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Hidden history uncovered at huge churches festival

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Nearly 100 churches and chapels in Lincolnshire will be throwing open their doors to thousands of visitors as part of one of the largest free festivals of its kind in Europe.

 

History on our doorsteps

Now in its 23rd year, the West Lindsey Churches Festival will see 95 historic venues open on the weekends of 11-12 and 18-19 May, welcoming over 9,000 visitors to these ‘mini-museums’ and bastions of family and local history on our doorsteps.

 

Festival chairman Paul Howitt-Cowan said: ‘We want people to open the doors and look inside these stone buildings and learn about their past, in a fun and enjoyable way.’

 

Many intriguing stories can be discovered at the churches, such as Gautby and the murder of a young man on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Greece; Langton by Wragby and its famous son, Stephen Langton, key architect of the writing of Magna Carta; Kettlethorpe’s association with Katherine Swynford, the third wife of John of Gaunt, well known from Anya Seton’s famous novel Katherine, and Thoresway and the mystery of the Pagan drowning pool.

 

Many of the churches are taking part in a ‘Sconeathon Challenge’, baking flavoured scones for visitors to sample, many from old recipes.

 

Other stories that might interest you:

We do! Getting married in the same church as your ancestors

The search for Wales's favourite church or chapel – video report

Missing parish church marriages – 3 websites to help you find the records

 

'Every church has a story to tell'

Paul added: ‘Take to the outdoors, with an appetite to learn about our communities’ heritage, view magnificent carvings, memorials and stained glass, chat with local historians, listen to the sounds of organ music and, of course, taste those wonderful scones! Every church really does have a story to tell.’

 

Full details of each church and an interactive map can be found here.

 

 

Images © explorechurches.org

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