Alford - The beautiful, historic market town of Alford is about 30 miles from Grimsby between Grimsby and Boston.
Visitors will find no shortage of things to do and see in the town which has held its Market Charter for more than 700 years.
It boasts a number of pubs, two of which offer bed and breakfast, restaurants, two fish and chip shops, a Chinese takeaway and a pizza takeaway. Tourist attractions in Alford, which has an active Town Council, include the Manor House - a lovely thatched building now used as a museum - and a working five-sail windmill.
The Parish Church of St Wilfrids's overlooks the town.
Bus services run frequently between Alford, Mablethorpe, Spilsby, Louth and Boston.
The town, which is within easy reach of the coast, holds numerous annual events including craft markets, art exhibitions and a flower display. - Alford
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809~1892 - Lincolnshire's literary son, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was born at Somersby Rectory in 1809, the fourth of 12 children of the Rev Dr George Clayton Tennyson.
He spent his childhood and early adult life in the county until the family moved away in 1857.
During his time at Cambridge University, he became a friend of Arthur Hallam who was to have a profound influence on his early life. The year of 1850 is generally regarded as the most important period of Tennyson's life, with the publication of his most significant work In Memoriam - dedicated to Hallam after his early death - his marriage to Emily Sellwood, and his appointment as Poet Laureate.
He came to be regarded as one of the most respected and influential figures of the Victorian era, numbering among his friends and admirers Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Gladstone, Browning and Edward Lear.
Tennyson was offered a baronetcy in 1873 which he declined, but after much hesitation he later accepted a peerage.
At the time of his death on October 6, 1892, he was the most successful poet of the period. - Tennyson Country
Barnetby - The thriving township of Barnetby-le-Wold has sprung up from a cleft in the Wolds.
It lies at the Western end of a natural gap in the Lincolnshire Wolds and three railway routes join at the village before running on to Immingham, Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
Its position as an important junction on the Great Central Railway means Barnetby has grown in prominence and is easily accessible for visitors.
There are two churches in the village, one of which, St Mary's, is a closed church, stands on a hill to the west of the Barnetby and shows signs of Saxon work.
St Mary's also has one of only 30 Norman lead fonts in the country.
Other attractions in the town are the Barnetby and District Horticultural Show which has been on the go for nearly 40 years.
The town has a new church hall on the site of the former wooden St Barnabas Hall which was demolished in 1992.
Barnetby can be found off the A18. - Barnetby
Barrow Upon Humber - Barrow-upon-Humber's origins have been traced back to at least the 7th Century when a monastery was founded by St Chad.
It never grew into a town and was destroyed by Viking raids in the 9th Century.
But Barrow's strategic importance is illustrated by the huge motte and bailey castle constructed by Drogo de la Beauvriere in the 11th Century.
One of the village's most famous sons was John Harrison (1693-1776) who invented the first practical marine-chronometer which enabled sailors to accurately compute their position in the sea.
Barrow was once a thriving rope-making and basket-weaving village and in the last century there has been massive population growth leading to the forming of New Holland.
There is an abundance of historical buildings in the village and in 1974 it was designated a conservation area.
Barrow has a mix of 18th and 19th Century houses from all social backgrounds, and was once home to many workers from farms in surrounding villages.
Tourist attractions include the Holy Trinity Church, part of which dates back to the 13th Century, and the listed vicarage built in the 1800s.
The old Congregational Chapel, now a band room, is one of the village's most unusual buildings with its steel sloping roof. - Barrow Upon Humber
Barton - Barton-upon-Humber lies in the shadow of the Humber Bridge, midway between Lincoln and York.
Barton developed thanks to its prime position by the Humber and in the 11th Century it was the most important port in the region.
Because of its wealth as a trading centre many impressive Georgian and Victorian buildings were erected which make it an ideal place to wander through.
One of its main attractions is its view of the bridge, which can be best seen from Barton's Clay Pits, which cover five miles.
Once the home of a thriving tile and brick industry, the flooded pits are now a haven for wildlife and each has its own character.
Visitors can take advantage of the facilities they provide by fishing, sailing, birdwatching or enjoying watersports.
Barton has a hotel on the water's edge and many sites for caravanning and camping, it also boasts several restaurants and traditional pubs.
The area is perfect for walkers and ramblers who can follow the Viking Way. The trail stretches 14 miles from the Humber Bridge into the heart of North Lincolnshire.
Some of Barton's main tourist spots include the traditional shopping area, Baysgarth House Museum, Far Ings Nature Reserve, St Peter's Church, Bardney and Tyrwhitt Halls and St Mary's Church.
It was once the home of Sir Isaac Pitman 1813~1897, inventor of the world-famous shorthand system, and Chad Varah, founder of the Samaritans. - Barton
Billy Butlin 1899~1980 - South-African born William Edmund Butlin spent his early life in Canada, proclaiming he only received three years' formal education.
He joined his uncle's fairground business in Liverpool after serving in France during the First World War, where he was provided with his first hoopla stall.
He then travelled around fairgrounds with his own roundabouts, before setting up an amusement park in Skegness in 1927, followed by another at Mablethorpe.
After seeing the advantages of combining amusements with accommodation, Billy Butlin built his first holiday camp at Ingoldmells, near Skegness, in 1936, and the Butlins empire was born.
More camps followed at Clacton, Ayr, Pwllheli, Mosney in Ireland, Bognor, Minehead and Barry.
After being knighted in 1964, he switched on the illuminations at Skegness in 1977 which was to be his last visit to the county before his death on June 12, 1980. - Skegness
Binbrook - Take a 20 minute drive south west of Grimsby and you will arrive at the village of Binbrook with its population of between 700 and 800.
Popular with ramblers, Binbrook has published its own leaflet describing three walks which start there before taking in the surrounding countryside as well as the neighbouring villages of Stainton Le Marsh, Kirmond Le Mire and Ludford.
The village church, built in the 1800s, owes its existence to the same architect as St James' Church in Louth and earned the name 'Cathedral in the Wolds' because of its design.
Although not renowned for historical buildings, Binbrook does have a manor house - though a squire never owned the village.
Binbrook has a number of shops, a village pub that serves food but is not open all day, and a small industrial estate.
Buses run between Binbrook, Grimsby and Louth twice weekly. - Binbrook
Boston - Population: 26,600 The bustling market town of Boston has impressive global links which stretch right across the world.
Situated on the banks of the River Witham on the south coast of Lincolnshire, it has strong ties with Boston, Massachussets, and Botany Bay, Australia. The town is probably best known through the people who emigrated from this country to the New World, starting with the Pilgrim Fathers in the 1600s, and later by John Cotton, the vicar of both Boston, England, and Boston, USA.
Links with Botany Bay come from Sir Joseph Banks, former Recorder of Boston and father of the Commonwealth of Australia, who took part in a voyage on HMS Endeavour with Captain James Cook.
In 1770 the expedition headed to the then undiscovered coast of East Australia, rich with hundreds of species of plant - resulting in the name Botany Bay. The church of St Botolph in the Market Place was named after the Anglo-Saxon monk-saint, who was reputed to have established a monastery and given the town the name of Botolfston.
The lack of a spire earned the tower of the church the affectionate nickname of the Stump, and at 272ft is the tallest parish church in England. The town of Boston is rich in history but is also home to a thriving port that, at one time, was the busiest harbour in England. The Port of Boston handles 1.3 million tonnes of cargo per year with more than 750 ships, and future improvements include a multi-million pound investment to widen the existing lock.
Along with the port, distribution, manufacturing and the service industry are the major employers. Open-air markets operate every Wednesday and Saturday selling everything from bicycles to groceries, and attract shoppers from all over the East Midlands.
Boston is also home to one of the finest Georgian buildings in Britain. Fydell House was bought by Joseph Fydell in 1726, the head of a prominent Boston family which later found fame as vintners. Other well-preserved buildings worth visiting in the town are the Assembly Rooms - a Georgian public building still used for social gatherings - and Maud Foster Mill, the tallest windmill in the UK. - Boston
Boston - The treasure of Boston, and its enduring symbol, is the extraordinary and outsized church of St Botolph it’s Chancel protruding into the marvelous wide and irregular market place. ‘Boston Stump’ as the locals call it, is my favourite of all buildings, and yet whenever I am in my hometown I have to force myself to look at it afresh.
St Botolph’s is England’s fourth largest parish church, and its steeple beats all comers. To understand why such an enormous church was built for what is today a place of only modest size it to gain some insight into Boston’s important in the Middle Ages: levies paid by the town in the 13th century were only slightly less than those paid by London and were larger than those of any other English port. Boston made its fortune exporting wool to the continent and importing all manner of exotic goods, and the church-Begun in 1309 and not completed until more than two centuries later-was a visible expression of Bostonian wealth and ambition.
It is apt that St Botolph’s, built right on the riverbank, should provide a physical link between the tidal witham and the market-place, for the church owes its grandeur both to the port ands to the market, which has been a regular feature of Boston life since 1308. And you don’t have to walk far from the corner in the town to glimpse other important remnants of Boston’s history: close to the marketplace is a cluster of buildings, which provide a snapshot of the town’s past.
The former Quayside in Spain Lane are the remains of the 13th century refectory of the Dominican friars, 1965 to become the Blackfriars Arts Centre and theatre at the instigation of local enthusiasts.
A little further south is the Guildhall, once the 15th century hall of the Guild of St Mary and now the town’s small but well stocked museum. Inside are the very cells in which some of the Pilgrim Fathers were imprisoned in 1607 after they were betrayed in their flight to Holland. - Boston
Broughton - Broughton, only a short distance from Scunthorpe, is home to many of the town's steelworkers.
Famous for its lily woods, it lies by the Ermine Street, one of the great Roman roads.
The village is thought to have once been a Roman settlement after the discovery of coins, tiles and pottery fragments. It is now one of the most active and lively villages in the region, retaining its rural community atmosphere. Attractions in the village include the beautiful St Mary's Church.
Part of the church is 15th Century but patches of herringbone brickwork and small windows on the south side were built by the Saxons, probably the nave of the church. In the late 17th Century Abraham de la Pryme, the vicar of Broughton, kept a diary of every day activities which has become an important historical document.
Every year horse-riding enthusiasts and dog lovers converge on Broughton for the Agricultural Society's Annual Dog and Horse Show. The Brigg Round Scenic Drive also takes in the delights of the village, passing through Broughton Woodlands that extend into the Appleby parish. Golf fanatics will be at home in Broughton; the 27-hole Forest Pines course has recently opened up and was voted best new golf course in 1997. Broughton is situated six and a half miles from Scunthorpe off the B1207. - Broughton
Burghley House - Burghley House
Situated on the outskirts of the historic town of Stamford, Burghley House is one of the finest Elizabethan country homes in the whole of the United Kingdom.
The building is located in a beautiful deer park, landscaped by Capability Brown. With several high turrets and spires jutting out from the main building, the house is surrounded by acres of lawns and land, and wild deer can still be seen roaming the grounds.
The staterooms on show to visitors contain a collection of paintings, furniture, rare porcelain and tapestries, along with thousands of items of social interest.
Burghley House is famous for its yearly sporting event, the Burghley Horse Trials, and attract competitors and visitors from all over the world. This family home is open to the public with guided tours taking place most days.
Tel: 01780 752451
April 1 to October 3 daily 11am-4.30pm.
Cafe/restaurant, garden, gift shop, car park, toilets, disabled toilets, baby changing facilities, some areas accessible to guests in wheelchairs, chair lift available. - Stamford
Burton-upon-Stather - For centuries the Trentside village Burton-upon-Stather was a bustling port on a busy river.
Steamers and ferries went back and forth from Hull and in 1315 it was developed as a trading port for North Lincolnshire complete with a market and two fairs.
In the last century the waters were packed with boats, which faded out after the advent of railways, but in the mid 1930s the wharf sprang back into life when a petroleum company built storage tanks there.
The company moved on during the Second World War and the wharf was in danger of falling into dereliction until BOS Shipping took over what is today known as Kings Ferry Wharf.
In the 19th and 20th Centuries bricks and tiles were made in Burton, and ironstone was mined at Thealby.
Parts of the village have been designated conservation areas, meaning the character of Burton has been retained.
The top two tourist spots are Burton Hills, regarded as one of the area's finest beauty spots, and St Andrew's Church.
And Normanby Hall Country Park, the historic home of the Sheffield family, is just one mile from Burton.
In 1987 the village pub The Sheffield Arms, once owned by the Sheffield family, celebrated its 300th anniversary. It was sold by its former owners to Darley's of Thorne for £5,000 in 1930.
The pub stands at the head of High Street, which has a selection of shops.
Burton is also famed for its Dambusters connection. Sir Barnes Wallis, who invented the bouncing bomb, regularly stayed at The Ferry House Inn during the second World War to carry out top secret tests.
Burton is situated off the B1430. - Burton-upon-Stather
Butlins - For millions of Holidaymakers the symbol of ‘sunny Skeggy’ has always been the ‘Jolly Fisherman’ – that splendid, ruddy-faced character with his sou’wester, boots and cheery smile who has enticed tourists to the east coast of Lincolnshire since 1908. But in actual fact he could very easily have found fame advertising some other seaside resort, rather than Skegness, with his jolly demeanour.
