Spires and Steeples: Art and Heritage

Metheringham to Blankney

Metheringham Mill

As you walk towards Blankney look to your right for a good view of Metheringham mill, which dates from 1867 and is clearly visible on the skyline above the village. It originally had six sails but over the years as they inevitably broke they were not replaced so that by the time it finally closed about 1930 only three were left.

Blankney Hall and Blankney Estate

In 1086 the Domesday Book described Blankney as ‘Blachene’ meaning ‘Blanca’s island’ and by the early 1400s a large estate had developed there, which three hundred years later, in 1719, came into the ownership of the Chaplin family. It was Charles Chaplin (1786 – 1859) who had the latest Blankney Hall built in the 1820s, and he was also responsible too for the appearance of the present village with its ornate stone cottages erected during the 1830s and 1840s. Charles’s son Henry, was to become an MP and a confidante of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) who regularly visited Blankney. Henry was also a celebrated racehorse owner whose horse ‘Hermit’ won the 1867 Derby and was eventually buried on the estate. Regrettably the hall caught fire in 1945 and was so severely damaged that it was never rebuilt although farm buildings and stables survive.

St Oswald’s Church

Blankney Church, St. Oswald’s, stands near the hall site and has a lychgate dedicated to Henry’s wife Lady Florence who died in 1883 and inside there is a white marble figure of her too. Henry and Florence rest together in an unobtrusive enclosure behind the chancel. The tower was rebuilt in 1805 and most of the rest of the church was restored from 1874. Nevertheless some mediaeval work remains in the nave arcades and parts of the porch.

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