St Clement’s Church Skegness

The Church at Skegness is a low mean building, presenting nothing worthy of observation in its exterior. It consists of a nave and chancel, with a tower at the west end. The walls are of stone, except in those parts of the body of the church where it has been repaired with brick. The chancel and tower are without buttresses. The roof is covered with lead. On the south side is a low porch. The nave is pewed for the accommodation of the inhabitants. The pulpit is of oak. A singing gallery has been erected at the west end. The font stands in the aisle, it appears to be much more ancient than the church; its form is octagonal, as is also that of the shaft which supports it; each compartment of the bowl is ornamented by a blank shield. The tower at present contains one bell only, which bears the following inscription in old English characters; Dulcis Sicto Melis Vocor Campana Michaelis.

Old_Church_Skegness

Two other bells were formerly hung in the tower. The tradition respecting the loss of one of them is altogether legendary; the account given of the fate of the other is probably correct, viz. that being cracked, it was taken down by the churchwarden and sold, and the produce of it expended at a convivial meeting.

On the south side of the east window of the chancel is a handsome marble monument, affixed to the wall, which bears the following inscription.

Near this place rests the body of William Chapman late of this parish, Gent, who had issue 7 sons and 4 daughters, viz. By his wife Mary (Daughter of Capt. Richard Bold of Thettlethorpe) 4 sons & 1 Daughter, viz. William, Joseph, Richard, John and Mary. By his wife Elizabeth, (Daughter of John Hussey of Ashby, Clerk) 3 sons and 3 daughters, viz. Hussey, Thomas Elizabeth, Sarah and Susan. He lived to have 44 Grand Children, and dyed the 21st day of April Anno Domini, 1708.

Above the inscription is a shield with the following bearing, Party per Chevron, Argent and gules, a crescent between two leopard’s faces in pale, counterchanged. Crest a fleur de lis, or —— Chapman.

On the north side of the same windows is a similar monument, :eith the following epitaph.

In memory of Hussey the son of William Chapman, Late of this parish, Gent. Who died the 13th of July, 1748. Aged 73 years. And also of Ann his wife, Daughter of John Thory, of Skendleby in this county Gent. Who died ye 6th of Oct. 1755. Aged 66 years. By whom he had issue, Thory, Thory, John, William, Hussey, Bridget, Mary, Ann, John and William. Three of whom died in their infancy, and lies here interred, viz. Thory, John, and William, Their first born.

Above a Coat of Arms. Chapman empaling Argent on a bend sable, three maunches Argent for Thory. Crest as on the other.

On the north wall of the nave, is a small tablet of white marble, inscribed as follows.

In memory of Elizabeth, wife of Lieut. James Bunce, R. N. who died the 23rd of August, 1813, aged 52 years.

On a slab near the north door:

To the memory of William Pell, who died Nov. 24th 1769, aged 75 years.

The Church at Skegness is dedicated to St. Clement. The living is a discharged rectory of the clear yearly value according to Ecton of £46. 19s. 6d. It is valued in the King’s books at £15. 6s. 8d. The Right Honourable the Earl of Scarbrough is patron; the present incumbent is the Rev. John Parsons, D. D.

A cottage and three acres of land, near the church, is vested in the minister and churchwardens, for the benefit of the two oldest widows in the parish. By whom they were left, or at what period is unknown. They were returned in 1787 as being of the clear annual value of three pounds.

Source: Topographical and Historical Account of Wainfleet and the Wapentake of Candleshoe, in the County of Lincoln. With Engravings. (ISBN: 9781135116637) Oldfield, Edmund 1829

There are iron staples several feet above the ground fixed to the west and north walls of the church, where churchgoers on horseback could tether their horses. These stapes still exist:

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Present-day photographs of St Clement’s Church Skegness:

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