a church on the site since 1086. The oldest parts are probably the brickwork of the south chancel or at the eastern end where there are buttresses.

The church fell into disrepair in the sixteenth and the seventeenth century, and in 1650 there was said to be `much decay`.  In 1634, `the church was paved with brickse and seats floured with boards and the windows and walls blowne up by the storme repaired`.

On Febraury 2nd, 1714, damage in a storm was so severe that the roof had to be re-leaded and a brick battlement built.

Over the years the tower has been a constant source of trouble. It was extensively repaired in 1720 on the orders or the archdeacon, and it was again partially rebuilt in 1763. More repairs were carried out in 1842, and again in 1921 by public subscription in memory of Captain Bethel.  Further work to the bell tower was completed, essentially to keep out pigeons, in 1955.

The south aisle was built latte in the middle ages, and the north aisle in 1827.  The final addition was an organ chamber in 1880, which included a small vestry and a heating cellar.

The wide variety of materials used including stone, cobbles, brisk and concrete is a testament to the frequent restorations.  In the Victorian period, the entire south wall was covered in ivy.  However, the architectural historian Poulson regarded Sigglesthorne Church as the most picturesque in Holderness.

The internal appearance of the church is much as Rev Bentinck left it after his restorations in 1847-8.  This was at his expense.  At the same time he ended the practice of burials in the chancel.

The wooden staircase leading to the belfry was built in 1932 as a gift of David Christian Smith from Sigglesthorne Hall.

The stained glass window at the west end of the church was given by Lady Strickland in 1840.

The stained glass east window was presented by Rev Bentinck in 1863 as a memorial for his wife.  The other stained glass in the chancel was given by Mrs Bentinck, and the stained glass in the south aisle was given by Sir William Wright again of Sigglesthorne Hall in memory of his wife.

The pulpit and screen at the west end of the nave are memorials to the two rectors respectively, Marriott and Dunkerley.

The church was of course originally lit by candles, and from 1911 by acetylene gas, and eventually electricity in 1935. 

The Rev Bentinck presented the set of silver communion plate to mark the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. There is a flagon dating back to 1640 and was made by Timothy Skittowe in Norwich in 1639.  The communion plant is recent and the collection plate, again silver, was given by A.E. Manston in 1894.

The churchyard was laid out by the Rev Bentinck as a formal park, but over the years it has reverted to a more natural state with many mature trees.  The wooden fence to the east of the churchyard has been the source of disagreement and disharmony in the past but was replaced in 1973 to a design originally the work of Prescott Barr, the Wasand Estate joiner, in 1887.

The churchyard was extended to the south in 1909, and there was a further extension in 1934. The most recent extension, caused problems for gravediggers, who found a layer of cobbles packed together.  This may confirm the tradition that a road parallel to Main Street and Rise Road originally ran to the west of the church, joining what is now Rise Road opposite the Manor House.

A public footpath runs through the churchyard and through the fields to Catwick Heads.