A potted history

Monksthorpe restoration 1999

A lot has happened since Monksthorpe Chapel was built in 1701. Uncover the ups and downs of this special place with a potted history.

A time line for Monksthorpe

  • Mid 1600s Groups of Christians who emphasise the independence of the local church and 'baptism by immersion on profession of faith' begin to meet, including at Burgh Le Marsh and Monksthorpe
  • 1701 Land is given by Hugh Ayscoghe of Halton Holegate. A brick 'meeting house' with thatched roof is built at Monksthorpe. The outdoor baptistry is probably built about the same time
In the 1950s and 60s the baptistry had railings round it
In the 1950s and 60s the baptistry had railings round it
In the 1950s and 60s the baptistry had railings round it
  • 1782 - Nearly a hundred people are on the members’ list of Burgh and Monksthorpe, from over twenty surrounding hamlets and villages
  • 1836 - A new church building is put up in Burgh Le Marsh
  • 1847 - Monksthorpe chapel is refurbished: the thatch is replaced by tiles, new windows are added, as well as seats, two vestries and a gallery
  • 1858 - The cottage and stable block are built
Baptistry and cottage circa 1910
Baptistry and cottage circa 1910
Baptistry and cottage circa 1910
  • 1880 to 1900 - The congregation numbers of Burgh and Monksthorpe Baptist church are in serious decline
  • 1909 - John Dowse is appointed minister and revitalises the work 
  • 1937 and 1938 - Boys’ Brigade camps are held in Monksthorpe's grounds
The RAF Spilsby hangar across the field from Monksthorpe
The RAF Spilsby hangar across the field from Monksthorpe
The RAF Spilsby hangar across the field from Monksthorpe
  • 1942 - RAF Spilsby airfield is built on fields adjacent to Monksthorpe
  • 1944 - A bomb dump explosion damages the chapel windows and roof
Harold and Ada Keyworth in 1958
Harold and Ada Keyworth in 1958
Harold and Ada Keyworth in 1958
  • 1957 - The building is restored and Harold Keyworth is appointed lay pastor of Burgh and Monksthorpe church
Monksthorpe Chapel in disrepair in the 1970s
Monksthorpe Chapel in disrepair in the 1970s
Monksthorpe Chapel in disrepair in the 1970s
  • 1972 - Tree roots make the Monksthorpe building unsafe; services are discontinued and large props are installed to prevent collapse
  • 1990 - Monksthorpe Chapel is rediscoverd by the Baptist community. There is some publicity in various newspapers
  • 1991 - A rededication service is held; The Friends of Monksthorpe are formed
Ready for a service in 1993
Ready for a service in 1993
Ready for a service in 1993
  • 1992 - A large donation pays for work to stabilise the foundations 
  • 1993 - The Friends of Monskthorpe begin work in the building and round the grounds; services start again. The cottage is uncovered
The cottage disappeared under overgrown vegetation
The cottage disappeared under overgrown vegetation
The cottage disappeared under overgrown vegetation
  • 2001 - The National Trust takes ownership of Monksthorpe Chapel and substantial repair works take place inside the building and to the exterior
Repair works by the National Trust in 2001
Repair works by the National Trust in 2001
Repair works by the National Trust in 2001
  • 2004 Songs of Praise with the BBC is recorded partly at Monksthorpe and broadcast on television
Gorgeous displays during the flower festival in 2011
Gorgeous displays during the flower festival in 2011
Gorgeous displays during the flower festival in 2011
  • 2009 and 2011 - Two Flower Festivals are held. The cottage rescue appeal is launched
A toilet block was added in 2016
A toilet block was added in 2016
A toilet block was added in 2016
  • 2014 - Restoration of the cottage
  • 2015 to 2019 -  Further restoration and conservation work undertaken by the National Trust, including the addition of a toilet block, new free-standing heaters and a cottage porch
The porch to the cottage was restored in 2018, based on a photo from 1910
The porch to the cottage was restored in 2018, based on a photo from 1910
The porch to the cottage was restored in 2018, based on a photo from 1910

You can find out much more about the history of Monksthorpe Chapel from three booklets available to buy from the Gunby tea-room.