top of page


Church Post Code LE15 8TU

Open to visitors

Those who know me and who have followed my travels over the years will probably know of my love for Rutland. Open churches (for the most part), friendly people and glorious countryside. The church of St Martin of Tours is by no means the biggest or most architecturally interesting church in the county, but it is one that I am very fond of and always enjoy visiting.

I first visited here in 2007 armed with a basic digital camera; revisiting in the winter of 2015, on a dull freezing cold afternoon. The photographs used on this page are all from a visit from December 2022, two weeks before Christmas. It had been a mild start to the winter but that had ended suddenly, and the frost was still on the ground in places as we arrived; with this being the sixth church of the day in what turned out to be a 12 church Rutland crawl, with each of these being open to visitors.


Lyndon is a small village, with a population of 124 at the time of the 2011 census. It can be found in an area of small, pleasant villages that I have grown very fond of over the years. We had driven in from neighbouring North Luffenham, a mile or so to the south east. The south bank of Rutland Water is a mile or so away to the north. Uppingham is five miles or so away in a vaguely southerly direction. Stamford is eight miles or so to the north east; neither of those trips on cycle would have appealed on that day, with the temperature a little above freezing! This was definitely a day for the van!

Next to the church is Lyndon Hall, a mansion which was built between 1671 and 1673 for the Barker family.

    The church here is dedicated to St Martin of Tours, with his story being an interesting one.  Martin was an officer in the Roman army who once cut his robe in half, giving half to a naked beggar in the bitter cold. Turning to Christianity he was baptised and, after a struggle, he was discharged from the army. In 370 AD he was made Bishop of Tours and soon after moved to a quiet place where he could lead a meditative life. Throughout his life he showed a genuine concern for every human being, whether poor or rich. He died at the age of 82, and was one of the first non-martyr saints.


The church that we see today consists of West tower, nave with north and south aisles and clerestories, south porch, north organ chamber and chancel. This is a very pleasant spot, with the church surrounded by trees, with a wall to the south and west separating the church grounds from Lyndon Hall. Approaching the church from the east, there is an intriguing clock tower in the grounds on the other side of the wall; this being the hall stable block, which has a Grade II Listing in its own right.

   There was no mention of the parish here during the Domesday Survey of 1086. The church itself is, for the most part, thirteenth and early fourteenth century. The font is thought to be earlier, and may point to the existence of an earlier church here. In past times this church has been in a very poor state of repair. I found a quote from British History Online, dated from 1605, which stated that, among other issues "the rain cometh in most intollerablie",  In more recent times, the church here was in need of repair and there was substantial Victorian restoration during the 1860’s.


Approaching the church, the light quality was excellent and the frost was still thick on the ground in places. St Martin is isolated from the rest of the village, in grounds owned by the hall.

Looking around the exterior, the west tower is battlemented and is of three stages. It dates from the 14th century, with the top being added to or repaired during the 15th century.

The south porch has an addition on the top; a canopy which dates from the Victorian restoration.  There are two gargoyles to north and south. To the south we have a sinister looking large cat, with paws upturned. His neighbour is a human figure, a mouth puller. There is a perturbed looking eagle on the north wall!

   Four bells hang here. The first was originally cast in 1597 but was re-cast by Taylor of Loughborough in 1889. This bell is inscribed ‘Nunc Martne Ego Cana Vobis Ore Iucundo Remmedgiunte’. A frustrating and not entirely successful few minutes with Google’s Latin translator came up with ‘Now being old and wise I Sing to you with a pleasant tongue’

The second, also re-cast by Taylor at the same time, was by Tobias Norris I, with this being cast locally at the Stamford bellfoundry. This is dated 1624 and has the Latin inscription 'Omnia Fiant Ad Gloriem Dei' Let all things be done for the glory of God.

   The third bell came courtesy of celebrated Peterborough founder Henty Penn, and is dated 1716, with the name Samuel Barker Esquire inscribed on to it. The final bell is another from the Stamford bellfoundry, with Tobias Norris III doing the honours this time in 1687. This final bell of the ring is inscribed with the name Sir Thomas Barker Baronet of Linden.


The south door had been left open, with the bird screen across on the porch. As a result it was really cold inside. I have been in colder though, with memories of a candlelit carol service around 2010 at St Remigius, Water Newton. It was around minus sis outside and the snow had been on the ground for a few days. The church heating had broken down and I have fond memories of the steam from 40 voices being highlighted by the candles!

Moving inside, there are two bay arcades to north and south, with octagonal piers and capitals. Crudely carved heads gave out across the nave. Pews line up in the south aisle but there is no altar here, just a plain wall with lectern.

The tower arch is slender with pointed arch. The two light west window has the only stained glass to be found at this church; a two light depiction on Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden, alongside Jesus’ birth. Underneath is scripture from I Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 21 – 22 ‘21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive’.

The three light east window is of clear glass; the altar is plain and simple with purple altar cloth, this being the liturgical colour used during advent.

lyndon glass.jpg

Much of the fittings here are from the time of the Victorian restoration. The pulpit is marble, as is the reredos; marble tiles of the highest quality. Central we have the symbols of the four evangelists.

 To the left as we look at it is a remarkable depiction of the Passover, where God unleashed the tenth and most terrifying plague on the Egyptians; the curse of the first born son. In this, the first born son from the highest to the lowest Egyptian family would die that night; including cattle. God gave instructions as to how the Israelites would be safe, and we see this highlighted here.

 The Passover lamb is slaughtered, with blood spread on the doorframe whilst the Jews ate the lamb quickly, with their sandals on and staff in hand, ready to move out quickly. This was to ensure their safety against the angel of the Lord, who is depicted sword in hand, causing destruction throughout Egypt. Pyramids are pictured, along with firstborn dead and an Egyptian woman with hands raised in distress.

On the right is a depiction from Numbers Chapter 21. Here, the Israelites were attacked by venomous snakes. God told Moses to erect a pole with a snake on it, so that all who were bitten and looked to this pole would be saved.

The font is said to predate the church; going back to the 12th century. This gives credence to the thought that there was church here which pre dates the existing structure.


The church grounds here are a delight, with these only being walled to the south and west. Chickens were wandering around on a previous visit. Large areas are without gravestones, with many not in situ, being lined up against the south and west walls.

Some memorials to members of the Barker family are built in to the west wall; with this wall having a Grade II Listing. The quality of gravestones, several of which date back to the 18th century, speaks volumes as to the wealth in the area. There is a table tomb here dating back to 1687, which has a Grade II Listing in its own right.

This is a beautiful church in picturesque settings in an attractive village in a glorious county! Open and welcoming; a delight to have been able to see this one again!

bottom of page