Visit one of the most important Saxon parish churches in England, reputed to be the mother church of Lincoln Cathedral.
Coates couldn't be humbler. Built around 1180-1220, the chancel windows and the font are Norman, whereas the south doorway appears to be Transitional. A real dog's breakfast of Gothic windows was added subsequently with no regard for consistency or aesthetics. The parish must have simply paid for whatever the mason was most capable of producing! In the west wall, visible both inside and out, there is an orphaned arch that Pevsner suggests is early 13th century, reinforcing the building's likely turn of the 12th century building date. There is no sign of there ever having been a tower so it looks as if this was an aborted project. The northern aspect has a rather bizarre of mixture of windows in four different architectural styles. Note the unused and bricked up archway in the west wall, as well as a blocked north doorway. The south has a Transitional period doorway and a couple of Tudor style windows and a blocked priest's door. It is the interior of the church, however, that is the principal interest here. It is totally dominated by its original rood screen which is complete with Lincolnshire's only surviving rood loft which extends all the way to the roof of the church itself. That is survived the Reformation is almost certainly to the church's remoteness and insignificance. Although it appears very plain, there are plenty of signs of the original paintwork to be seen. Also of note is the brass monument. Anthony Butler is and his wife Maria the subjects and the date is 1602.There is wonderful detail here even on the images of the eight children. Three of them bear skulls so it is surmised that they predeceased their parents. Note the wonderful colouring on the coats of arms. In the churchyard stands an extraordinary set of nine stone monuments to various deceased members of the Motley family between the 1830s and the 1890s. They are more or less identical in geometry. Many lived and died in tiny Coates. A reminder, perhaps, of an age that could never have imagined the much treasured mobility of our own era.