St. Peter's Church (originally called St. Peter and St. Paul) in
the Village of Claypole in Lincolnshire, England

These photos are from our [Kathy Claypole Biggs, Dave Biggs and Wesley Biggs] visit in 2006:

St. Peter's Church (originally called St. Peter and St. Paul), Claypole, Lincolnshire, England - a medieval church, the earliest stone portions built in 1225 A.D.

The village of Claypole in Lincolnshire was NOT named after the Claypole family. Its only known connection to the Claypole family is that during the English Civil War, John Claypoole, son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell was trapped in the village church with a troop of men (he subsequently managed to escape through a tunnel below the church). But now that we've visited the parish church, we do think there may well be another connection! To the left is the town entrance sign; and to the right is a photo of the St. Peter's church. This link goes to a map showing the town's location:

During our visit, the church's rector, George Munn, greeted us quite pleasantly and spoke with us for fully a half hour, and then handed us a pamphlet about the church and the village: St. Peter's Church, Claypole
Upon reading it and with further consideration and discussion we became convinced that although the village is not named after the Claypole family, surely the surname Claypole is derived from this village, as in "William, of Claypole."
The church, originally a Catholic Church became an Anglican Church during the reformation and is still being restored.

From the booklet, St. Peter's Church, Claypole -
Page 7: Notes on the Village:
The village is named in the Doomsday Survey of 1086 and is there spelt "Claipol." One authority suggests the name is derived from a Saxon word "Clai"; and "Pol" a corruption of a Scandinavian word, meaning a farm or settlement. Thus the name of the Village means "the settlement on the clay."
Page 8: Manor
At the time of Doomsday, there was a small manor held by the Bishop of Bayeux whilst the rest of the village was a Soke of Westborough and in consequence Claypole had a large proportion of free men. There is recorded to have been land for 10 plough teams, (showing it was a thriving community even in those days), together with the church, a priest and a mill.

Talking further with the Rector, he told us that the word "pole" in Claypole could refer to a group, or "pool" of people and with British pronunciation would be written as p-o-l-e but spoken as "pool", which suggests the American spelling deviations.

The oldest home in the village dates from about 1480, and therefore would have been in use at even an earlier time than the most ancient Claypole we can trace, John Claypole, who resided in nearby King's Cliff, Northamptonshire in about 1550. If our forebears came from this village, surely they were farmers or worked at the flax mill (a water mill).

Below are some photos from our July 30th, 2006 visit to St. Peter's Church, Claypole, an Anglican Church (Protestant):

Wes, who lives in London, later remarked to his wife Sarah, who studies Medieval History, that this was one of the best-preserved medieval churches he had visited yet!
We were very fortunate to arrive at the church just at the end of their Sunday worship service and therefore we were able to meet the current Rector, George Munn.
He showed us all around the church and pointed out many of its features, besides giving us the Claypole pamphlet (for which we made a small donation).


Mother's Union Flag

Rector Munn is in awe of this!....

...he is showing the stone step into the rectory worn down by 900+ years of prior Rectors and Priests stepping on just that same place .
Rector, George Munn has been instrumental in recent restoration of the church. Donations are appreciated.

Some ODD things were carved on the churches back in medieval times, and Rector Munn even showed us some OLD graffiti!

Old Graffiti

The village of Claypole, as seen from directly in front of the church's small parking area.

Should we be able to get to England again, we hope to visit the village of Claypole in more depth!
All photos by David and Wesley Biggs 2006. Contact the Biggs is you'd like to use them, please!