The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Mary.
The church stood on a small hill.
The church only seats 60.
The medieval church of St Mary was demolished in 1778; a new building was erected on the old stone foundations, using chalk and red brick (some from the old church) in 1871. In form it was a simple rectangle, with three windows in each side wall, and consisted of chancel, nave, north aisle and a western turret containing one bell. It was restored in 1893-4 when a new west bellcote and porch were added and a new east apse provided; the windows of the nave were re-formed into lancets filled with diamond panes of tinted glass.
This church was declared redundant in September, 1973 and demolished in 1976. Although the land was retained as a buriual ground, the graveyard has effectively disappeared. A recent visitor reports that the most recent graveyard burial appears to be from 1945.
Peter DESFORGES, a Huguenot refugee, was resident rector of Tothill from 1681 to 1725 and was buried at Tothill. His descendants are now found in many parts of England.
William NORTH's house in Tothill was licenced in February 1791 as "a place of Religious worship for the use of His Majesty's Protestant subjects Desenting from the Church of England [now commonly called Methodists]". There was no chapel. For information and assistance in researching these places of worship, see our non-conformist religions page.
This small village and parish is in the north-east of Lincolnshire about 5 miles south-east of Louth and 4 miles east of the A16 trunk road, bordered on the north by South Reston parish, in the east by Gayton-le-Marsh parish, and to the south by Withern parish. The parish covers about 850 acres.
If you are planning a visit:
By automobile, take the A157 arterial road between Louth and Mablethorpe. The parish is 5 miles outside of Louth.
The only building of historic interest in the parish is Tothill Manor, the present seven-bay brick house having been built in the 17th century and refronted early in the 18th century.
Tothill Manor is a Grade II listed building with British Heritage.
The mound alongside Tothill Manor is said to be the surviving motte of a motte and bailey castle. In the 13th century Tothill and Gayton-le-Marsh formed one manor, belonging to Lord Willoughby de Broke, the earliest references to Gayton being in 1202 and 1206. Lord Willoughby de Broke was lord of the manor and chief landowner from medieval times until c1910.
In 1930, retired Major Walter Hugh RAWNSLEY lived in this parish, where he is listed as a farmer. He is also listed as a resident of Alford. He was High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1921. He died in 1936.
According to the late Kenneth Cameron's Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-names [The English Place-Name Society 1998] the name Tothill is derived from the Old English personal name 'Tota' and Old English 'leah' [Tota's wood, glade or clearing]. The Domesday Survey of 1086 recorded it as Totele.
Some folks believe the name derives from "twt hill" or Old English for "lookout hill". [Liz Davies]
Locals pronounce the name as "Tot-hill", although some will drop the "h". [Liz Davies]