The artist John Hassall had no particular town in mind when he painted his ‘Jolly Fisherman’, but the Great Northern Railway Company paid £12 in 1908 to the link the image with Skegness on one of their posters – and it was the GNR who came up with the now famous recommendation that ‘Skegness is so bracing!’
Fifteen years later, when the spread of the motor car was causing a downturn in the numbers of holiday makers travelling to Skegness by train, the London and north-eastern Railway had Hassall update his poster by moving the fisherman to the left and adding the famous Skegness pier in the background. The original artwork for this new poster was discovered in a shed in Essex in 1995 and sold at auction for almost £6,000.
Built in 1881, the pier at Skegness always seemed cursed with bad luck, and after suffering the indignities of a fire, a shipping accident and a severe storm, most of it was washed away in 1978. But there’s plenty left at Skegness to keep the tourist coming in by the thousand – not least the miles of wide, sandy beaches with which this part of the Lincolnshire coast is blessed.
For centuries Skegness was just an obscure fishing village, and it was only at the end of the 18th century that the fashion for sea bathing brought a reason for expansion. By the early part of the 19th century two hotels were open, catering for the well to do visitors who came to Skegness for the supposed health benefits of salt water and fresh air.
The advent of cheap rail travel for the working classes in Victorian times transformed Skegness from a well-heeled health resort into a holiday destination that everyone could afford.
Billy Butlin did his bit for the area in 1936 when he opened his first holiday camp a few miles up the coast at Ingoldmells. Knobbly Knees competitions, ‘Hello campers!’ and the jolly Fisherman. - Skegness
Cadwell Park - Despite the best efforts of Lincoln City, Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United, Lincolnshire is not a county particularly known for its sporting successes. But two locations in the country are firmly on the sporting map: the Cadwell Park motor-racing circuit near Louth attracts spectators from far and wide, and Market Rasen is known throughout the land for its horse racing.
In 1926 a certain Mansfield Wilkinson purchased land at Cadwell, in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds, which he considered perfect for rough shooting. But it was his son Charles, who saw a quite different potential: the land would be ideal for motorcycle racing. The first three-quarters of a mile of broken chalk track was laid in 1934 around the old manor house.
The Second World War put a temporary end to racing, but by 1952 the circuit had been concreted, surfaced with tarmac and extended to a mile and a quarter. In 1961 it was extended again to its present length of two and a quarter miles. Cadwell Park was swallowed up by the Brands Hatch Leisure Group in 1987, but the wooded circuit still retains its rural Lincolnshire charm – an odd counterpoint to the roar of the motorcycles as they flash by. - Louth
Caistor - This Roman market town has many historic features.
Nesting in the Lincolnshire Wolds, it is also the base for many walkers, with the 140-mile Viking Way running through it.
It has an active parish council but is arguably best known for its award-winning Grammar School, which regularly features close to the top of the Government league tables.
It has several pubs in its Market Place and a variety of shops, as well as a magistrates' court and several churches.
The nearby Town Hall is a base for many societies in the town. - Caistor
Chapel St Leonard's - The village of Chapel St Leonard's is situated on the Lincolnshire coast north of Ingoldmells and Skegness.
It has excellent facilities for all ages and lies close to a long sandy beach patrolled by lifeguards during peak season.
A beach bar opened in 1998 to organise games and family events as well as provide visitors with somewhere to relax and enjoy the sea views.
A village green, with a colourful display of rose blooms in the summer, nestles at the heart of the village which also offers pubs, clubs, shops and cafes. Other activities include windsurfing, fishing and water-skiing while carnival time is August.
Like Sutton On Sea, Chapel St. Leonards is within easy reach of the open Lincolnshire countryside and makes an ideal holiday base to explore the treasures of the county. - Chapel St Leonard's
Cleethorpes - The seaside town of Cleethorpes offers a multitude of attractions to suit every taste.
From donkey rides along the beach to the white-knuckle experiences at Pleasure Island theme park, Cleethorpes has it all.
The resort has ample accommodation and can be reached by road or rail. It is just minutes away from the heritage-rich, fishing port of Grimsby.
Guest houses are abundant and, for those who prefer to holiday with family or friends, Thorpe Park includes luxury caravans, an indoor swimming pool, cabaret shows, and a traditional pub and restaurant.
The nearby Beachcomber also offers a variety of accommodation and entertainment.
Nature lovers can stroll along the coastal path, watching the variety of wildlife that inhabits the shoreline - an area of natural beauty and one of Europe's most important estuarine wildlife havens.
The importance of the Humber Estuary as a conservation area is the subject of one of Cleethorpes' most successful tourist attractions. The Humber Estuary Discovery Centre offers visitors of any age the chance to explore life on the seabed and find out what it is like to see like a bird. - Cleethorpes
Doddington Hall - Doddington Hall
Set in five acres of romantic gardens, Doddington Hall is a superb Elizabethan mansion and family home.
Built in 1600 by architect Robert Smythson for Thomas Tailor, the building resembles a double E and each storey is focused on a great room.
The Long Gallery on the third floor, which is 29 metres long, was used for wet-weather recreation and indoor bowls.
The hall has been the subject of a major restoration programme since the 1950s, along with the wall in the gardens which was rebuilt in 1995. Visitors are invited to enjoy the sights and scents of the irises, magnificent spring bulbs and herbaceous borders.
Tel: 01522 694308
Gardens open Sundays in March and April 2pm-6pm, house and gardens open May to September Wednesday, Sunday, and bank holiday Mondays 2pm-6pm
- Doddington Hall
Farming - Farming in Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a prime agricultural county with a tradition going back hundreds of years in most aspects of farming, animal husbandry and horticulture.
According to information from the East Midlands National Farmers' Union, Lincolnshire exports flower bulbs to Holland and every year thousands of daffodils are air-freighted to Canada for the Canadian Cancer Society's Appeal.
Lincolnshire is Britain's largest potato producing area, mainly due to the richness of the Fenland soil, which is known as the Golden Mile.
Sugar beet is another important crop, with British Sugar factories still in operation at Bardney and Newark.
They process most of this crop into products such as granulated sugar, ice cream toppings, a variety of syrups and specialised sugar for jellies, biscuits, cakes and soft drinks.
Lincolnshire farmers are the country's largest cereal producers, growing wheat, winter and spring barley, oats, mixed corn, rye and triticale harvest each year.
Crops are the mainstay of the agricultural economy, but Lincolnshire is a national leader in poultry production. Dairy herds and beef producers, including the famous Lincoln Red breed, provide quality meat from animals under 30-months-old. The county is also famous for its pig herds from which high quality bacon, ham, pork and other products come. Flocks of sheep provide finest quality lamb and mutton.
Fruit, vegetables and flowers are produced mainly in the south of the county where they benefit from the rich Fenland soils.
Lincolnshire is a leader in vegetables and more than a quarter eaten in this country come from the region.
Flower and bulb production is around a third of the national total.
Agriculture is the county's largest industry and carries a proud heritage of high quality and dedication to the nation's food. Farming Statistics
51.7 per cent of cereal land in the East Midlands is based in Lincolnshire.
81 per cent of cereal land in Lincolnshire is for wheat production.
68.6 per cent of agricultural holdings in the county are cereal holdings.
42 per cent of agricultural land in the East Midlands is based in Lincolnshire and more than a quarter of vegetable land in England is in the county. - Lincolnshire
Gainsborough - Population: 17,500 Gainsborough stands on the banks of the River Trent and the trade that travelled up and down the waterway was vital in the market town's foundation.
From the wharfs, there is a good view of the curious tidal wave which travels up the river at the same time as the March and September equinoxes.
Known as the Aegir, the wave was given its name by the Scandinavian settlers whose river god was called Oegir.
Centuries later the town's finest building, the Old Hall, was built and is now open to visitors.
The timber-framed house was constructed by Sir Thomas Burgh between 1460 and 1480 and has at its heart the majestic Great Hall with its high-arched roof.
It is said that during the 19th Century author George Eliot visited Gainsborough when she was looking for the factual inspiration for her novel The Mill on the Floss. Many believe Eliot's Mill was Ashcroft Mill which once stood near the bridge over the Trent.
Now the town is achieving a new cultural reputation. It boasts the Trinity Arts Centre film and theatre venue, renowned as one of the top centres of its kind in the region, as well as a developing art gallery. - Gainsborough
Gainsborough Old Hall - Built of brick, with massive oak framing, Gainsborough Old Hall is a magnificent surviving building from the late medieval period.
It was built for the powerful Burgh family, whose old home was destroyed by the Lancastrians in approximately 1470.
One of the hall's striking features is a sturdy brick tower and turret with a winding stone stairway, and from the top views stretch over the valley, almost to the Humber.
In the past the hall has been used as a linen factory, a theatre, a machine workshop and an auction room. In recent years much effort has gone into making the hall a centre for cultural activity and events such as medieval days, craft fairs and concerts take place regularly.
Gainsborough Old Hall
Tel: 01427 612669
Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday (Easter to end October only) 2pm-5.30pm, closed Good Friday, 25~26 December and 1st January. - Gainsborough Old Hall
George Boole, 1815~1864 - Lincoln-born George Boole is best known for creating symbolic logic - the use of symbols to represent statements and operations on them. Both this and its equivalent, the algebra of sets, are taught to almost every school child in the world today. Born on November 2, 1815, his interest in mathematics appeared to have developed later in life, as at the age of 16 he was employed as a teacher in Lincoln and later in Waddington. Four years later he opened a school of his own, but concentrated on studying languages. In 1849 he spent the rest of his life at Queen's College in Cork after being appointed to the mathematics chair, and later become public examiner for degrees at Queen's University. His most famous book was published in 1854, called "An investigation of the laws of thought in which are founded the mathematical theories of logic and probabilities". Known as the Lincoln Genius, he was highly respected for his pioneering work in mathematics and philosophy and laying foundations for computing and information technology, which plays such a crucial part in the modern world. He died on December 8, 1864. - Lincoln
Goxhill - Goxhill is a horse lover's paradise. Situated about 20 miles from Grimsby and seven miles from the Humber Bridge, it is reputed to have more horses than people! Goxhill lives up to its reputation by holding an annual horse show and gymkhana. A summer fair is also held each July. With its own newspaper quaintly called the Goxhill Gander, the village also boasts numerous country walks and has even had a book written about them. Visitors should take the time to visit the nearby Thornton Abbey, which dates back to the reign of Henry 8th and the old priory in the South End area of the village. Regular bus services connect Goxhill with the city of Hull on the north bank of the River Humber and with Grimsby. A train service runs between Goxhill, which has sporting facilities including tennis, bowls and badminton, and Barton-on-Humber. - Goxhill
Grainthorpe - Grainthorpe is situated 15 miles from Grimsby, eight from Louth and 25 from Lincoln. An annual art and crafts exhibition, in which the church and village hall are given over to local artists and craftsmen to display their work, attracts visitors from far and wide. A bygones event is also staged in the village every year around August bank holiday. The village, which boasts an entry in the Doomsday Book, has a public house renowned for its good food and wide range of guest beers. Once a thriving port, Coalshore Lane was used by horses and carts to carry coal from Grainthorpe Haven on the coast to the nearby canal from where it was ferried by barge to Louth. Now popular with tourists in the summer months, a series of public footpaths interconnects the village with the surrounding countryside. Limited public transport services run between the village, Grimsby and Louth. - Grainthorpe
Grantham - Population: 33,300 There is no doubt that the town of Grantham was established during Saxon times, but it was the Danes who made the town the centre for the region. By the middle of the 11th Century Grantham was already an important market town, something which still applies today. Described in the Doomsday Book as a villa or town, in medieval times it was the production and sale of wool which created the town's wealth, as Grantham contained no arable fields. During the 1800s Grantham became a railway town, partly because it was around 100 miles north of London, and the first military airfield in Lincolnshire was established on the heathland in Spitalgate parish in 1914. The town has its fair share of heritage, beginning with Belton House, near Grantham, which is in a setting of gardens, parkland, church and estate village. In the 1990s it was the location for the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice. Built on seven levels, Harlaxton Manor is a mixture of Elizabethan and Victorian details, and is the very essence of opulence. Priceless antique furniture, tapestries and porcelain are on show at Belvoir Castle, near the town, which is the spectacular home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Grantham has developed into a prosperous engineering town with good facilities and excellent communications, and the position of the town on the main rail route north and on the A1 makes it a prime location for industry. - Grantham
Grantham - The chances are that you’ve heard of Grantham for one of three reasons: (1) Margaret Thatcher was born here, (2) the young Isaac Newton went to school here and observed his falling apple at nearby Woolsthorpe, and (3) Grantham and was once dubbed the most boring place in Britain by a particularly ungenerous radio programme. Natives of this south Lincolnshire town, which grew prosperous first as a staging post on the Great North Road and later as a centre for heavy industry, argued at the time that the boring tag was never deserved. Although Grantham suffered badly at the hands of short – sighted 1960’s town planners, who tore the heart out of much of the handsome Georgian town, the old town hall in St Peters Hill was one of the happy survivors. An elegant building of brick and stone built by William Watkins in the late 1860’s, it was converted by the district council into the Guildhall Arts centre and Theatre in 1991 (Inset). Now that the Premier Restaurant (Baroness Thatchers childhood home) is no longer in business, Grantham’s most visited landmark must be St Wulfram’s church, well known for it’s soaring, slender spire – at 272 feet not quite as tall as St James’s in Louth or St Botolph’s in Boston, but a fine sight nevertheless. In the shadow of this ancient church are the nooks and crannies, which show Grantham as it used to be: Vine Street, for example, with some of its handsome brick houses dating back to the 18th century. Back in the High Street are the vestiges of Grantham’s glorious coaching past. One is the George Hotel, praised by Dickens in Nicholas Nickelby but now a shopping centre. The other is the famous and much older Angel and Royal Hotel, with its ornate 15th –century façade – one of the grandest English pre-Reformation inns. It was here in 1483 that Richard III signed the death warrant of the Duke of Buckingham, and here in 1633 that Charles I stayed as a guest. Today, by contrast, travellers to and from London shoot past on the A1 or on the east coast intercity main line; and to them Grantham is no more than a name on a signboard. - Grantham
Great Coates - Great Coates is a village of about 500 houses situated close to Grimsby. There are no pubs or shops but Grimsby's Willows Estate provides these facilities within reach of the village. One half of Great Coates has been deemed a conservation area while the other backs on to an industrial estate, dividing the village. There are a number of public footpaths through the village and out into the neighbouring fields and - though there are no annual events - the Reading Rooms can be hired for private functions. A train service runs about every two hours between Great Coates and Grimsby - Great Coates
Grimsby - Grimsby lies on the South Bank of the Humber Estuary and is the 'capital' of North East Lincolnshire. Once a thriving fishing port, Grimsby remains one of the premier freight ports on the Humber along with neighbouring Immingham and Hull on the North Bank. The town, which has a population of around 100,000, has plenty to offer to visitors. The National Fishing Heritage Centre is one such attraction. The centre, run by North East Lincolnshire Council, is a focal point for Grimsby's rich fishing history. Visitors are welcomed by the call of seagulls, a sound which brings alive the atmosphere of a life on the ocean waves. Once inside, there are a number of exhibits including historical shop windows and a tea-room, the perfect setting to contemplate the past. There is also the opportunity to see what it was really like on the deck of a trawler in the middle of the North Sea. Outside, visitors have the opportunity to explore the decommissioned trawlers. - Grimsby
Grimsby - If it weren’t for Grimsby, we might never have seen the white beard of Captain Birdseye or heard the advertising slogan: ‘As fresh as the day when the pod went pop!’ For Grimsby – once the heart of the British trawling industry – has repositioned itself as Europe’s Food Town’; it was here, on Lincolnshire’s north-east coast, that Captain Birdseye (or someone close to him) invented the fish finger, and it was Grimsby which produced the first frozen pea. Though it is still officially Britain’s number one fishing port, today Grimsby is home to only about 60 trawlers; earlier in the 1900s 650 vessels fished out of Grimsby Dock. Faced with the terminal decline of the fishing industry, Grimsby Fish dock Enterprises invested over £14million in a brand new fish market, which opened in 1996. Now Grimsby is the UK’s centre for buying, selling and freezing fish, though only about a quarter of the catch is landed in the dock itself. Fittingly, Grimsby takes its name from a poor Lincolnshire fisherman called Grim who (according to legend) rescued Havelok, a young Danish prince who had been put to sea in a boat following the murder of his father, King Birkabeyn. Grim raised Havelok as his own, and when the prince returned to Denmark and won back his kingdom, he bestowed a handsome reward on his rescuer. Grim used his new found wealth to found the town, which bears his name. It is a workaday place, and not richly endowed with fine buildings; but one landmark stands out – the dock tower, designed in rather lavish style by J.W.Wild in imitation of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, and built in 1852 by J.M.Rendel. Dominating the docklands at a height of 309 feet, the tower had a function when it was first conceived – to accumulate water pressure for working the locks, cranes and sluices of the docks. It remained in useful service for only 40 years, but since its retirement it has taken on a rather different role as the town’s distinctive symbol. - Grimsby
Gunby Hall - Imagine how grave the threat of defeat must have seemed during the darkest days of the Second World War – so grave that the Air Ministry planned to bulldoze Gunby Hall near Spilsby to make room for a longer runway at nearby RAF Steeping! The plans were amended – thankfully – but only after the squire of Gunby, Field-Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd, had brought his considerable influence to bear on the king. (He had until recently been Chief of the Imperial General Staff.) The runway at RAF Steeping was indeed extended for use by Lancaster bombers, but its line was redrawn by a few inches and Gunby was saved. The Field Marshal was fighting to preserve not only a splendid three-storey William and Mary house and its beautiful gardens, but also the ancestral seat of the Massingberds, which had been in his family for two and a half centuries. The hall was built by Sir William Massingberd, the second Baronet, in 1700, according to the dated keystone on the west doorway: not one of Lincolnshire’s grandest houses – ‘a mason bricklayer’s rather than an architect’s design’, thought Pevsner – but certainly one of the most loveable. Gunby even made an impression on no less a person than Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lincolnshire’s poet laureate; he described it as ‘an English home … all things in order stored, a haunt of ancient peace’, words, which he wrote out by hand and which now hang, framed in the library. The National Trust assisted in the negotiations which led to the preservation of Gunby Hall, and by way of thanks Sir Archibald and his wife gave their beloved home to the nation in 1944. It is now looked after by a Lincolnshire couple who moved in as tenants in 1967 and who open the hall and its serene gardens to the public on Wednesday afternoons. - Spilsby
Harlaxton Manor - Harlaxton Manor – grandiloquent, over blown and utterly beautiful – is a testament to two Lincolnshire people: to George de Ligne Gregory who pulled down the original manor in the 1830s and replaced it with this eccentric, magnificent pile, and to Mrs Violet Ven der Elst, an ordinary woman with an extraordinary fortune who bought Harlaxton a hundred years later and saved it from dereliction. No one knows for sure why Mr Gregory enlisted the architects Anthony Salvin and William Burn to create this phenomenal building – a mish-mash of style, perhaps, or a breathtaking Victorian fusion of the best parts of England’s architectural heritage, depending on your point of view. Mr Gregory was an established country gentleman whose family had lived at Harlaxton since the 17th Century; but he had no heirs to inherit his awe-inspiring house. Our best guess is that he built Harlaxton simply to out do his neighbours at Belton House, Stoke Rochford Hall and Belvoir Castle, the last of which was extensively refurbished in 1825. The story of Violet Van der Elst sounds almost as improbable. She was born Violet Dodge in Surrey in 1882, the daughter of a coal porter and a washerwoman, and after starting work as a scullery maid she became a successful businesswoman by developing Shavex, the first brush less shaving cream. By the end of the 1930’s, now married to the Belgian Jean Van der Elst, she had amassed a huge personal fortune and earned notoriety from her vocal campaigns against capital punishment. It was in 1937 that Mrs Van der Elst heard about Harlaxton Manor for the first time. The house boasted 100 bedrooms and 427 acres of parkland, but it had been neglected and was virtually derelict. In the desperate hope of saving it from demolition, agents advertised it for sale in the national press, and Mrs Van der Elst paid £90,000 for it. The new owner’s first acts were to rename the place Grantham Castle and to forbid shooting on the estate. By now a Labour politician who was to stand three times (unsuccessfully) for election to the commons, Violet Van der Elst promised to preserve the grounds as a sanctuary for the dear birds and the wild creatures’. She then set about restoring the interior of her new home. In 1959 Violet Van der Elst moved to a flat in Knightsbridge, her fortune almost spent. In 1965 the act abolishing the death penalty was passed, thanks in large part to her tireless campaigning; and a year later she died, penniless, friendless and obscure. Her memory lives on, however, at Harlaxton. - Harlaxton Manor
Healing - Healing is a medium sized, but sleepy, village that can be reached by car from Grimsby town centre in 10 minutes. The Doomsday Book detailed the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul and more recently the remains of a mediaeval settlement were discovered on what is now a building site. A flower festival is held in the village each summer and the British Legion plays a big roll in village life - organising a march to the cenotaph in commemoration of the war dead every November. Perhaps the biggest events of the year, however, are the summer horticultural show and open gardens event, which draws visitors from far and wide to look around the villagers' gardens. Both events are organised by Healing Horticultural Society. Healing also boasts one of the best comprehensive schools in the area. - Healing
Historic Lincolnshire - Introduction Lincolnshire is a county with a unique history due to its long coastline, diverse geology and topography, its position in Britain and its size as the second largest in England. All these factors have had an impact on societies activities through the centuries to present day. The Setting Lincolnshire is a large distinct region bordered by the North Sea to the east, the Humber estuary to the north, a substantial length of the river Trent to the north- west and an area of Fen to the south. Natural environments of Fen, chalk, limestone upland and wide valleys have dictated the societies activities in Lincolnshire through the years. 220 million years ago, the oldest rock beds were formed during the Triassic period, which is part of the larger Mesozoic era. During this time the first mammals appeared. The small area of Keuper Marls, located in the extreme north-west of the country beneath the Isle of Axholme, dips eastward and is over-laid - first by clays of the Lower Jurassic period, then by lime stones of the Middle Jurassic period and further clays of the Upper Jurassic period. Chalk beds were deposited on top of sands and clays in the Wolds area during some 75 million years. During the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, the region was almost entirely submerged beneath the sea until the end of the Upper Cretaceous era, 65 million years ago, when it was uplifted slightly above the sea level. The landscape at present, was largely formed by the effects of climatic changes, which have alternated between ice ages and warm interglacial periods. The ice ages being the most severe, covering an area under an ice sheet, hundreds of metres thick. The most dramatic of which was an Anglian ice sheet that reached as far south as London. Its retreat revealed a scoured surface, deepening into the clay vales and a deposit of boulder clay, which caused the River Trent to change direction from a west-east route. Almost two thirds of the county is under 30metres above sea level. A large part of that is less than 2 or 3metres above sea level. The Fen and coastal plain is mistakenly thought of as Lincolnshire by many visitors on their way to the coastal resorts. One third of the Fen region is in Lincolnshire and the rest lies in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. In the east, the hill ranges extend from the Humber coast to the north of the Fens, the chalk Wolds rise to 151metres above sea level. To the west is mainly limestone Heath that begins in the north and follows a line southwards. Here it broadens and becomes more undulating, to a height of 154 metres above sea level. The Kesteven Uplands dip down to the Fens in the east. The western side is known as the ‘cliff’ or ‘Lincoln edge’. To the west of the cliff is a mainly clay vale through which the river Trent flows to the river Humber and the North Sea. There are numerous outcroppings of sand and gravel. The Isle of Axholme lies in the north west, beyond the river Trent. It was largely cut off from the surrounding area until it was drained during the seventeenth century. The River Ancholme flows through the clay vale between the Heath and the Wolds. This vale was formed by the actions of Anglian and Devensian glaciations and subsequent flooding. During the post Devensian warming the sea levels changed from minus 100 metres to plus eight metres – causing the Fenland. River Witham valley and river Trent valley to become flooded leaving Lincolnshire with just ‘Wolds’ and ‘Heath’ as islands. Around 200,000 years ago these flints may have been made through the warmer interglacial period after the great Anglian ice age. Early hominids may have wondered over the open plains of Lincolnshire after the climate became warmer. Hand axes and other artefacts from the lower and middle Palaeolithic periods have been discovered at Whisby, Roxby, Risby, Warren, Barlings and Salmonby. From 4000.C farming was developed and required greater planning, organisation as well as better tools. The earliest site discovered so far was at Tattershall Thorpe. Excavation discovered traces of wooden buildings. Other finds include pottery and other artefacts at Dragonby, Little Gonerby and Tallington. Burial sites have been found, in the form of long burrows. These are mainly on the Wolds and 20 definite sites have been found. Often having pottery and other artefacts helping to identify dates from which they were possibly made. Half way through the millennium, the Celtic people migration to England influenced cultural change, archaeological research and written evidence on coins. The new metal work had elaborate interlocking ‘S’ scrollwork and other normally symmetrical designs. Excellent examples were found in Lincolnshire including the Witham Shield from the Iron Age but constructed from Bronze. It is an impressive tribute to the skills of the craftsmen. It may have been produced for ceremonial purpose or symbolic rather than for battle. The Romans Almost a hundred years after the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55 BC by Julius Caesar, the Emperor Claudius in AD 43 set about conquering the people and subjugating the tribes. Within a few years the Ninth Legion, Legio IX Hispana, had marched northwards and was in Lincolnshire. Their first bases in this area may have been at Longthorne, near Peterborough, Newton on Trent in Nottinghamshire and Great Casterton in Leicestershire and a further temporary one was possibly established in the Witham gap just to the east of a natural lake, the Brayford Pool. Soon there was a permanent fortification on the hilltop to the north of the gap. The high limestone position provided a dry site that was strategically advantageous, giving panoramic view over much of the surrounding countryside. Lincoln was the most important settlement in the country, but Roman influence also extended into the countryside. When the army first entered the country, it probably marched along the ancient prehistoric track ways following the high limestone edge, from Great Casterton, and probably established bases at Ancaster and Navenby. This road was later called Ermine Street. Straight roads were for rapid communication, but water transport was normally used for the movement of heavier goods. The construction of two canals, which were on an engineering par with the roads, further stamped the Romans' footprint across the countryside. The 11 mile Fosse Dyke canal, which connected Torksey on the river Nene near Peterborough, opened up the entire county to the transportation of heavy goods. The Carr Dyke also functioned as a catch-water drain and began the long process of draining the Fens. Anglo-Saxon and Viking Lincolnshire There is evidence that Saxon soldiers were in Lincolnshire by the end of the fourth century AD., broaches, buckles and strap ends. There seems to have been an army to take control on the withdrawal of the Roman army after 410. The Lincolnshire coast was well defended by the end of the fifth century. Lincolnshire was never subjected to a uniform invasion. Without Roman control, any migration may have been swift along the rivers and the Humber estuary. It appeared to have been peaceful as there is evidence of both Saxon and British burials during the same period. With the passage of time, Anglo-Saxon ritual took over. Place names can often identify the origin of settlements. In Lincolnshire there are over 300 places with the suffix – ton or – ham denoting Anglo-Saxon origins. These were relatively isolated farming communities producing enough food for the settlements consumption, compared to the Roman Britain, the ‘Dark Ages’. The first Anglo Saxons were pagan, although there may have been a small Christian enclave in Lincoln, and elsewhere, after the Romans left. Christianity returned more generally to the county again when St Paulinus visited Lincoln and converted Bleacca. During this decade Paulinus had made York his base; he founded a Church there, from where to carry out his missionary work. By the beginning of the eighth century the impact of Christianity had resulted in the building of religious houses at Crowland, Bardney, Partney, West Halton, Barrow, Hibaldstow and Stow-by-Threekingham and, soon after, at Louth and South Kyme. Whilst the movement of the Anglo Saxons can properly be called a migration, the settlement of the Vikings was, at least initially, a more violent affair. The prospect of gold riches from the monasteries motivated the first raiding parties. The massive availability of good farming land and a better climate were longer-term benefits. The Vikings had ships suitable to cross the North Sea and manoeuvrable enough, to navigate small rivers. Britain was not their only destination for migration; they were also entering into northern Russia and Northern France. Further waves of Vikings began to settle. Perhaps in the first instance just for the summer. Settlements developed along wide rivers and the farmable land, which committed the newcomers to stay. The overall size of the Viking migration and distribution of settlements can be seen by looking at place names. According to the Doomsday Survey, Lincolnshire contains approximately 218 place names ending with ‘by’ which denotes anything from a farming village; the less common ‘thorpe’ which indicates settlements usually located on more marginal land; and ‘holm’ connected with low-lying land near a river or a lake. By the early 10th Century Lincoln was seeing renewed economic expansion. Archaeological research shows the establishment of new streets and buildings within the old lower southern Roman enclosure, as well as substantial riverside activity and land reclamation. During the last decade of the first millennium the Danes again turned their eyes to England, this time by launching sporadic raids along the east and south coasts. The Lindsey coast was almost certainly attacked at this time. Their aim was to extort ‘Danegeld’: protection money from the English. Substantial sums were involved, rising from £10,000 in 991 to a little less than £90,000 in 1018. In 1013 the Danish king, Swein Forkbeard, occupied Lindsey so that he could launch an attack southwards. From here he executed a successful campaign when he forced the English King, Athelread ‘The Unready’ to seek safety in Normandy. The Impact of the Normans Almost a thousand years after the Romans built their first fortresses, the county began a new phase of dramatic change brought about by William, Duke of Normandy’s invasion in 1066 and what is arguably the most famous event in English history: The battle of Hastings. Crowned King of England on Christmas day at Westminster Abbey, William, for the first four years on his reign, was in an uncertain position and he became involved in a number of campaigns throughout England and Wales to subdue dissident factions. One such campaign was in the summer of 1068 when he was forced to put down a rebellion in Yorkshire. On Williams return to London, he and his army travelled through Lincolnshire ordering castles to be built, at Lincoln to control the North of the Country, and later at Stamford to control the South. In 1069 Edgar the Atheling, who had been widely supported by the English on the death of King Harold at the battle of Hastings, returned to York from Scotland where he had taken to flight. Edgar was also supported by men from a 240-ship Danish Fleet, which had sailed up the Humber. Using York as his base, he began to plunder Lindsey but was forced to flee to the Isle of Axholme with a few supporters after being attacked by what must have been a substantial garrison from Lincoln. In 1070 the Swedish King Swein himself entered the Humber in what was to be the last, if short lived, attempt to return England to the Danish empire, for William soon made a peace. The presence of castles had both the desired oppressive effect on the local population and also provided the centre from which local government and law could be exercised. Castled were also places at which knights could fulfil their military obligations or the obligations of their lord. The choice of Lincoln is not surprising. At the time of the conquest it was one of the largest and most prosperous towns in the country with a population of approximately 6,500 in 970 dwellings and was a thriving commercial centre. Lincoln castle was a typical Norman castle following a motte-and-bailey pattern of construction. Strategic considerations required the castle to be built quickly and it is recorded in Doomsday Book that 166 dwellings were destroyed to make way for the 13-acre site. The first strategically sited castles were important for subduing ant possible revolts and were built on William’s orders; other castles were built by tenants-in-chief. These could also be of strategic importance as at Gainsborough and Owston on the river Trent. As the King became more secure and the threat of revolt receded, Lincoln castle became the centre of local government. By 1086, a shire-reeve or sheriff had been installed there, responsible for implementing royal laws and collecting taxes throughout the entire county. In other parts of the county castles were built to administer the substantial estates created by William and to receive their honorial entitlement. The first such castle was probably built at Castle Bytham by 1086 as the centre of the estates of Drew de Beurere, the lord of Holderness, in Lincolnshire. Later, Bishop Alexander (The Magnificent), who was responsible for rebuilding the cathedral after it was destroyed by fire in 1141, also had castles built at Sleaford and Newark. Most of Lincolnshire’s 32 castles were built during the First century after the Conquest. Religious Houses in the Age of Faith At the beginning of the third millennium it is difficult for us to understand how important religion was in a medieval life. Alongside William I’s military conquest came religious reform and with it a resurgence of religious fervour. The development of Lincoln Cathedral over some two and a half centuries was an embodiment of the development and strengthening of faith and, indeed, the ability of human beings to express their perception of Heaven and Earth, good and evil, in a building, which, even now, remains one of the most impressive in the world. Most major changes at Lincoln Cathedral were brought about by catastrophe – first in 1141 when the original wooden roof burned down and was replaced by stone vaulting, whose weight – and a failure to strengthen the walls and perhaps a minor earthquake – caused major damage in 1185 when the nave collapsed. Once again the cathedral was rebuilt and was later extended through the city walls to inter the mortal remains of saintly Bishop Hugh who died in 1200. Lincoln Cathedral survives today, but was only one of a number of magnificent buildings in Lincolnshire, which were built to the glory of God. Each change at Lincoln represents not only the growing wealth of the church but a new and more intense phase in man’s perception of God. For example, when the central tower collapsed in 1237 it was not only rebuilt, but built higher; in 1311 it was capped with a spire of oak and lea rising to a height of 160 metres, making it the highest building in the world. Standing on the top of a hill, dominating the city and the surrounding area for miles around, it must have truly appeared to be touching heaven. By the beginning of the 13th century it can be argued that monasteries had begun to loose their religious ideal. They were increasingly seen as being spiritually and physically divorced from those they were supposed to serve and had become commercial organisations and retreats for the wealthy. During the 13th century a new religious fervour was introduced to England by friars following the teaching of St Francis of Assisi in Italy and Spain’s St Dominic, who independently sought a less comfortable and more active way of living a Christian life. These mendicant friars representing a number of orders were to be found in the larger towns. In addition to Dominican and Franciscan friar, Augustinian, Carmelite and Friars of the Sack were located at Lincoln and Stamford; Dominican and Franciscan (Grey), Augustinian and Carmelite (White) at Boston, and Franciscan, Augustinian at Grimsby and a short-lived single house of Crutched Friars at Whaplode. By 1086 there had already been a boom in church building throughout the county, and some 255 had been founded (out of an eventual total of around 700). These are some of the glories of the county that can be from Minster churches were often at the centre of royal estates such as Horncastle, Grantham and possibly Caistor. Religious houses were affected by booms and slumps in the economy. In the 1320s there was a general decline in trade-which amongst other things caused a fall in the price of wool resulting in considerable hardship. They were able to borrow some money from the Jewish community, which was to be found in Lincoln and Stamford until in 1290 it was expelled by Edward I. Kirkstead, Louth Park and Revesby abbeys had been indebted to money lender Aaron of Lincoln. Add to this the effects of the Black Death in 1349. Medieval Trade and Commerce During the two and a half centuries after the Norman Conquest, Lincolnshire enjoyed a substantial economic boom, as a result of its position on the Eastern side of England with a coast facing mainland Europe, diverse geology important monasteries and relatively large urban and other populated centres. With the exception of Lincoln whose population in 1086 was more than 5,000 and Stamford with 2-3,000 populations, the boomtowns lay on the coast and in the Fens. Estimates suggest that Sutton in Holland’s population by 1332 had increased to over 5,000, Pinchbeck to between 4 and 4,500, and Spalding, Moulton, Weston and Fleet to about 3,000. The availability of land and the opportunity to engage in livestock husbandry, salt making, fishing and fowling brought about this situation. These were some of the largest concentrations of population in England, but because they remained agriculturally based they are not classified as towns, unlike Stamford, which had the characteristics of an urban centre, where almost 60percent of households were involved in commerce as shopkeepers, merchants or dealers and a significant number of leather-workers. The rest were victuallers, publicans or skilled artisans. Only 6per cent were agricultural workers. The economy of medieval Lincolnshire was agriculturally based and most people made their livelihood from the land or in some craft or industry related directly to farming. For most people the farming year dictated a natural rhythm of rural life. Those who worked directly on the land had seasonal jobs – ploughing, sowing harvesting, threshing. The state of the harvest dictated the quality of their winter existence. Animal husbandry also had its own rhythm. Extensive flocks of sheep pastured on the marshland and fens for most of the year. Lambing occurred in the spring and shearing in the summer. Cattle were to be found on the clays and marshlands and were killed and salted in the autumn for the winter. Even those jobs common to most villages, such as brewing and thatching, had their own seasonal activities based on the availability of natural resources. The 13th Century boom in agricultural activity happened largely because of a substantial increase in the population, which in turn stimulated agricultural production leading to a period of ‘high farming’. Thus a number of parishes were extended to bring into cultivation marginal land, particularly in the Wash and Coastal Lindsey areas and also on the edges of the Fens. There was also increased investment in new technology. The Doomsday Survey refers to the 380 water mills, but they were not suitable for use in much of the south of the county because of a lack of fast flowing rivers and streams. Windmills were used from the 12th century. They could be located almost anywhere and had a revolutionary effect on the developing local economy. Along the length of Lincolnshire’s coasts were ports and havens from which to pursue coastal and European trade, which were of growing importance throughout the middle Ages. The river Witham was navigable from Lincoln to Boston thus providing a link, via the Fosse Dyke canal that was made navigable again in 1121, with the river Trent and thereby enhancing the status of Torksey as a port. This route became a major highway; by the Middle Ages River transport was particularly important for the trade in wool from the midland counties. Defence of the Ream - RAF Lincolnshire The Royal Air Force and the county of Lincolnshire are synonymous. During both world wars and the 'Cold War', Lincolnshire has been at the centre of the country's defence and in the air defence of Britain and in Britain's wider role in NATO. A rural setting, large areas of flat land and its eastern location has made it an ideal site for airfield. At the height of RAF activity during the second World War in the region of 30,000 acres (12,145 ha) of the county were given over to RAF stations, nearly all located on the well-drained chalk and limestone uplands. This was arguably the greatest impact on the landscape since the enclosures of the 18th and 19th centuries. Not only have the hardware of hangars, runaways and married quarters had an impact on the county but so too have the personnel. The impact on the local economy of thousands of servicemen and women and their families has been enormous. Moreover, there is a less tangible, but nevertheless real affinity with the RAF in the county amongst a large selection of the non-service population. Although the RAF began officially on 1 April 1918, its predecessors the Royal Flying Corp (RFC), a branch of the army, and the royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) had both operated from the county for much of the First World War and, by 1918, some 37 military airfields were in use. Most, however, were little more than cleared fields that had been grassed to provide a runway. Leadenham, for example, was only 86 acres. Only seven aerodromes could be described as 'Operational', whereas 13 where emergency Landing grounds, and indication that in those early days, flying was still precarious. At that time, because of the temporary nature of most airfields, their function was easily changed. That there were operational airfields in the county suggests a perceived threat which had to be met. Indeed, the First World War saw Zeppelin raids which caused a public outcry. Some damage was done - for example at Cleethorpes in 1916 - and aircraft were scrambled on a number of occasions, from the RNAS at Killingholme and Cranwell and the RFC Home Defence Squadrons from Leadenham, Scampton, Kirton, Gainsborough, Elsham, Buckminster and Tydd St Mary. At the end of the war the number of aerodromes was quickly reduced, so that by the beginning of 1920 there was just a handful. The most important function of these bases in the inter-war period was training. This centred on Royal Air Force College Cranwell for both flying training and apprentice training, until the Apprentice School was moved to Halton, Buckinghamshire in 1926. A sparsely populated county with large areas of flat land, with coastal sites such as Donna Nook and Holbeach bombing ranges, Lincolnshire was ideal for flying training. Pilots were also trained at Digby and Grantham, while North Coates and Sutton Bridge were used for armaments training. Waddington was reopened in 1926 and became the home of Lincoln's Auxiliary Air Force Squadron. The darkening war clouds of the 1930's brought a change in the function of RAF stations and during the Second World War Lincolnshire's role became increasingly important as the offensive bombing campaign grew. Bombers from the county could reach Germany and occupied Europe. Conversely, the Luftwaffe could reach Lincolnshire, and therefore fighter squadrons had to be stationed at Digby, Wellingore, Coleby Grange to the south of Lincoln, and Kirton-in-Lindsey and Hibaldstow in the north to intercept German bombers and defend the airfields. Aircraft also flew out over the North Sea on convoy patrols. However, the county is best known for bombers. In March 1943 there were 11 bomber stations in the country, rising to 29 bases operating Avro Lancaster's in April 1945, and the name 'bomber county' remains today. Lincolnshire, therefore, played a most important part in the defeat of Nazi Germany, especially from 1942 when the bombing offensive increased. It was not uncommon to see the sky over Lincolnshire filled with Lancaster's en route to form part of the 1,000 bomber sorties over Germany. The first such raid was on Cologne in May 1942. Other raids were more specialised. On 16 May 1943, under the code name Operation Chatise, 18 Lancaster's of 617 Squadron took off from RAF Scampton under the leadership of Wing Commander Guy Gibson to attack the Mohne, Eider and Sorpe dams in an attempt to flood and destroy the industries of the Ruhr valley. Bombing raids were made almost nightly, weather permitting, and enormous losses were suffered by bomber crews. The memorial book in the services Chapel in Lincoln Cathedral lists more than 25,000 names of airmen killed in action from air fields in or near Lincolnshire. The worst night was that of 30 March 1944 when 381 aircraft were sent from Lincolnshire and 44 failed to return, lost over Nuremberg. Many memorials are to be found in the country; one example is at the entrance to what used to be RAF Wickenby, in memory of the Canadian, Australian, New Zealander as well as British airmen. Wickenby was part of No.1 Group Bomber Command between 1942 and 1945, flying firstly Vickers Armstrong Wellingtons, later Avro Lancaster's and, Lastly, the Dehavilland Mosquito. The memorial reads: In memory of the One Thousand and Eighty Men of 12 and 626 Squadrons who Gave Their Lives on Operations from This Airfield in the Offensive against Germany and the Liberation of occupied Europe. - Lincolnshire
Holton-le-Clay - Holton-Le-Clay, twinned with the French village of Sarge-les-Le, lies within easy reach of Grimsby. Because of its location, the village offers an opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside, Grimsby and the seaside resort of Cleethorpes. Holton-le-Clay holds annual events including a flower show over the three-day May Bank Holiday weekend. St Peter's Parish Church, which was built about 1,100 years ago, also hosts an annual church fete during the summer months. There is a playing field and children's play area in the village. Holton-Le-Clay has its own cricket club. Public footpaths allow ramblers to walk between the village, and its neighbours, Tetney and Thoresby. Visitors can eat and drink at the Jug and Bottle, a public house named after a Lancaster Bomber which flew from neighbouring Waltham during the 1940s. There are also two other public houses in the village, the Etherington Arms and the Royal Oak. - Holton-le-Clay
Horncastle - Once the saying was ‘Horncastle for horses’. This attractive market town midway between Lincoln and the coast, on the boarder between wold and fen, was renowned for its August horse fair – judged in early Victorian times to be the biggest in the world. Today the saying ought to be ‘Horncastle for antiques’, since the town is now deservedly famous as the antiques centre for eastern England; there are over 60 independent antique dealers in Horncastle, and collectors and buyers make a beeline for the place from as far away as Continental Europe and the United States. To the Romans Horncastle was Banovallum – ‘the walled place on the river Bain’, and an important fortress of which some of the fragments survive. Later the Anglo-Saxons had an even more precise name for their fortified home: Hyrnceastre, or ‘the castle in the corner between the two rivers’ (the Bain and the Waring). The richness of the farmland hereabouts gave Horncastle a prosperity which was augmented in 1230 by Henry III, who instituted a weekly market that survives to this day. St Mary’s church, with its bulky tower and its odd little spire, is built of the characteristic local greenstone, and the oldest parts of it probably date from the 13th century. Inside are clues to the decisive role, which Horncastle played in the English Civil War. In 1643 Cavaliers and roundheads clashed at the battle of Winceby; the Cavalier Sir Ingram Hopton almost took Oliver Cromwell’s life on the battlefield, but ultimately Hopton himself was slain, and after the defeated Royalists had been chased to Newark, Cromwell rode back to Horncastle and arranged for his enemy to be buried in St Mary’s Church. The 13 scythe blades which can also be seen inside St Mary’s are said to have been used in the Battle of Winceby, but there is no proof of this. What is certain, however, is that Cromwell spent the night in a house in West Street, since demolished, which stood next door to the present day Cromwell House. - Horncastle
Humberston - Humberston lies to the south east of Grimsby, bordering Cleethorpes. It is a large village and because of its close proximity to the sea visitors will find no shortage of things to do. Perhaps one of the best known features of Humberston, though not strictly-speaking in the village itself, is the Fitties - an encampment of holiday chalets which brings back memories of years passed. There are a number of annual events in the village including a horticultural show, a half marathon and the Humberston Messiah, which attracts singers from the surrounding area. Visitors to the area can walk from the village to the shores of the Humber Estuary where a multitude of birds and other creatures wait to be spotted by those with a keen eye. There is also no shortage of near by entertainment including a holiday centre called the Beachcomber. The village also boasts three very good schools - Humberston
Immingham - Travel eight miles from Grimsby and you reach the town of Immingham. Despite its small size, Immingham is a thriving industrial centre - home to a busy freight terminal and the fastest growing shipping port on the Humber Estuary. However, visitors should look past the refineries, though they provide a strangely alluring site as you travel towards the town along the A180 - especially at night, and take time to explore and discover what Immingham has to offer. The town has rapidly developed from its modest roots. Up until the end of the 19th Century Immingham was little more than a cluster of houses and smallholdings. Now however, visitors will find pubs, clubs and societies, sports and recreational facilities as well as community centres and schools. - Immingham
Ingoldmells - Ingoldmells is a family resort on the Lincolnshire coast, just a short drive from Skegness. The village is well known for its range of attractions and the mixture of traditional seaside and modern facilities makes it an ideal place for all the family. The biggest attraction to be found in the village is Fantasy Island - the first themed holiday resort in Britain. Fantasy Island, built from nothing by a local entrepreneur, has something for young and old, offering a market, pubs, clubs and a variety of hair-raising rides. For a more relaxed visit, the village of Ingoldmells has a church that dates back to the 12th Century and Hardy's Animal Farm provides an opportunity to get close to farmyard favourites. - Ingoldmells
Isle of Axholme - The Isle of Axholme, once a true inland island, was drained in the 17th Century to provide agricultural land. The drainage, undertaken by Dutch engineer Vermuyden, was a mammoth task that involved diverting the rivers Idle and Don. The main villages within the Isle are Crowle, Epworth, Belton and Haxey. Crowle is a former market town that lies to the north of the region. The St Oswald Church dates back to the 12th Century and contains a rare Anglo-Scandinavian monument. Much of the town centre is now a conservation area containing Georgian and Victorian buildings set around the attractive old market square. Epworth - birthplace of John Wesley - founder of Methodism, is a thriving market town which attracts thousands of tourists each year through its Wesleyan connections. It has many traditional inns and specialist shops. Attractions include the Old Rectory, Wesley Memorial Chapel and St Andrew's Church. Belton straddles the A161 and was created when eight hamlets joined. It was a wealthy area in Norman times but the only remaining Norman work is the circular font in the North Aisle at All Saints Church. Originally four, there is now just one Methodist chapel, and only two surviving shops. Haxey, situated off the A161, is famed for its historic game of the Haxey Hood. Legend has it that 600 years ago Lady de Mowbray lost her hood in a gust of wind, sending farmworkers chasing for it. Every year since then pub-goers re-enact the scene by scrambling to retrieve a symbolic hood. Haxey is also home to the disused Axholme railway line, parts of which are open to the public. - Isle of Axholme
John Harrison 1693~1776 - John Harrison is famous as the inventor of the first chronometer - a clock for finding time at sea - and for the reluctance of the Board of Longitude to award his prize. Born in Foulby, near Wakefield, he moved to Barrow-on-Humber soon after. John's father was a joiner, and he was also churchwarden and parish clerk. He was trained in his father's shop and learned about the tuning of bells and sang in the choir. His interest in music was to be influential in the development of his scientific ideas. He married in 1718, and his son John was born a few months later. By this time he was specialising in making clocks, helped by his youngest brother, James. Two innovations date from this time. One was the grid-iron pendulum which used linked rods of brass and steel for the pendulum, and have different rates of expansion thus keeping the length of the pendulum and the going rate of the clock even at all temperatures. Later he was to incorporate this idea into his watches as a bimetallic strip, which is still used in thermostats. The other innovation was the grasshopper escapement, which can be seen in the clock he made for the stables at Brocklesby Park, which is still in good working order. John's first wife died in May 1726 and in November he married again. They moved to a house on the Barton Road and had two more children, William, born 1728, and Elizabeth, born 1732. By this time John was working on a clock that could be used at sea, and which could be submitted to the Board of Longitude to claim the prize of £20,000 set up by the Act of 1714. John took his designs to the Astronomer Royal, Halley, who sent him to George Graham. In 1736 his first sea-clock was sent for official trials to Lisbon. The results were good enough for further funding, and John moved to London to work on his second machine. This was finished in 1737 but did not do well in tests. He began a third machine. It was not ready for trials until 1761, but by then Harrison had made a deck watch that had much better performance. This was taken by William for the trial. By this time, the Rev Nevil Maskelyne, who was soon to become Astronomer Royal, was also a candidate for the longitude prize, with the Lunar Distance Method of finding longitude, using new tables by Tobias Mayer. As a result the Board of Longitude put every obstacle they could think of to prevent a "mechanic" like Harrison claiming the award, even after a second successful trial watched by Maskelyne in Barbados in 1764. Harrison had to produce detailed drawings, and make two more watches. One of these was tested by King George III himself in his Observatory at Kew. Eventually Harrison was paid the money owing to him, not by the Board of Longitude but by a special Act of Parliament. In 1775, when he was 82, John Harrison wrote an account of his life's work. More information on Harrison's life and work can be found in John Harrison and the Problem of Longitude, by Heather and Mervyn Hobden, seventh edition (ISBN 1 871443 25 3) published by The Cosmic Elk, which is on sale at Jews's Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln. - John Harrison
Keelby - Take a drive along the A18 about nine miles to the west of Grimsby and you reach the village of Keelby. Keelby has a population of about 2,500 and has experienced a rapid growth. Visitors will find a number of places of interest including a war memorial to the men who lost their lives in the First World War and the parish church. There are a number of public walks from the village which is surrounded by the Earl of Yarborough's estate. Ramblers can walk through Pelham Woods to the south of the village or, for those who like a longer trek, there is the footpath that runs between Keelby and Roxton to the north west. Refreshments and bar meals are available from the two village pubs, the Kings Head and the Nags Head. Public transport to the village is limited though services do run daily. - Keelby
Kirton-in-Lindsey - The town of Kirton-In-Lindsey appears in the Doomsday Book and its origins can be traced back to Roman times. A settlement was founded by invaders and archaeologists discovered two Roman footpaths in the town just 100 years ago. Nothing remains of Kirton's church that was mentioned in the Doomsday Book but the magnificent St Andrew's Church that replaced it is a favourite with tourists. The town was once held by Edwin, Earl of Mercia, prior to the Norman Conquest. Afterwards the manor belonged to many members of the Royal family and was one of their largest and most important manors in Lincolnshire. Kirton has developed around two centres - the Market Place and the church. The Market Place may date back to medieval times and was a weekly venue for markets and fairs. This area of the town rapidly developed in the 18th Century but many buildings erected during that period no longer exist. The Town Hall, built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, dominates the Market Place. The stone used was salvaged from the old prison of 1789. Kirton is famous for the arrest of Churchman John Kelsey, the town's first Baptist minister. He was sent for trial for preaching non-conformist views in 1663 and the Sealed Knot Society re-played the drama in front of the town's residents in 1995. Visitors to Kirton can also take in Mount Pleasant Windmill, built in 1875 and restored to working order in 1991. The town is situated off the B1400 and A15. - Kirton-in-Lindsey
Laceby - A five-mile drive from the centre of Grimsby along the A46 will take you to the village of Laceby. Despite housing developments, Laceby has retained a traditional village atmosphere. The centre of the village dates back to the 1800s and the village post office, which opened in 1849 and is due to celebrate its 150th birthday later this year, is said to be one of the oldest in Britain. Laceby has a village school and library and each year a church fete with stalls and other activities is held. Visitors will find food and drink is available in the village pub, the Nags Head. The pub, which was formerly two pubs - the Nags Head and the Waterloo, is reputed to have been entered in the Guinness Book of Records. It was said that the Waterloo and the Nags Head were the two most closely situated pubs in the country. - Laceby
Laceby - The North East Lincolnshire village now known as Laceby was given its identity by the Vikings. Laceby is made up of two words each of which has their own distinct meaning. "Lace" is believed to be the result of Verbal mishaps, evolved via many mispronunciations from the name "Lief" - a common Norse surname. The suffix "by" id Danish for farm, homestead or settlement. At first the two words were joined to create "Liefsby" but over the years created the placename "Laceby". How the name has changed and developed over the centuries. In 1086 Laceby was referred to as "Levesb", "Lenesbi" and "Leuesbi" in the Doomsday Book. The Rogero de Lesbi Charter Gift saw it change to "Lesbi" in 1107. In 1115 the Lindsey Survey called it the village of "Layseby". 1164 saw its name evolve to become "Leusebi". The earliest Assize Roll mentioned "Leseby" in 1201. A deed of gift made reference to "Leissebi" in the same year. "Lesseby" appeared in 1227 with the Gift of King John - an exchange of land. The same name was still in use in 1234 according to court rolls dated December 26 of that year. An award by Henry III called Laceby "Leisseb" in 1266. Court rolls dated 1272 referred to "Leyseby". Patent rolls dated 1314 used "Laisseby" and "Laysseby" in 1315. An account of a ship built in the village referred to "Layceby" in 1359. In 1363 "Laisceby" appeared in the patent rolls. An inquisition into land named the village "Laysceby" in 1372. Walter Rector of "Laifsebi" was the recipient of a letter dated 1383. A receipt from farmers in South Ormsby to Sir Willia Oldhall referred to "Leceby" in 1428. Cathedral records made mention of "Lasby" in the year 1519. By 1563 a return sent to the Bishop of Lincoln read "Lacebie". Papers owned by the Marquis of Salisbury referred to the village of "Lacabie" in 1575. This changed to "Lacebye" in Lincoln Cathedral papers of 1576. "Lasebie" was the name given in 1602. Bowen and Kitchen's map of Lincoln showed the village of "Lusby" in 1763. The name LACEBY was finally created in original accounts and a hand-written description of the Rectory dated 1781. - Laceby
Lincoln - Population: 83,200 The administrative centre of the county, Lincoln is a quintessentially English city. Its world-famous medieval cathedral, dominating the county for miles around, is a powerful symbol of the streets of history packed into the city's cobbled streets. Hundreds of thousands of visitors climb Steep Hill every year to explore the grand architecture of the Minster and the nearby medieval castle. People have lived on this site for more than 10,000 years, first by Stone Age and then Iron Age people. By 60AD, the area was occupied by the invading Roman legions and remains of the presence of the city they called Lindum are still visible. The Newport Arch, built to cross the Ermine Street highway, is still used for traffic today. By the time William the Conqueror arrived in 1068, Lincoln was one of the four biggest cities in England. The king quickly realised its strategic importance and was determined to stamp his mark. He demolished 166 houses to build the spectacular Lincoln Castle, whose ramparts still stand today. In the centuries that followed, Lincoln became a thriving centre of commerce, pilgrimage and culture. By the 19th Century it was the centre of an engineering business built on the foundations of supplying the equipment which made the agricultural revolution possible. The tank was invited in the city in just 39 days in 1915, the history of which is documented at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. The Usher Gallery, Bishop's Old Palace and the Lawn, with its 5,000 sq ft conservatory area, are also among the city's attractions. But Lincoln is looking forward too. The University of Lincolnshire and Humberside opened in 1996 - the first new institution of its kind to be built in Britain for 25 years. The city centre now boasts a huge range of shops and restaurants ranging from the biggest High Street names to specialist shops and a daily market. - Lincoln
Lincoln Cathedral - Lincoln's 900-year-old cathedral is one of the largest and most impressive in Europe. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Facts The building was started in 1072 in the reign of William the Conqueror. The original Norman church was destroyed by fire and much of what now soars above the city skyline dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. The magnificent pale stone was quarried nearby and the Minster's celebrated stained glass is among the finest in the world. Inside, the carved wooden Angel Choir houses the shrine of St Hugh, one of the city's earliest bishops. Just beyond towards the east end and high in the vaulting, is Lincoln's favourite naughty boy - the Lincoln Imp. The tiny character with the mischievous grin is carved into the stone roof. According to the story, one day he pushed the angels of the Angel Choir too far and they banished him there. In the cathedral's shadow stands the Bishop's Old Palace, the ruins of banqueting rooms and halls dating from the Middle Ages. Nestling in a corner of the network of remains is one of Lincoln's many hidden secrets - a vineyard, one of the most northerly in Europe and planted with grapes from the city's twin town Neustadt-and-der-Weinstrasse. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Visitor information Address Lincoln Cathedral LN2 1PZ Tel: 01522 544544 Opening times Late May to August Monday to Saturday 7.15am-8pm, Sunday 7.15am-6pm, September to May Monday to Saturday 7.15am-6pm, Sunday 7.15am-5pm Admission Free, donations welcome. - Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral - ‘No gem in England’s diadem shines more brightly,’ reckoned Arthur Mee in his ‘Kings England’ volume on Lincolnshire. ‘Certainly not one of our cathedrals – not even Salisbury or Durham – is outwardly more striking.’ In penning his own admiration of Lincoln’s glorious cathedral, Nikolaus Pevsner touched on one of the reasons for its grandeur: ‘Apart from Durham,’ he wrote, ‘there is no English Cathedral so spectacularly placed as Lincoln.’ For Lincoln Cathedral towers above the ancient Roman and medieval city, dominating the picturesque old quarter, and its three grand towers perched on the crest of the hill can be seen by travellers from all directions as they approach Lincoln. It is the third largest cathedral in England, and for its artistry and amazing scale it is arguably the finest. When it was first begun around 1072 by Remigius, England’s first Norman bishop, it replaced a Saxon Minster, and although an earthquake destroyed much of the Norman building in 1185, the magnificent west front survived. Most of what tourists come to see today was begun in 1192 in the early English style by bishop Hugh of Avalon and completed about a hundred years later. It is a fantastic concrete expression of faith, whose ambition and execution is frankly breathtaking; to the people of Lincoln, of course, it is sacrosanct. In 1995 the prospect of funding from the national Lottery led some in the city to call for the spires, which originally topped the cathedral’s three towers to be rebuilt. The central spire was destroyed by a storm in 1548 and the two on the west towers were considered unsafe and taken down in 1807. In view of the ongoing £750,000, which is spent each year on maintaining the cathedral in its present condition, however, the idea of restoring the spires was soon forgotten. - Lincoln
Little Holland - It you woke up one day and found yourself in Spalding you could be forgiven for believing that you had been whisked over the sea to Holland. Here are long and elegant terraces of Georgian town houses lining the banks of the river Welland, wide, flat countryside surrounding the town, and tulips in abundance-at least, for part of the year. So ubiquitous was the tulip when Spalding’s bulb industry was in its prime that the flower became the symbol of both South Holland District Council (with its base in Spalding) and BBC Radio Lincolnshire. Even Spalding’s football team chose ‘the Tulips’ as its nickname. But visitors making the long journey through the fens to see the tulip field in glorious, blazing colour could now be disappointed: from a peak in 1939, when over 100,000 acres of field around Spalding were given over to tulip cultivation, fewer than 200 acres now remain. Tulips do not take kindly to modern mechanised methods of farming, and much of the tulip growing in Lincolnshire today goes on out of sight of the motorist. The town’s annual tulip festival survives, however, showing off enough colourful flower heads to satisfy even the most ardent enthusiast. Bulb growing has been part of life in Spalding for over a century, but the May Festival and its famous flower parade, with its floats bedecked with tulip heads, was first held as recently as 1959. If the sight of millions of tulips still leaves you hungry for more, then there’s only one thing for it: a trip to the tulip museum in nearby Pinchbeck, set up in order to record the passing of the industry which once gave employment to thousands of local men, women and children. - Spalding
Louth - Few towns can have aged with such good grace as Louth, a place characteristic of Lincolnshire’s modest, unassuming but infinitely charming market towns. There is nothing spectacular here – only mellow Georgian houses of red brick and pantiles, and an intriguing maze of streets. Nothing spectacular that is, except for St James’s church – one of the most majestic of English parish churches’, in Pevsner’s view. At 295 feet, its spire is the tallest parish church spire in England. And yet it does not dominate the surrounding countryside in the way that the churches at Boston and Grantham do, since Louth lies in a fold in the hills; and from some directions the sight of magnificent St James’s comes as something of a surprise. An old verse once advised ‘Boston for business, Louth for Learning’, and even today one can sense a certain air of culture about the town: Louth has a reputation as a centre for the arts, theatre and music which is the envy of many other towns in its size. It also retains its ancient market, given by King Edward VI in a charter of 1551 to the grammar school, which is now named after him. Sadly, nothing much remains of the Cistercian abbey which first brought wealth to Haverholme near Sleaford, and when they found that place too swampy for their liking they moved again, in 1139, founding a new abbey a mile east of Louth. It flourished until the Middle Ages, when the Black Death brought about its demise. - Louth
Margaret Thatcher 1925~ - On October 13, 1925, Britain's first female Prime Minister was born above a grocer's shop in North Parade, Grantham, daughter of the late Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Educated at the local county school, she won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School at the age of 10, followed by admission to Somerville College, Oxford. Margaret joined the Oxford University Conservative Association, becoming the first woman undergraduate to be elected chairman. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1947, a career as a research chemist followed with plastics firm British Xylonite. In 1949 she was adopted as the Conservative candidate for the Dartford constituency, at 23 the youngest woman candidate in the country. She married Denis Thatcher in 1951 and left full-time employment to study law, and gave birth to twins Carol and Mark in 1953. Margaret was elected at the 1959 general election and was MP for Finchley for the whole of her career in the House of Commons. She was appointed to several posts until 1975 when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party. They regained power in 1979 and Thatcher became Prime Minister, where she remained until her resignation in 1990. - Grantham
Market Rasen - Market Rasen is perhaps best known for its racecourse but has plenty more to offer. The market town lies about 20 miles from Grimsby along the A46. Each Tuesday a market is held, selling everything from children's toys, clothing and shoes to fruit and vegetables. There are a number of interesting buildings including the church of St Thomas, the Corn Exchange and a large Methodist chapel close to the railway station. The Methodist chapel is a prominent building with huge pillars to the front. Shops are plentiful, many of which are family owned, including butchers, bakers and antiques shops. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink. The town has seven public houses and a coffee shop cum evening bistro. Car parking in Market Rasen is free and the market place doubles as a car park when the market is closed. There are a number of walks around the outskirts of the town and a trail through the centre has an accompanying booklet to help familiarise visitors with its buildings and history. Near by, Walesby Woodland offers a caravan park. - Market Rasen
Matthew Flinders, 1774~1814 - Of Flemish origin, explorer Matthew Flinders played a huge part in putting the island of Tasmania off the Australian coast, on the map. Born at Donington-on-Holland on March 16, 1774, he spent his early education at schools in Donington and Horbling. Instead of following the family profession into medicine, Matthew Flinders chose to go to sea, reputedly after being heavily influenced when reading Robinson Crusoe. Entering the Navy in 1789, he later sailed with Captain Bligh on an expedition to Tahiti in the West Indies, and relished exploring new countries. After taking control of HMS Investigator, he discovered and charted most of the South Australian coast after setting sail in 1801. Flinders named places after his family and crew, but never himself. Among other places with county connections he titled are Port Lincoln, Cape Donington, Boston Island and Sleaford Bay, all in South Australia. He died on April 19, 1814, just a few days after his book - A Voyage to Terra Austral - was published. - Donington
New Waltham - The village of New Waltham has grown up in close proximity to its older neighbour Waltham. The village offers places to eat and drink including the Harvest Moon, a public house that serves reasonably priced food and caters for meat eaters, vegetarians and those with a more exotic taste alike. There is also the Farmhouse - born out of a refurbishment which transformed the place from a pool hustlers heaven to a wine buffs' paradise. The Parish Church of St Matthew was built in 1982 replacing an older building after it fell into a state of disrepair. Children too will find plenty to keep them amused at the village playground. It boasts a good school, called Toll Bar. - New Waltham
Newport Arch and the Stonebow - To live in Lincoln during the Roman occupation in the 1st century AD was to be an important person indeed. Soon after their invasion of Britain the Romans chose Lincoln (a Celtic name meaning pool or Marsh) as the site for their northernmost fortress, and by AD90 Lindum Colonia, one of only four colonia established in Britain and therefore an imperial town of great importance. Two major Roman roads – the Fosse way and Ermine Street – met in Lincoln, and the commanding position of the colonia on top of the hill made it an important strategic location. The Roman city could be entered by four gates, and part of one of them survives to this day – Newport Arch, the Northern gateway at the end of Bailgate. Between the 1600s and 1800s the other three gates either collapsed or were demolished. The original gateway on this site would have been built of timber, but in the 3rd century it was dismantled and rebuilt in stone, with two stone towers flanking an arched stone tunnel. What survives today is only the inner wall of the gateway, but it is the oldest archway in England still used by road traffic on a daily basis. A fragment of the first Roman south gate survives in Steep Hill, but as Lindum Colonia grew in size, so newer gateways had to be added. The new Roman south gate stood in the High Street on the present-day site of the Stonebow, which is its medieval replacement. Richard II ordered the rebuilding of the original Roman gate in 1390, but the work was not finished until 1520. The Stonebow has since been much renovated, especially in the 19th century. Inside is Lincoln’s Guildhall, with the council chamber directly over the main arch, and the city’s civic insignia. The Mote Bell on the roof bears it casting date of 1371 and is believed to be the oldest bell in England. - Lincoln
North Thoresby - North Thoresby is eight miles from Grimsby. The village hosts an annual show by the North Thoresby Horticultural Society each May Day and was the winner of the 1998 Best Kept Village Competition in the medium-sized village class. Visitors will find a number of clubs and activities taking place both weekly and monthly, from indoor bowls in the winter months to whist drives and bingo evenings. There are also village football and cricket teams and when warmer weather arrives, the bowling club moves outdoors. North Thoresby has two village pubs, the Granby Inn and the New Inn, both of which are reputed to sell fine food and ales. The village church, the old school and the village chapel and surrounding countryside are worth visiting. - North Thoresby
RAF - The link that binds the Royal Air Force with Lincolnshire was forged in the heart of conflict. The Royal Flying Corps used airfields at South Carlton, Kirton-in-Lindsey and Elsham in the First World War, and when the Second World War was at its height, Lincolnshire was home to 46 RAF stations. Lincolnshire became known as Bomber Country, and the famous Dambusters of 617 Squadron launched their bombing raids on the dams of the Ruhr from Scampton. Many of those airfields are now defunct, of course, but the RAF still thrives in some of them. Huge AWACS aircraft fly in and out of Waddington, south of Lincoln; the famous Red Arrows aerobatic team is now based at RAF Cranwell, northwest of Sleaford; and since 1986 enthusiasts have visited Coningsby, on the fringe of the fens north of Boston, to see the aircraft and crew of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Formed in 1965, the Red Arrows were initially based in the Cotswold’s; now they are yellowbellies in red flying suits: a team of pilots flying nine Hawk jets at air shows and displays all over the world. Their home is noteworthy, too: Royal Air Force College, Cranwell, built of stone-dressed red brick by Sir James Grey West in 1931, is far more elegant than your average RAF station. Its best-known landmark, the splendid dome and columns of the college chapel, was added in 1962. Visitors to RAF Coningsby come far and wide not for the buildings but for what is inside them. For this the home of Britain’s last flying Lancaster Bomber, an aeroplane whose evocative drone can be heard overhead hereabouts throughout the summer. This special flight is best known as a trio: the Lancaster is usually seen in harness with a Spitfire and a Hurricane. But the Battle of Britain Flight actually comprises a Lancaster, two Hurricanes and four Spitfires as well as a Dakota. There is even one airfield, long abandoned by the RAF, where memories of wartime endeavour are kept alive by local people. Brothers Fred and Harold Panton run the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby, where their pride and joy is Lancaster NX 611 ‘Just Jane’ – not yet airworthy, but still a magnificent sight. - Lincolnshire
Scotter - Scotter, which lies either side of the River Eau, is in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside. The ancient village is centred on a green and overlooked by the medieval St Peter's Church. Its origins can be traced back to early Anglo-Saxon times, but today it is a busy and popular commuter village, favoured by executives escaping the towns and cities. Rows of bungalows now stand on what were orchards and violet fields where villagers used to picnic. But there is still plenty of wildlife to be seen in the area, a little too much some residents would say. Thanks to the close proximity of the River Eau hundreds of ducks roam the village! Scotter regularly comes tops in the Best Kept Village Competition and Blackwalk Nook, a favourite with walkers, is rated one of its prettiest beauty spots. The village also boasts a Wesleyan Chapel in the High Street that is still used. In the heart of the village stands the historic manor house, dating back to the 18th Century, which angry residents saved from demolition in 1991. And Scotter Village Hall, considered the best in the Scunthorpe area, was officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in 1985. Scotter is situated eight miles from Scunthorpe, off the A159. - Scotter
Scunthorpe - People conjure up images of blast furnaces and steel mills when they think of Scunthorpe but the modern town has much more to offer. The Scunthorpe we know today was formed through the joining of five rural villages, Ashby, Brumby, Crosby, Frodingham and Scunthorpe. Since the steelworks arrived 130 years ago the town has changed beyond all recognition and become more prosperous. British Steel is still the town's major employer but other manufacturers have moved into town, making everything from electronics, food, plastics and clothing. Scunthorpe is a fast developing commercial base and now is the processing headquarters for Lloyd's Bank, with big name companies Ericsson and Canada's CCL Industries all manufacturing for Europe from here. Visitors to the town can expect to see markets, high street shopping facilities, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and two cinemas. The museum on Oswald Road is a popular tourist attraction, and Normanby Hall and Farming Museum, on the outskirts of Scunthorpe, is a brilliant day out for families. Scunthorpe boasts a leisure centre with wave pool, four golf courses, outdoor sports centre Quibell Park and an indoor bowls centre. For a night out, aside from pubs and clubs, visitors can chose between council-owned Baths Hall, a venue for live acts; the Civic Theatre who have a varied programme for the year; and the Plowright Theatre named after the Scunthorpe-born actress Joan. The Scunthorpe Heritage Trail is a circular walk around the town taking in St Lawrence's Church and the New Frodingham Conservation Area. For nature lovers there is the Brumby Common Nature Reserve, or Ridge Walk for ramblers which leads through the limestone escarpment. The industrial island of Scunthorpe is surrounded by attractive rural landscape with small villages, quiet country lanes, footpaths and bridleways. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Scunthorpe
Sir Isaac Newton, 1642~1727 - Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential men in history. Born on Christmas Day, 1642, at Woolsthorpe Manor, Colsterworth, near Grantham, he was described as a British scientific genius. However, it seems his early life was rather more artistic than scientific and built a sun-dial for Colsterworth Church at the age of nine. Educated at King's School, Grantham, he later became head boy before moving on to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he showed his ability in problem solving. As the well-known story goes, his theory of gravity came while sitting in the orchard of Colsterworth Manor when he saw an apple falling from a tree. Whether it actually fell on his head is anyone's guess, but certainly this provided him with the key to the secrets of the laws of gravity and the chance to offer his theories to a then largely sceptical world. In 1687 Principia Mathematica, the famous book outlining the theory of gravity, was published. Sir Isaac Newton was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705, and died 22 years later at the age of 84. He was buried with great ceremony in Westminster Abbey. - Grantham
Sir Joseph Banks, 1744~1820 - Born on February 13, 1744, in London, Sir Joseph Banks was one the greatest figures of Georgian England. The only son of William Banks, of Revesby Abbey, north of Boston, he was educated at Harrow, Eton and Oxford, and grew up with a deep interest in botany. At the tender age of 21 he inherited the family estate of 10,000 acres, making him one of the wealthiest men in England of that time. Sir Joseph took his first botanical trip to Newfoundland in April 1766 and it was on this voyage he first learned of his election as a fellow of the Royal Society. Soon after, Captain James Cook was ordered by the Royal Society to take the HM Bark Endeavour to Tahiti and Antarctica. Banks used his influence to gain a place on the expedition in his role as a naturalist, which led to the discovery of many new botanical specimens. In 1769 the expedition headed for New Zealand and a year later to the then undiscovered coast of East Australia, rich with hundreds of species of plant - resulting in the name Botany Bay. Often dubbed the Father of Australia, Sir Joseph was elected president of the Royal Society at the age of 35. On June 19, 1820, Sir Joseph Banks died of gout but his influence is seen everywhere today, from the botanical gardens of Kew to modern Australia. - Boston
Skegness - Population: 17,000 Skegness prides itself on its sandy beaches, traditional seaside fun and the slogan that made it famous - It's So Bracing. The Jolly Fisherman, the resort's much-loved mascot, has been inviting visitors to come and sample the air for 90 years and celebrated his special birthday in 1998. The sand is still the same as when Jolly first rolled out his invitation in 1908, but Skegness has come a long way since then. It boasts organised beach games during the summer, bars and cafes, amusements, gardens, illuminations and a thriving night life led by the Embassy Centre. Candyfloss, ice-cream and deckchairs stretch as far as the eye can see. Just along the coast is Ingoldmells , home to Britain's first themed indoor resort, Fantasy Island. The Romans once extracted salt from the flats near the village but more recently it became the home of the first ever Butlins Holiday Camp. A little further north are Chapel St Leonards and Mablethorpe, towns that pride themselves on making family holiday fun their speciality. - Skegness
South Killingholme - A large village, South Killingholme is just north of Immingham, 20 miles from the Humber Bridge. Despite being surrounded by oil refineries and other industry, the village enjoys a traditional atmosphere. A gala event, with children's rides, side shows and barbecues is held each July and the South Killingholme. Horticultural Society stages a horticultural show with cookery classes, vegetable shows, children's competitions, embroidery and knitting. The Cross Keys public house provides a place to eat and drink. The village has a school and an interesting Baptist Chapel. - South Killingholme
Spalding - Population: 21,000 Set in the heart of the Fens, Spalding is a peaceful market town situated between Boston and Peterborough. As well as being the administrative centre of South Holland, Spalding is an important agricultural town and the centre of the flower industry. The River Welland runs through the town giving an attractive waterfront with many fine Georgian buildings and riverside walks. One of these is the medieval Ayscoughfee Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Spalding. It has kept much of its original fabric, including a fine timber framed roof, and is set in five acres of beautiful gardens. The White Hart in the Market Place has been an inn for hundreds of years, and it is said that Mary Queen of Scots once stopped there in 1566. Spalding is also famous for its daffodils - more of which are grown in this area than in any other part of Britain, and the town has also been a regular winner of the Best Town in Britain in Bloom for the region. Much of central Spalding is now a conservation area and its location makes it an ideal spot for touring South Holland and the Fens. - Spalding
St James Church, Louth - - St James Church, Louth
Stamford - The name of Daniel Lambert, the heaviest man England has ever known, lives on in Stamford. The local football team is nicknamed the Daniel and the popular Daniel Lambert pub stands near the town centre in St Leonard’s street – and if you want to get an impression of how a 52-stone man really is, then you can see a replica set of his clothes at the town museum. It was mere chance that connected Lambert with Stamford. A native of Leicester, he came to see the Stamford races in 1809 and collapsed and died while staying at the horse and wagon Inn. His coffin was rolled on two axles and four wheels into a sloping grave in St Martins churchyard-though not before the window and part of the wall in his room had been removed to get the coffin out. General Tom Thumb, the celebrated American midget, was as interesting as anyone to compare his size with that of Lambert. While visiting Stamford inn 1846 he dropped into London Inn on St John’s Street to view a suit of Lambert’s clothes, and he left a suit of his own so that future visitors might make a comparison. But such freaks of nature are incidental to the fame of Stamford, dubbed ‘England’s most attractive town’ by John Betjeman. The novelist Sir Walter Scott spoke for many admirers when he described St Mary’s Hill as ‘the finest scene between London and Edinburgh’. Stamford is one of those rare towns of great age, harmony and beauty, at once well preserved-it was made Britain’s first conservation area in 1967- and full of life. Scott was not the only literary figure to have had his imagination stirred by Stamford’s beauty: Anthony Trollope is widely thought to have taken his inspiration for The Warden, one of his ‘Barchester Chronicles’, from Browne’s Hospital, the 15th-Century almshouses which now house occasionally exhibitions as well as elderly residents in a sympathetic Victorian extension of 1870. And if all that still isn’t enough, try a visit to one of Stamford’s five medieval churches, to its steam brewery museum or to its serene meadows, where the river Welland makes its idle way towards its outfall in the Wash. One can only agree with the intrepid 17th-century traveller Celia Fiennes, who wrote that Stamford is ‘as fine a built town all of stone as may be seen’. - Stamford
Stamford - Population: 18,800 Set in the valley of the River Welland, Stamford is one of the finest small towns in England. The beauty of its architecture, which spans the centuries from the Middle Ages onwards, has earned praise from writers, film makers and painters alike. Its position on the Great North Road made it a hive of activity during the 18th Century, and the legacy of that prosperity is a stunning collection of Georgian buildings. The town has also developed a reputation as a venue for open-air summer productions of Shakespeare's plays. Close to Stamford is Burghley House, considered the greatest Elizabethan home in England. Its state rooms, including the breathtaking Heaven Room, are decorated with a spectacular collection of Italian art and among the special exhibitions in the 16th Century home is a collection of scientific instruments. Every year thousands of spectators attend the international horse trails which are staged in its grounds. Browne's Hospital in Broad Street, is one of the best medieval hospitals in England, and was built in the 1480s by William Browne, six times Alderman of Stamford and Sheriff of Rutland. Stamford is easily reached by the A1, A15 and 16, and Stansted Airport is approximately 75 miles away. - Stamford
Sutton on Sea - Sutton on Sea lies on the Lincolnshire coast between Mablethorpe and Skegness. It offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of town life. Although only small, it is blessed with an excellent long sandy beach and is just a few miles from the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Sutton on Sea holds a carnival each year. For a more peaceful atmosphere, the Sandilands golf course, situated close to the beach, provides a place to relax and enjoy a round with friends. The village also offers gardens, a bowling green and a variety of shops and tea-rooms. Gardeners, too, will find something to delight and possibly envy at the village's annual flower and vegetable show. - Sutton on Sea
Tattershall Castle - Tattershall Castle, near Horncastle, is a magnificent red brick tower an was built in medieval times for Ralph Cromwell, Lord Treasurer of England. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Facts The building was rescued from becoming derelict by Lord Curzon in 1911 and contains four great chambers with enormous Gothic fireplaces, tapestries and brick vaulting. There are spectacular views from the battlements and the castle houses a museum room, moats and peacocks, as well as being an ideal venue for historical re-enactments. Owned by the National Trust, the castle also has a special licence to hold marriage ceremonies in the picturesque building and surroundings. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Visitor information Address Tattershall Castle Tattershall Lincoln LN4 4LR Tel: 01526 342543 Opening times April 3 to October 31 daily except Thursday and Friday and weekends until December 19 Admission Adults £3, children £1.50, families £7.50, accompanied children free in July and August, discount for parties. Facilities Gift shop, picnic area, disabled toilets, baby changing facilities, car park, some areas accessible to guests in wheelchairs. - Tattershall Castle
Tattershall Village - The village of Tattershall stands, it can fairly be said, at the geographical heart of Lincolnshire. An ancient place studded with historical fragments, it is dominated today by the 15th century brick tower of the castle built by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Lord High Treasurer of England and for many years the power behind the English throne.
Preserved and cared for now by the National Trust, the surviving keep was once just part of a bigger complex of towers, halls and outbuildings – all constructs by Lord Cromwell. But the castle didn’t last long: Ralph’s namesake Oliver Cromwell began the process of destruction, and by the end of the of the 17th century it was owned by a family who had no desire to live in it. The 20th century almost brought about its absolute demise; for the salvation of one of England’s medieval treasures Tattershall has to thank the Marquess Curzon of Kedleston. Between 1912 and 1914 Curzon spent a personal fortune of almost £60,000 on securing and restoring Tattershall Castle, and in a final act of munificence he bequeathed it to the nation when he died. His generosity, and the lasting impression he made on Tattershall, echoed the good work done in the village five centuries earlier by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, whose legacy lives on. The village of Tattershall was not to be merely Cromwell’s showy and impressive home; it was to be rebuilt as a seat of learning and an important place of worship. The Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, one of Lincolnshire’s greatest perpendicular churches, was founded alongside Cromwell’s college, only a forlorn fragment of which survives today. And in the shadow of the church stands a row of almshouses – the Bede Cottages – Which Cromwell rebuilt in 1440 under licence from Henry VI. The cottages have been much renovated since – the last time in 1967 – and must be a delightful place in which to live today. - Tattershall Castle
Tennyson Country - I loved the brimming wave that swam
Thro’ quiet meadows round the mill.
The sleepy pool above the dam
The pool beneath it never still.
The meal sacks on the whiten’d floor
The dark round of the dripping wheel,
The very air above the door
Made misty with the floating meal.
Lovers of the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson will be familiar with these lines from ‘The Millers Daughter’, and those who know the southern Lincolnshire Wolds will recognise the setting as Stockwith Mill, a place the poet knew well when he was a young man.
Alfred Tennyson was born at Somersby on 5th August 1809, the fourth son of the Reverend George Tennyson, rector of Somersby and Bag Enderby. He grew up - where the wolds first rise up out of the vast fen and amble north through places with such odd names as Hagworthingham, Mavis Enderby and Ashby Puerorum - is beautiful and as yet undiscovered. It has been known as ‘Tennyson Country’ for at least a century, but notwithstanding the appeal of its narrow, wooded valleys, its leafy lanes and its connections with the poet, this corner of the country remains unspoiled.
There is no World of Tennyson Experience to be found here, and you cannot buy a Tennyson tea towel or a Tennyson spice rack, even for real money. For those with the patience to seek it out, however, the waterwheel at Stockwith Mill was restored to working order in 1981; and here, too, is a little permanent exhibition, which will tell you all you need to know about Lincolnshire’s most famous literary son. - Tennyson Country
Tetney - The village of Tetney has a population of more than 1,000 and lies seven miles from Grimsby.
The village church of St Peter and St Paul was built more than 1,000 years ago and was restored in 1363. Its tower, reputed to be the finest example of a marshland church tower in the county, was constructed in 1418.
A footpath off Church Lane in the village provides visitors with the opportunity to see one of the areas most interesting natural phenomena.
Tetney Blow-wells, owned by the Lincolnshire Trust for Nature Conservation, is a natural spring which - although not open to the public - is visible from the pathway.
The village has a garden centre and refreshments are available from the Plough Inn. And for those with a passion for a wholly different kind of round, there is a golf course. - Tetney
The Show - Wherever there is farming you will find a farmers’ show – a busman’s holiday for those who earn their living from the land to justify a few days off by telling themselves they’re really at work.
The Lincolnshire Show, staged annually in June on its own showground at Grange-de-Lings, north of Lincoln, has been a welcome diversion for the regions farmers for two centuries. The First Lincolnshire Agricultural Society was formed in 1796, but it was not until 1799 that some of its members first got around to showing off their livestock and competing for prizes.
That competitive spirit still lies at the heart of the modern Lincolnshire Show, though some of the judging criteria have altered somewhat since that first event 200 years ago. Instead of offering a prize for the labourer in husbandry who has brought up the most numerous family without parochial assistance’, the judges are nowadays more concerned with the quality of the pedigree sheep, pigs, cattle, and horses which are paraded around the show ring.
When Lincolnshire farmers first started putting their handiwork on display, the sheep and the pig were the county’s staples. Today the growing of crops has pushed livestock farming into second place, but some of the old style Lincolnshire breeds still survive to be admired on show day. Lincolnshire Longwool sheep and Lincoln red cattle have both increased in number after a period of decline, although breeds such as the Lincolnshire Curlycoat pig will, sadly never be seen again.
Livestock judging is not the only attraction at the Lincolnshire show, of course – around 80,000 people visit the event over two days, and only a fraction of those are farmers. To keep them amused the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society lays on all manner of entertainment, from trade exhibits, crafts and conservation displays to show jumping, parachuting, falconry, and sheepdog trials. It may no longer be the farmers’ day out that it once was, but today the Lincolnshire Show is undoubtedly the county’s most significant annual event. - Lincolnshire
The Show - Lincolnshire Show
Thousands of visitors stream into the Lincolnshire Show every year to enjoy the county's premier agricultural event.
The show is organised by the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, and features the largest display of agricultural machinery to be seen at any show in the country.
More than a dozen breeds of cattle and sheep, six breeds of pigs and more than 1,000 horses and ponies together with goats, birds, bees, deer, seals, hedgehogs, owls and ferrets make up one of the biggest displays of animals seen in recent years.
A packed schedule of events is always waiting to make sure visitors to the show are kept well entertained. Tens of thousands of people pass through the gates in the two-day event, which takes place each July.
One of the main events visitors enjoy is the showjumping in the main ring. Other top attractions include a spectacular display by the famous Household Cavalry Music Ride accompanied by the Band of the Life Guards.
The daring parachute display team the Red Devils have also been known to drop into the showground. - Lincolnshire
Ulceby - Ulceby, situated north west of Grimsby just off the A180, has a population of about 1,500.
Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, visitors to Ulceby will find many historical artefacts including the remains of a medieval moat in a meadow at the west end of the village: the site of the original settlement.
Parts of St Nicholas' Church, which seats a congregation of 150 people and holds services on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, date back to the 13th Century though later additions have been made.
Visitors will also find a number of old houses including a delightful thatched cottage.
Shops are not plentiful in the village - there is only one convenience store - but the Brocklesby Ox and Fox public houses provide places to eat and drink. A summer event is held every year in Ulceby and dances and youth clubs take place in the village hall. - Ulceby
Utterby - Nestling close to the Lincolnshire Wolds is Utterby, four miles from Louth and 11 miles from Grimsby.
The village, which has a population of 250, boasts an historic bridge used by workers and packhorses as they carried salt between the coast and Lincoln.
Villagers say the only other bridge of its kind in Lincolnshire is at Middle Rasen.
The picturesque village lies 100ft above sea level and is popular with ramblers who park their cars at St Andrew's Church before exploring the surrounding countryside.
Utterby has one shop and combined post office.
Nearby Ludborough, one-and-half miles away, provides a place for thirsty walking enthusiasts to relax and talk of their day's trek.
A regular bus service runs along the A16 between Louth and Grimsby. - Utterby
Waltham - Waltham is a medium-sized village five miles south west of Grimsby.
Probably its most popular attraction is its windmill which is still used to grind corn and which offers a souvenir shop and tea-room for those who find the steep wooden steps help work up an appetite.
Visitors will also find the village pubs, the Tilted Barrel - which serves delightful meals and doubles as a hotel - or the King's Head a welcoming place to stop.
The village is also home to a cenotaph, built in commemoration of the war dead and the sight of an annual remembrance service.
Because it is close to Grimsby yet within easy reach of surrounding villages such as Barnoldby Le Beck, Waltham provides an ideal base both for shopping trips into town and visits into the countryside. - Waltham
Winterton - Winterton has a wealth of historic buildings surrounding the market place which is overlooked by All Saints parish church.
The church is popular with tourists because of it's mid 11th Century tower and nave.
The distinctive local stone is used throughout the Winterton and can be seen in many handsome town and farmhouses.
In July each year the townspeople celebrate with a mid-summer show, a tradition for over 100 years and one of the most popular events in the region.
Winterton is also famed for its carrs, low-lying land that has been drained and is now popular with ramblers and cyclists.
Numerous pre-historic artefacts have been found in the small town, including a tranchet axe of Mesolithic date.
The Romans had a villa here that was rediscovered in 1747 when three mosaic pavements were found.
The town's biggest claim to fame is being the birthplace of William Fowler (1761-1832). The architect-builder produced a series of drawings and engravings of local antiquities, including the mosaics.
Winterton, which lies next to Roman road Ermine Street, can be found off the A1077.
Users of the Brigg Scenic Drive will also travel through this town. - Winterton
Woodhall Spa - The poet Sir John Betjeman described Woodhall Spa as an ‘unexpected Bournemouth - like settlement in the middle of Lincolnshire’. But Woodhall owes its air of Edwardian gentility more to the likes of Barnsley than Bournemouth, for it was during the search for coal hereabouts that curative mineral water was discovered. And that sealed the fortunes of Woodhall Spa.
The story of John Parkinson is detailed elsewhere in this book, in the section on old and New Bolingbroke around 1821 he sank a shaft in Woodhall in the vain hope of finding coal to power his new factory eight miles away in New Bolingbroke. But the only coal brought up from the shaft was the coal which the workmen took down with them in their pockets in order to prolong the project. Before long the 1,000 foot shaft was abandoned and allowed to fill with water.
While Parkinson went bankrupt another man took advantage of the situation. The local squire, Thomas Hotchkin, used the water from the shaft to ease his gout, and others in Woodhall found it a useful cure for rheumatism and skin ailments. A pump room and bathhouse were built and the water was drawn off into a brick lined bath to treat the 20 – 30 patients who were visiting daily by 1841.
The railway made Woodhall Spa accessible to more visitors, and by the beginning of the 20th century a new garden – city plan drawn up for the town included a hospital, 23 shops and two luxury hotels. In Woodhall’s Edwardian heyday the golf course, the Teahouse in the Woods and the Concert pavilion were added. The pavilion is now a charming and unique cinema, the teahouse is still open for business, and since 1996 the golf course has been the site of the headquarters of the English Golf Union, the governing body of English amateur golf. Today Woodhall Spa is also home to two of Lincolnshire’s best known hotels – the Petwood and the Golf.
The only amenity which Woodhall Spa no longer has is a spa. It began to decline after the First World War but revived somewhat in 1948, when the First World War but revived somewhat in 1948, when the new national Health service gave it a role as a rheumatic and been abandoned in 1930. In 1983 the spa baths were finally closed after the Well collapsed.
Elsewhere in the town are two tributes to British military endeavour: Waterloo Wood, planted after the battle in 1815 by Colonel Richard Elmhirst and set off by a bust of Wellington on a stone obelisk; and the Dambusters’ memorial to the men of 617 Squadron who dropped the ‘bouncing bombs’ on German dams in 1943 and whose officers’ mess was in the Petwood Hotel. - Woodhall Spa
Wrawby Mill - Most of Lincolnshire- with the exception of the wolds is low-lying country, and its exposed position on the eastern coast of England leaves it open to cold winds, which howl across the North Sea from Russia and northern Europe.
It can be chilly, but more often than not the locals can use the elements to their advantage. As early as the 16th Century those living in the fens borrowed the Dutch idea of using wind engines to drain their marshy homeland; and even after the invention of the steam pump, the windmill remains the most effective miller of grain.
The two mills featured here were both built of grind corn, but they differ radically in design. Wrawby Mill is Lincolnshire’s last surviving post mill, built of wood and designed to rotate on a post in order to catch the wind. No one is absolutely certain when it was built, but its construction seems to indicate a date between 1760 and 1790.
For most of the 20th century the survival of Wrawby Mill has been in doubt-indeed, in 1961 it was saved from demolition by a band of local people who formed a society dedicated to its preservation. Wrawby Mill was renovated and began milling corn in 1965, and today the society, which cares for it opens the mill to the public throughout the year.
The Sibsey Trader is of a more orthodox Lincolnshire design. A brick tower mill standing just outside the village of Sibsey, north of Boston, it was built in 1877 on the site of a post mill by the Louth millwrights John Sanderson and Co. Its name derives from the fact that a group of local farmers acted co-operatively in order to have their corn ground at a reduced price. Like the mill at Wrawby, the Sibsey trader has been renovated, and now there’s even a tearoom for visitors in the shadow of the sails. - Wrawby