church of St Michael the Archangel stands in a prominent position in
Laxton and is a landmark for some way around. The oldest parts of the
church, including the nave and the pillars, have been dated to about
1190. The arches in this part of the church are almost round, just
breaking to a point at the top. They are of heavy construction as this
was the period when the typical Romanesque architecture of rounded
arches was just giving way to the pointed structures of Gothic times.
The builders were not sure of the new techniques and used heavy
construction methods to be sure their buildings would take the weight.
By the time the later arches in the church were constructed, such as
that leading to the bell tower, the techniques were more familiar and so
lighter construction was used.
The church is remarkable in that it
was shortened when the tower was taken down in1859. A photograph can be
seen in the church clearly showing the additional arches and the
beginning of another arch can be seen inside the church near the door.
The church contains a number of
interesting tombs and other features while the grave yard contains many
stones commemorating members of families still living in the village
today. The inscriptions on many of the grave stones has weathered away,
but a transcription can be inspected by arrangement. There is an
alphabetical list of graves to assist those searching for family graves.
Please enquire if you are interested.
The church reflects the agricultural
nature of the community, holding three special services each year in
addition to the more common Harvest Festivals. On the Sunday nearest
January 11th a plough is brought into church for Plough Sunday. At the
end of April Rogation is celebrated with other churches on Laxton Common
and on 1st August the first sheaf of corn is blessed at the Lammas Day
service followed by a community breakfast at a parishioner's home.
St Michael the Archangel, Laxton