​[54] John Robinson grew up in Sturton-le-Steeple and attended the church of St. Peter and St. Paul. The tall tower is as Robinson knew it, but the church burned in 1901.

[55] Sturton church’s interior has been rebuilt after the fire that destroyed a choir screen and other furniture from the fifteenth century.



​[53] The Idle valley and the Bassetlaw region stretch to the horizon west of Gainsborough.

Tour continues.


[49] The John Robinson Memorial United Reformed Church in Gainsborough, dedicated just over a century ago. John Robinson, born in Sturton, studied at Cambridge where he became a fellow and then dean of Corpus Christi College. Later, in Norwich, he was dismissed from his position as an Anglican minister. Returning to the Scrooby area he became Richard Clifton’s assistant and a friend of John Smyth’s.. Robinson led the Pilgrim congregation in Leiden and continued to inspire them in their emigration to Plymouth in New England. Robinson’s independent Pilgrim congregation is seen by many as the origin of Congregationalism and, as such, a direct ancestor of the United Reformed Churches in England and the United Church of Christ in the United States.

​[51, 52] All Saints’, Gainsborough, the interior is a light and spacious alternative to medieval darkness, emphasizing the enlightenment of a new age. At the west end by the tower, teas are served in rooms just off the sanctuary.

​[50] All Saints’ Church, Gainsborough. Retaining a medieval tower, the present Anglican church was built in 1734-1744, to designs by Francis Smith of Warwick, who was inspired by the church of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields in London, recently completed in 1726. James Gibbs’ London church also inspired New England architects, a circumstance that could account for the familiar feel the Gainsborough church will have for visitors from New Enngland

​[56] The east window at Sturton contains attractive stained glass by C. E. Kempe and Co. (designed by John Lisle, 1925). A thirteenth-century sculptured tomb slab of Lady Olivia (d. ca. 1236), daughter of Alan Fitz Jordan, is at the west end, under the tower.


[57] In May the hawthorn hedges bloom – the May flowers that gave their name to the Pilgrims’ ship in 1620.