Spires and Steeples: Art and Heritage

Branston to Potterhanworth

Artwork in Branston

Don’t leave Branston without stopping to admire the large mosaic designed by artsNK associate artist Alan Potter and made by village residents as a central feature for their Arts Trail. As you set off on the next leg of the trail you will see it in the centre of the car park by the church. The sinuous design depicts aspects of village history with one panel being a particularly graphic illustration of the 1962 church fire.

Longhills Hall

On the way to Potterhanworth we pass woods surrounding Longhills Hall built in 1838 and which was one of the houses that were supplied by Branston’s new waterwheel in 1879.

Roman History in Potterhanworth

Potterhanworth occupies a position where the Lincoln heath to the west merges with the fens of the Witham Valley and lies close to the Roman Car Dyke. Also some seven miles to the west is the Roman Ermine Street and as fragments of Roman pottery have been found locally there may well have been a Roman settlement (or at least a villa farm) in the vicinity.

‘Potter’ ‘Hanworth’

The ‘Hanworth’ element of the place-name is from the Old English for ‘Hana’s’ farmstead and the ‘Potter’ constituent refers to the local pottery industry that developed here in the C14th. However it took until the 1940s to combine into one word.

St Andrew’s Church

At St Andrew’s Church in Potterhanworth, we find a C14th tower attached to a Victorian nave and chancel. There is believed to have been a pre-conquest church here but, apart from the tower, anything mediaeval or earlier vanished in 1749 to be replaced by a Georgian church. That in turn was removed in the 1850s when the present one was built, albeit in replica Gothic style. One of the bells was recast for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 with a quotation from ‘Morte D’Arthur’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson, who was by then poet laureate. The lines include the famous (and some may think prophetic) words “The old order changeth, yielding place to new”. It is rare for a small village to have its church overshadowed by an even more massive building – but that is the case here! Immediately over the road stands, or rather looms, a huge water tower built in 1903 as part of an innovative water supply system from a borehole in a nearby field.

Village Greens

Potterhanworth has two small village greens. On one there proudly stands a brilliantly coloured village sign and on the other the war memorial. A nearby bus shelter was erected to commemorate the 1951 Festival of Britain.

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