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by Emma Lingard 07 Aug, 2017

THERE’S an area in the northern part of Lincolnshire, which has an interesting history – the Ridge Villages, that run from the Humber to Brigg.

 

The market town of Glanford Brigg – to give it its correct name - marked an important river crossing in ancient times and became famous for its horse fairs.

 

It’s centred around the River Ancholme, once used for sending goods to far off places, but now more likely to be used for leisure.

 

Brigg nestles below the edge of the Wolds and the river has always played some kind of part in its history. During the Bronze Age there was a jetty and in Anglo Saxon times it’s believed there was a causeway.

 

In fact its original name of Glanford is interpreted as the ford where sports are held, while Brigg derives from the Scandinavian word for a jetty. Man has always used the river for navigation and ancient logboats have been uncovered by archaeologists.

 

There are a number of early British settlements flanking the course of the river, of which an early Paleolithic handaxe was discovered close to Bishopbridge near Market Rasen.

 

The town of Brigg was rebuilt in the early part of the 18th century, through the demands of one family – the Elwes family, who had a manor house in Bigby Street.

 

The poor of the town lived in cramped houses in a series of narrow yards, which ran northward from the marketplace and Wrawby Street. They were condemned as slums in the 1800s but not removed until the 1950s. Now the yards are home to shops and retail units.

 

One thing Brigg has become strongly connected with, apart from horses, is music and it all began with Gervase Elwes, who was a well known concert performer and reknowned for his tenor voice. He founded the North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival in the early 1900s.

 

Gervase’s friend, was the Australian composer Percy Grainger, who visited Brigg to record folk songs – most notably Brigg Fair, the folk song which Grainger turned into a choral arrangement and was the inspiration of Delius’ English Rhapsody.

 

All these songs were inspired or said to have been handed down from the Gypsy travellers who came to Brigg each year for the Horse Fair. Each year on or near August the fifth they descend on the town to sell their ponies and have done for many years.

 

The folk singer Joseph Taylor, who became a friend of Grainger lived in nearby Saxby All Saints. In 1906 Grainger came to the area and recorded various local singers, including Taylor.

 

All this came about after Taylor won the North Lincolnshire Musical competition on April 11 1905 singing a song called Creeping Jane.

 

Sadly both Elwes and Taylor died in tragic circumstances – Taylor died in 1910 after being thrown from his trap and Elwes died while on tour in America in 1921 after being hit by a train.

 

Another neighbouring village with connections to horses is Horkstow. The painter George Stubbs, famed for his equine pieces, lived at the Manor House here between 1756 and 1760, while studying the anatomy of the horse.

 

It’s said horse carcases were hoisted up through the roof into the attic where they were dissected and drawn.

 

And in the grounds of the nearby Hall stood a Roman villa. A rare mosaic floor was found here in 1747 depicting a chariot race. This is now in a museum in Hull.

 

And while here, you must visit Horkstow Bridge - a single span suspension bridge built in 1844 by Sir John Rennie, and the only suspension bridge he ever designed. It links the brick kilns on the banks of the River Ancholme.

 

The bridge can be crossed by vehicles, but there’s a weight limit and there’s no metalled road the other side. Of course the most famous bridge Rennie built, was London Bridge opened in 1831.

 

If you keep heading north, then we reach the Humber Estuary and the village of South Ferriby, whose residents were hit by the tidal surge that came up the river in December 2013.

 

Around one hundred homes were seriously damaged that night with flooding and families were forced to find shelter elsewhere.

 

South Ferriby can be dated back to the Roman times when it was a major settlement. It’s known as a low village, as it sits at the bottom of the chalk escarpment and marks the point where the Lincolnshire Wolds meets the Humber.

 

And as its name suggests it was the southern end of an ancient ferry route – North Ferriby its counterpart lying on the other bank.

 

Just off shore is Read’s Island – the second largest semi-permanent island in the Estuary of about 300 acres. It’s an RSPB reserve and is constantly being eroded by the river.

 

Over the years it’s been occupied by people at various times in its history and was once the shooting ground for sportsman Sir Joseph Nickerson – the famed agriculturist and sports person.

