- 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 -
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.