The Boston parish church, known popularly as The Stump, in Boston, Lincolnshire, UK is dedicated to Saint Botolph, the name "Boston" possibly being a corruption of "Botolph's Town". The "Cotton Chapel", named after him, was at one time used as a school, but was restored in 1857.
The church is one of the largest parish churches in England, and has the highest tower, the so-called Boston Stump. The tower is approximately 272 feet high, and can be seen for miles around, the East Anglian countryside being famous for its flatness. It provides a landmark from the other side of the Wash. The nickname dates from the construction of the church in around 1450.
It is believed that the church was built on the site of a monastery founded by Botolph in 654. The present building was begun in 1309, but the tower was not begun until 1450. The nave is 245 feet long and 98 feet wide.
A 17th century vicar of Boston, John Cotton, would be one of the leaders of the Pilgrim Fathers who founded Boston, Massachusetts. However, in 1612 the church was damaged by militant local puritans, and again by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War, who are said to have used the church as their camp in 1643. Restoration work was carried out during the 17th and 18th centuries, and again in the mid-19th century, under the direction of Giles Gilbert Scott and Augustus Pugin.
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