English Churches - Lincolnshire

St Martin's Church, Stamford


The burial place of the Cecil's of Burghley House


The church stood outside the city walls and was regarded as separate from the other medieval churches. This may explain why it became part of the Diocese of Peterborough in 1541 while the other Stamford churches were in the Diocese of Lincoln. It was transferred back to Lincoln in 1990.

There has been a church on this site since the late C12th although nothing remains of this church which was completely rebuilt in the C15th. Tucked between housing, only the west front and south porch are visible from the road. It is a very plain building with battlemented side aisles and tall crocketted pinnacles on the tower. The tower is very similar to that of the church of St John the Baptist and may have been built by the same group of masons.

St Martin's Church, Stamford      St Martin's Church,
                Stamford

Inside it is a tall building and the slender Perpendicular style pillars accentuate the height.

St Martin's Church, Stamford

St Martin's Church, Stamford

St Martin's Church, Stamford

The wooden screen across the base of the tower with a carving of St George is a memorial to those in the parish who died in the First World War.  At the back of the church is the early C14th font, which may have come from an earlier church on this site.

St Martin's Church, Stamford    St Martin's Church, Stamford

A small doorway and stone spiral staircase leads to the room above the south porch.

St Martin's Church, Stamford

This was probably a priestís room, but is now the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. 

St Martin's Church, Stamford

Above the chancel arch is the Royal Coat of Arms. The wood nave roof is C18th, The side aisles still have the original C15th roof.

St Martin's Church, Stamford

The elaborately carved wooden pulpit is C19th.
 
St Martin's Church, Stamford

The great east window contains C15th and C16th glass., including some which came from Tattershall Church.

St Martin's Church, Stamford

The choir stalls are highly carved and give access into the North Chapel which contains the burial vault of the Cecil Family of Burghley House.
 
St Martin's Church, Stamford

Set under an arch between the chancel and north chapel is the splendid tomb of William Cecil, Lord Burghley who died in 1598. He was Lord high Treasurer of England and Privy Counsellor to Elizabeth I.

St Martin's Church, Stamford

The north chapel has monuments to other members of the family and hatchments hanging on the walls. There is a monument to Williamís parents, Richard and Jane Cecil.

St Martin's Church, Stamford      St Martin's Church,
                Stamford

The splendid Baroque monument is of John Cecil, Fifth Earl of Exeter who died in 1700.

St Martin's Church, Stamford

The church is a short walk from the other medieval churches in Stamford and is across the river. It is worth finding and is open daily. There is no parking by the church. The post code is  PE9 2LF and the grid reference is TF031068.

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