 

No visit is complete without heading to the church. St Nicholas may possibly be the remnants of a much larger one and what’s different about this church is that it’s on a north south alignment, rather than the traditional east west one.

 

This may have been due to a landslip at some point in its history, as you will notice it sits on the ridge side with commanding views of the Humber.

 

Above the porch is an ancient stone with a figure of St Nicholas flanked by the symbolic figures of the sun and moon.

 

South Ferriby also has connections with the Nelthorpe family who live at Scawby Hall and have done so since the 1600s. The family begins with Richard Nelthorpe who arrived in Brigg from Beverley and married. He bought the Baysgarth estate at Barton and lived here until 1792.

 

The grade 1 listed Jacobean manor is home to many beautiful pieces of artwork, including some by Stubbs, who was staying at Horkstow. It is open to the public – check their website for details – but do visit as it’s simply a stunning house.

First published in The Journal, August 2017

 

 

by Emma Lingard 30 Jul, 2017

GRIMSBY has its roots in Scandinavian mythology, or so we are led to believe.

 

Simply ask any Grimbarian and they can recall the tale of the Danish fisherman Grim, who rescued Prince Havelok from the stormy sea and brought him to England, whereon the Prince fell in love and married the English Princess Goldborough. Grim? Well he founded a town and lived in an upturned boat.

 

Whether the tale is fact or fiction, the town seems to have its roots in the Viking ages. The fisherman’s name, Grim linked with the Scandinavian suffix -by, which means the village or farmstead of Grim.

 

The fact Grim or Grimr is seen as the founder of the town can be seen on the borough seal and in a few lines from The Lay of Havelok the Dane . Throw a spanner into the works, Icelandic Snorri Sturluson placed Grimsby within the county of Northumbria and referring to a raid in 866, says that many place-names within that county were Norwegian.

 

In fact researching the name Grim finds it is a common Norwegian name and as we look in to the history of the town it has always had strong connections with this country.

 

In The Orkneyingers Saga, a bunch of merchants arrive in Grimsby from Bergen and land in the mud. The lines depict the Haven.

 

In fact the Haven, is the reason why settlers came. A tidal creek fed by fresh water springs, it originally stretched as far as where modern day Ainslie Street is and branched out towards the present day Welholme Avenue.

 

At the time of the Norman Conquest, Grimsby’s land was divided between lords, Odo the Bishop of Bayeux, Drew De Beurere and Ralf De Mortemer. Overseas trade and fishing was the mainstay of the town’s economy.

 

Jump to the the latter part of the 18th century and Grimsby was merely a market town, but it was the actions of some of the local landowners, which were to transform it to the town we know today, beginning in 1796 with the creation of the Grimsby Haven Company. The plan was to create a dock and the money invested came from local farmers and land-owners.

 

Between 1800 and 1832, a total of 573 lots had been created on the East Marsh with roads laid out, but many of them were not built upon but used instead to grow vegetables. The plan had been to provide working class houses, being so close to the dock.

 

The three prominent families in the town during its growth were the Anderson-Pelham’s, who had the title Earl of Yarborough; Heneage and Grant-Thorold. Others included the Tennyson and Tomline families.

 

Many of the town’s streets are named after these prominent families and the engineers that helped build the docks. It’s these stories, which form the focus of my latest book, Grimsby Streets .

 

The Pelham family owned land in the town centre and to the south, comprising of Scartho. Many of the streets in central Grimsby are named after family members.

 

At the height of the town’s development, the 4th Earl of Yarborough, Charles Alfred Worsley was the title-holder. Dudley Street built in 1882 was named after his brother Dudley Pelham, who had served as a Captain in the 10th Hussars and fought in the Boer War. He was captured at Sanna’s Post and became a prisoner of war for several months.

 

Nearby Augusta Street was named after Lady Gertrude Augusta Anderson-Pelham, sister of the 4th Earl. She married Sir Frank Astley-Corbett, Baronet, of Elsham Hall in 1882.

 

Another of the landowning families were the Heneage family from Hainton Hall near Market Rasen, who owned land in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, but had connections with the town going back to the 15th century.

 

Some streets named after members of their family include Granville Street

named after Lt Col Hon Henry Granville Heneage, the second eldest son of the town’s MP Edward Heneage. Interestingly, he shared a name with his first cousin on his mother’s side, the Hon. Richard Granville Hare, who became the 4th Earl of Listowel.

 

Neighbouring the Heneage lands were the Grant-Thorold’s who were key to the development of Grimsby. Their land ran alongside the East Marsh and Grimsby boundary and throughout the course of the town’s development, this family would have regular feuds with the Heneage family.

 

Streets named after the family include Harold Street named after Capt Harry Grant-Thorold. On 30th June 1904, Grant Thorold Park was opened by the Captain, as the family had given nine acres for its construction. In a dispute over access to the East Marsh years previously, neighbouring land-owner, Lord Heneage, had said that Thorold had to devote 20 acres of his estate to a playing area. This street is named after his (Harry’s) full Christian name, Harold.

 

On a smaller scale another well-known family with connections to the town dating back to the 1700s were the Tennysons. They owned land in the town and had arrived in the 18th century and married into another prominent family, the Claytons, who had been political giants. When their line died out it was inherited by George Tennyson, and then by his grandson, Frederick, whose brother was the poet laureate, Alfred.

 

Roads off Alexandra Road are named after members of the family. Notably of course Alfred Street , which runs south from Tennyson Street towards Frederick Street.

 

All these street names commemorate the Lincolnshire Tennyson family, as does Somersby Street, named after the village where the family lived.

 

Alfred, its most famous member, was Lincolnshire’s great poet, famous for such poems as The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Lady of Shalott, and Maud. He became Poet Laureate in 1850 and was to retain the title until his death in 1892.

 

Grimsby’s streets are a mixed collection of the famous, councillors and those who helped shape and develop the town and the docks.

 

As part of the book, I’ll also be leading guided walks around the town recounting some of these stories. If you can, join in.

 

Grimsby Streets is published by Pen & Sword July 2017. 

For more information on my guided walks www.lingardslincolnshire.me

 First published in The Journal (July)

by Emma Lingard 29 Jun, 2017

IF there’s one thing about Lincolnshire it has a diverse landscape from the rolling Wolds to the flat Fens and the curvaceous coastline.

 

I have to say I am more of a Wolds girl, loving the walk among those rolling hills and deep valleys. However, a few years ago I did fall in love with the coast and the dunes of Theddlethorpe.

 

Here where the land meets the North Sea, you’ll find big skies, panoramic views and the smell of the sea. Here are Lincolnshire’s coastal marshes.

 

With tales of smuggling and farming Saltfleet, like so many coastal villages was once a thriving port in the Medieval period.

 

It was one of the largest ports outside London from the 12th to 15th centuries.

Trade between here and Europe saw the export of wool and salt, while exotic spices and building materials were brought in.

 

The influence of Europe can be seen in the building materials chosen for the neighbouring St Clement’s Church. The stone is volcanic material, which can only be found in the Rhine valley in Germany and most likely arrived here via boat at the Haven, probably as ballast.

 

One thing the Lincolnshire coast is famed for is the local delicacy of Samphire. This seaweed grows on the tidal marshes and has a salty taste and is delicious steamed with a bit of butter. If you haven’t tried it then you must.

 

The wealth of this former trading haven can be seen in the warehouses, which still stand in the village.

 

The area’s most famous building is the New Inn, a Grade two listed 17th century hostelry, renowned in 1673 for its fish dishes and in Victorian times for its therapeutic bathing waters.

 

Opposite stands the Manor House, which may date back to the 1300s. As with so many places I’ve visited in Lincolnshire, the legendary Oliver Cromwell was said to have visited here, as he was friends with its owner at the time, Lord Willoughby.

 

In a first floor window etched in the glass are the names Robert Fox and Jane Hardy, dated 1673 with a lover’s knot – they were believed to have been imprisoned here for two weeks, for Fox was a gentleman in waiting to King Charles II.

