Village History

The history of Upton began when the Saxon tribes built a village settlement of Opetune - a village above water.  As Christianity spread a preaching cross would probably have stood where the Church is now but we have found no solid evidence of this.

The Church of All Saints, Upton was probably built in the late 11th century - but again no definite evidence.  The Knights Templars were definitely involved with Upton because they owned much of the land e.g. 4- oxgangs, a toft 20 acres of woodland, 10 acres of meadow, which was a gift from Robert de Trehampton. The Trehamptons of Barlings gave this land in 1185.


Village History | All Saints Church



The surviving evidence of pre-Conquest work is the herringbone masonry in the north and south walls of the chancel resembling, on a smaller scale, that at Marton. Probably the former tower at Upton was, like those of Heapham, Springthorpe, Harpswell, Glentworth and Corringham, an 11th century structure, but unfortunately it collapsed more than 200 years ago and no record of it survives.

This early church was probably long, narrow and aisleless and it may safely be assumed that the present south wall follows the line of its predecessor, incorporating a 12th century plain Norman door in the western bay. The tympanum over this door is now composed of irregular dressed stones but presumably these have replaced a lost sculpture.

In the 13th century the nave was rebuilt, a north aisle was added and the chancel was extended eastwards, the work being carried out in coursed rubble masonry. The elongation of the chancel is difficult to explain, as it has the curious effect of making this as long as the nave. One interesting feature remains in the eastern arm - rest of the sedile, or seat for the priest. Two lancet windows were inserted in the new east end but the small pointed oval light above them is almost certainly Victorian.

This early English work was plain but robust and there is non of the elaborate sculpture, such as can be seen, for example, at Newton on Trent. The two bays of the nave arcade are divided by a stout cylindrical pillar with double chamfered arches springing from it. The wide chancel arch had a rood screen and one socket of the rood beam is visible.

In 1602 it was reported that both the body of the church and the chancel were in need of repair but there is no evidence of structural work during the 17th century.

In 1776, after the tower had collapsed, a new one was built, with a circular west window. This closely resembles Hemswell tower, erected at about the same time and it is probable that at Upton, as at Hemswell, the aisle was pulled down at this time, the wall being built up in brick.

When Archdeacon Stonehouse visited Upton in 1845 he noted that the church was in bad repair, especially the chancel, but it does not appear that any major work was carried out until 1867, when it was stated that the condition of the church was "lamentable". Substantial repair was undertaken, under the direction of the architect Ewan Christian, at a cost of £1,000. Parts of the walls were rebuilt, as well as the chancel arch, a new roof was put on the nave and the tower masonry was re - pointed. The old pews were unfortunately removed and new ones provided.

The surviving evidence of pre-Conquest work is the herringbone masonry in the north and south walls of the chancel resembling, on a smaller scale, that at Marton. Probably the former tower at Upton was, like those of Heapham, Springthorpe, Harpswell, Glentworth and Corringham, an 11th century structure, but unfortunately it collapsed more than 200 years ago and no record of it survives.
This early church was probably long, narrow and aisleless and it may safely be assumed that the present south wall follows the line of its predecessor, incorporating a 12th century plain Norman door in the western bay. The tympanum over this door is now composed of irregular dressed stones but presumably these have replaced a lost sculpture.



Photographs from the Sturgate Airfield open day in May 1956




These were kindly sent in by Alan Robinson


Village History Photo Gallery













'Then & Now' Photo Gallery

Welcome to 'then & now' photo gallery. To compare how the village has changed over the years, just click on each photo to see how the view has changed today.


All Saints Church
Padmoor Lane
Village Hall
High Street
Cow Lane Corner
Dealtry Close