St John the Baptist

The picturesque village of South Carlton is situated on the edge of the limestone cliff to north of Lincoln, just at the point where it dips down to meet the valley of the Trent.

South Carlton, Lincolnshire

Opening times

Daily dawn until dusk.


South Carlton

Inside is a Norman chancel arch and two reconstructed 13th century arcades. Since the 16th century South Carlton has been the home of the Baron's Monson of Burton. In fact they still live here in a beautiful early eighteenth century house to the east of the church. Everywhere you turn in St John's are reminders of this prominent county family. An impressive set of family hatchments decorate the nave walls and the sixteenth century rood screen is adorned with their coat of arms.

A sign in the nave pointing east directs you to 'the monument'. As you enter the chancel, passing a set of medieval stalls, you are little prepared for the impressive sight that is soon going to appear before you. Protected by spikey railings, the north chapel is entirely filled with large canopied monument reaching to the roof. This is the monument of Sir John and Lady Joan Monson who died in 1593 and 1624 respectively and was erected in 1625 by their son Sir Thomas, 1st Baronet. It was carved by the court sculptor Nicholas Stone, who was paid £200 for it. Stone was at the height of his artistic powers and the work is accomplished. It needs considerable restoration.  

Beyond the monument to the north is the vast, but inaccessible Monson mausoleum, built in 1898 by William Watkins. Inside there are further family monuments including one to William Monson, 6th Baron, who was a noted 19th century antiquarian.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Social heritage stories

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Luke

North Carlton, Lincolnshire

The antiquarian sixth Baron Monson visited this church in September 1828 and found two Monson monuments within this 'very neat, small edifice'.

St Vincent

Burton, Lincolnshire

Set into a hillside, St Vincent's offers visitors stunning views across the Trent valley and features stained glass of local interest.

St John the Baptist

Scampton, Lincolnshire

On the western edge of the village below RAF Scampton, where the Dambuster raids were flown from and now home to the Red Arrows; there is an RAF chapel in the church with Squadron badges and there are several Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard.