From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
St.Thomas' church, Legsby, Lincs. - geograph.org.uk - 73353.jpg
Church of St Thomas, Legsby
Grid reference: TF137856
Location: 53°21’20"N, 0°17’30"W
Population: 193  (2011)
Post town: Market Rasen
Postcode: LN8
Local Government
Council: West Lindsey

Legsby (otherwise Legesby) is a small village in Lindsey, the northern part of Lincolnshire. It is about thirteen miles north-east of the county town, the City of Lincoln and three miles south-east of Market Rasen.

The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 193, which parish includes the settlements of Bleasby, Bleasby Moor, Collow, and East Torrington.


The parish church, St Thomas, is originally of the 13th-century, in the Early English Gothic style, with later Tudor styles added. It includes a chancel, nave, and obelisk style pinnacled tower containing one bell.

The church is a Grade II listed building.[1]

A stained glass east window was inserted in memory of a mid-19th-century vicar.[2] Pevsner records that the church was probably altered in the 18th century, with a shortening of the chancel, and has a Norman font, Kelly's giving it Romanesque attribution, and a chalice and paten cover dated 1569.[3] Cox believes that the font and chalice are the only thing of interest in the church.[4]

History and archaeology

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Legsby is recorded as "Lagesbi".[5] It had 6 villeins and 1 smallholder, 2 ploughlands, a meadow and woodland of 12 acres each and a mill. In 1066 Alsi son of Godram held the manor, but by 1086 is was in the hands of Everard of Leathley in 1086, and the Tenant-in-Chief was William of Percy.[6] The Domesday Book notes a village here known as Holtham ("Houten"), which has since disappeared.[5] It was 1,400 yards to the east of Legbourne, with 4 villeins, 2 smallholders, 6 freemen, 2 ploughlands, a 30-acre meadow, and lord and tenantship as Legsby.[7] Bleasby ("Belesbi"), had 2 villeins, 2 smallholders and 2 freemen, with 3 ploughlands, a meadow and woodland of 120 acres each: Aghmund son of Walraven was lord in 1066, but in 1086 it was Herman, with Jocelyn son of Lambert as Tenant-in Chief.[8]

To the north and south of St Thomas' church are earthworks and a hollow way, indicating Legsby mediæval village. By 1187 the village and church had been granted to the Gilbertine priory of Sixhills. At the 1541 Suppression of the Monasteries, Legsby manor was given to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who sold it the same year. The estate was later bought by Richard Nelthorpe, and it remained in the Nettlethorpe family until the early 20th century.[9]

Bleasby, less than a mile to the south, is the site of a deserted mediæval village and manor house, defined by moat, croft, field and pond earthworks.[10] Pevsner saw the moat as "surprisingly small but quite unmistakable".[3]

A windmill mound, The Mount, half a mile south of Bleasby at the end of Mount Lane, and now covered by trees, is the site of Bleasby Mill, documented in the 13th century. The mound probably existed before the 12th century establishment of the adjacent Collow township.[11]

The settlement remains of the Legsby hamlet of Holtham, in the 16th century known as Howdome and comprising four families, is defined by crop mark evidence of a moated monastic or manor house, and a ridge and furrow field system. Earthwork remains of a moat, paddocks, ditch, enclosures and trackways were visible in 1846, but were demolished in the 1960s.[12]

Collow, half a mile north-west of East Torrington, is a possible manorial or mediæval site. Machinery finds could indicate a 16th- or 17th-century mill, and moat, pond, ditch, croft and field earthworks of a defensive homestead.[13]

East Torrington, a mile and a half south-east of Legsby, contains earthworks adjacent to the north-west of the church, with rectilinear ditches, a hollow way, and ridge and furrow field system, indicating a mediæval village. The hamlet was conjoined with West Torrington in the 14th century. The present St Michael's church was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon, and was built on, or close to, a previous church.[14]

Kelly's Directory 1885 Directory records Major Robert Nassau Sutton JP as lord of the manor, and a principal landowner with Edward Heneage MP, DL, JP. The parish was of 2,835 acres, with agricultural production comprising wheat, barley, oats and turnips. It held a Wesleyan chapel and a church school for 50 children. There were nine farms, one a Glebe farm, two shoe-makers, a blacksmith, shopkeeper and wheelwright. Bleasby hamlet held Methodist and Free Methodist chapels, four farms and a wheelwright, and Collow hamlet, two farms.[2]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Legsby)


  1. National Heritage List 1166208: Church of St Thomas, Legsby (Grade II listing)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire with the port of Hull 1885, p. 514
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, 1964; 1989 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09620-0page 296
  4. Cox, J. Charles (1916) Lincolnshire p. 195; Methuen & Co. Ltd.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Documents Online: Legsby, Lincolnshire", Folio: 354r, Great Domesday Book; The National Archives. Retrieved 24 April 2012
  6. Legsby in the Domesday Book
  7. Legsby in the Domesday Book
  8. Legsby in the Domesday Book
  9. National Monuments Record: No. 892963 – Legsby
  10. National Monuments Record: No. 351722 – Bleasby
  11. National Monuments Record: No. 351760 – The Mount
  12. National Monuments Record: No. 351627 – Holtham
  13. National Monuments Record: No. 351733 – Collow
  14. National Monuments Record: No. 351764 – East Torrington