Sibthorpe St Peter

Archaeology

Core fabric C13th tower; C14th chancel; C18th nave (except N. wall)

Restorations C18th and late C19th

Significant Interior Features

Tower plain C13th uniform fabric

Nave mainly C18th but evidence of blocked 2-bay north aisle on exterior

Collegiate chancel founded 1335 has small Easter sepulchre on north side. Later painting scheme ?C20th.

Font 1662

Traces of red paint on apex of chancel arch above present (C18th) nave roof. prob. medieval

Medieval cross slabs

(1) A stone at the extreme east end of the external face of the north wall of the nave, about 6 m above the ground. It bears what looks like one clustered terminal made up of lanceolate leaves and is most likely part of a cross slab, perhaps of the later 12th or 13th century.

(2) Stone found by the churchwarden ‘about forty years ago’ in a nearby field. Part of a four-circle or bracelet cross head caved in low relief, re-used later as the lintel of a small triangular-headed opening. 12th century.

On the north of the sanctuary is an Easter Sepulchure consisting of a vertical pair of recesses; in the lower sand broader one is a slab with what looks to be the matrix of a cross brass, with an eight-terminal ring head and a simple arched base. The stone (actually two slabs), although decaying, is machine-cut and seems entirely 19th century. Whether it is a copy of an earlierpiece (or even the slab now directly beneath it) is uncertain; stylistically it would seem appropriate to the date of the chancel.

Descriptions and drawings of the cross slabs courtesy of Peter Ryder.

Timbers and roofs

  Nave Chancel Tower
Main Flat C18th plaster Arched brace form, prob. later C19th Modern planks C20th
S.Aisle n/a n/a  
N.Aisle n/a C19th vestry ceiling.  
Other principal Porch stone, early C15th    
Other timbers      

Bellframe

Cast iron frame of 1893 by Taylors of Loughborough.

Not scheduled for preservation Grade 4.

Walls

  Nave Chancel Tower
Plaster covering & date Plastered C20th Plastered C20th  
Potential for wall paintings Very low Possible  

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

There have been ad hoc archaeological excavations within the church in 1991 during repairs to the floor, not supervised professionally but producing a short report.

The C18th rebuilding of most of the nave had a significant impact on the archaeology both below ground and within the standing fabric although the foundations of the medieval south wall were observed in 1991. A substantial portion of a foliate design piscina was recovered, ex situ, under the nave floor in the same excavations, along with painted plaster fragments, lead cames, and a portion of pottery (glaze ware jug) of c.1200..The construction of a new vestry on the north side of the chancel will have had an impact on stratigraphy to the north of the medieval chancel. However, the upstanding fabric of the chancel and the tower is relatively intact from the C14th and C13th respectively, and the likelihood of buried multi-period stratigraphy in these areas and in the churchyard is high.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard is considered moderate-high and below the present interior floors of the chancel and tower is considered to be high-very high. The floor below the nave has been heavily disturbed, both in the C18th and in 1991, though deeper, medieval stratigraphy may yet remain undisturbed, the overall potential is considered modeRate.

Exterior: Foundations of north aisle should remain intact. Burials expected to be high. Strong possibility of domestic material around periphery of present churchyard.

Interior:Nave floor disturbed in C18th and 1991. Whole is likely to be highly complex mixture of C13th-C14th building layers with unknown survival of earlier deposits beneath, punctuated by late medieval graves and post-medieval burials.

Plan of the church showing archaeological features Ground plan of surface and below-surface features around the church