St Andrew's Parish Church
A Brief History of the Church
The origins of Christianity in Bonby are lost in time but it is known that a priory was founded here in the time of King John as a cell to the Abbey of St Fromond in Normandy. It is also known that some remains of the church are even older.
Much of the old work in the church dates from the 13th Century and there are two doorways, now both built up, probably dating from the end of the Saxon period.
The church was originally much bigger having a twin roof but, in common with many churches in Lincolnshire faced with dwindling congregations as people moved away from the villages into the emerging industrial areas, economies had to be made and part of the building was demolished.
In the North wall the three bays of a 13th arcade can be seen - one arch framing the ancient doorway - and two framing 15th Century windows. Other original windows are a lancet and an early 14th Century window in the South wall of nave.
The brick Bell Tower with a pyramid cap was built about 1700 and entrance could be gained from within the tower to a gallery at the rear of the church. The gallery was demolished when it became unsafe.There are just two plaques in the church both in memory of the family of the late Rev. Weaver Walton, Vicar at Bonby. The first, to the right of the altar, is in memory of his daughter, Jane Austen who died on 23rd March 1843 at the age of 8, and his son Spencer Conchran who died aged 18 years on 4th July of the same year and his wife Lillies who died later in the same year on 12th November - 1843 was a tragic year for the Vicar of Bonby.
The second plaque, on the left of the oak screen dividing the nave and the chancel, is in memory of another of his daughters, Cecelia Frances who died in 1872 at Dinard in France.
When electric light was installed a conscious decision was made to retain the old oil lamps which are now an attractive feature of the church as is the old candle holder on the pulpit.
On the window ledge adjacent to the pulpit is piece of stone which is reputed to be part of the head of an early churchyard cross.
Outside the church is a Lych Gate which was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1897.
Bonby has an interesting personal link with Queen Victoria in that a former Vicar of Bonby, whose tombstone now rests below the altar, had 16 children one of which became governess to Princess Beatrices the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria.