The Established Church and its role in England
Baptist Church Monksthorpe Lincolnshire
This Baptist church was built in 1701 in an isolated area of countryside because by English law Baptist churches could not be built within five miles of the nearest established (Church of England) church, because the established church persecuted followers of the Baptist faith.
The church’s outdoor baptism font is still in relatively good condition despite its age, and is a prominent feature of this church.
The Baptist church is located in Lincolnshire England within the village of Monksthorpe.
Monksthorpe Chapel began when dissenters, believing in the full immersion of believers, rather than infant baptism, risked persecution and imprisonment, and were not allowed to congregate within five miles of a parish church. Originally, in 1701, the Baptist Church was built to look like a barn complete with thatched roof, in order to disguise its intended use. There are no records of what the interior was like but it most likely would have been very plain and unfurnished.
The Church was refurbished in the 1840s and the present interior is typical of this period.
The present chapel was regularly in use until 1970s after which it fell into disrepair.
The National Trust assumed responsibility in 2001.
Full set of photographs here
Picture 1: Photograph of the front aspect of the church.
Picture 2: Photograph of the Baptist Church Open Air Font (Baptism Chamber). Believers were baptized in the outdoor baptistery by full immersion, the water being taken from the nearby dyke.
Picture 3: Photograph of the Baptist Church Font ( Baptism Chamber) and front aspect of the Church.
Picture 4: Baptist Church Caretakers Lodge, photograph of the Old Fireplace (range).
Picture 5: Photograph of the Baptist Church caretaker’s lodge and horses stables.
Picture 6: Photograph of the front aspect of the Baptist Church , a crypt and gravestones.
Picture 7: Photograph of the Guide.
Picture 8: Baptist Church interior showing church organ, pews and cross (crucifix). The image also shows the balcony with two vestries underneath. The photograph was taken through the rear window of the church.
Picture 9: Image of the Baptist Church interior showing the church harmonium, pews and cross (crucifix). The photograph was taken through the rear window of the church.
Picture 10: Image of the Baptist Church pulpit. This photograph of the Church’s interior was taken through the side window. Beneath the pulpit is the tomb of Hugh Ayscoughe who donated the land upon which the church was built in 1701. High up in the wall behind the pulpit is a small door, through which the minister would escape if the alarm was given that soldiers were approaching.
Picture 11: Photograph of the Baptist Church Lookout (preacher’s croft). The field was once the site of the ‘preacher’s croft’. A lookout was posted in a tree to keep watch for approaching soldiers.
Picture 12: Photograph of the Baptist Church privy, the old word for toilet.
Picture 13: Photograph of the Baptist Church privy, the old word for toilet.
Picture 14: Photograph of the rear aspect of the Baptist Church. The image shows a crypt and gravestones.
Picture 15: Photograph of the rear aspect, of the Baptist Church. The image shows a crypt and gravestones.
Picture 16: Photograph of the Guide to Services and the Minister
Picture 17: Photograph of the horses’ stables.