 

There are plenty of walking opportunities in this area and nearby are the

Salfleetby Theddlethorpe dunes. The dunes were formed in the 1300s after a mighty storm threw up shingle and the sand was blown back. Over time it’s created these immense structures, which are constantly shifting and changing.

 

You’ll find a wealth of wildlife around here with some magnificent displays of cowslips, marsh orchids and sea lavender. It’s also the place where on a summer’s evening you’ll hear the calls of the Natterjack toads, which some believe is where the Lincolnshire nickname “yellerbelly” comes from as the toads have a yellow belly.

 

Remnants of the country’s stand against the invaders can be found all along this coast with a Second World War pillbox defending the beach.

 

In fact believe it or not Saltfleetby was considered to have been a possible landing place by the Germans, hence why the pillboxes, tank traps and gun emplacements can be seen along the east coast stretching from East Yorkshire all the way down to Gibralter Point.

 

The marshes have a rich history stretching back to the Neolithic period and from time to time the sand gives up its treasures. The coastline at one point would have been further inland – probably where the current road, the A1031 runs.

 

At the sea edge there were many salt workings – it’s where the villages get their name and the production of salt carried on into the 16th century.

 

In the medieval times and maybe long before that people started bringing their livestock off the grassland on to the marshes during the summer, where the pasture was rich. Even now the marshes are said to be therapeutic and cattle can still be found grazing.

 

There are many churches along this coast and what you notice about many of them is that they lean, which has made them an icon of the landscape. Many also stand alone – isolated from villages. It’s not clear why this is – but could be they served scattered settlements?

 

At nearby Skidbrooke stands the church of St Botolph – the patron saint of wayfarers. What’s interesting is that Botolph was said to have rid the marshes of their devils. And in later years sadly, it’s been at the centre of some strange goings on.

 

It can be dated back to the early thirteenth century and like so many churches is now redundant. Over the years it has undergone many transformations. Made from limestone it stands resplendent in the Lincolnshire landscape.

 

It was last used in 1973 and is now under the care of the Churches Preservation Trust. It’s one of my favourite places – a former shell of itself, but its crudeness allows you to see what the church would have been like when first built.

 

 

In neighbouring Saltfleetby they have two churches, All Saints and St Peter’s. The tower is the only thing that remains of the latter – its main building having been moved to a new location.

 

It’s known locally as The Stump and is looked after by the Friends of Friendless Churches.

 

All Saints is a Grade I listed building and it too has a leaning tower. Parts of it date to the 11th Century and inside it has a 14th Century screen between the nave and the chancel.

 

This landscape has strong ties with the sea, which also give rise to tales of smugglers and one story relates to a chap called Blood, who appeared one day in Theddlethorpe.

 

He helped out at the Rectory doing odd jobs for the church and slept in the hayloft. In an extract from Lincolnshire Stuff by Polly Williams in 1798 he is described as illiterate and vague, but knew many things especially about the coastal tides.

 

Despite his limp he was able to travel great distances with a long stride. Mothers would tell threaten their children that if they misbehaved Blood would get them. But if anyone had lifted the boards he slept on, they would have found contraband. It’s said the smuggling system in the area ran like clockwork under him.

 

Along the east coast we find many ancient settlements with a strong connection with the sea – even though they may no longer stand on its edge.

 

Theddlethorpe is one – it means the village of the people, though it’s made up of two villages. Out the two churches it’s worth exploring Theddlethorpe All Saints for it is a beautiful church and deserves its title Cathedral of the Marsh.

 

Built around 1380 its exterior is a mix of stone and red brick. Inside it is a delight being light and airy and containing many fine features including a beautifully carved rood screen with some interesting intricate carvings which dates from the 15th century.

 

If you look carefully on the piers and on the pews you’ll find evidence of ship graffitti – for someone has spent time carving images of old sailing boats with sails and rigging, likely from the 17th century.

 

The pews have poppyheads carved into them – in fact every part of this wondrous building has some kind of carving. What I love is that it is here for you to admire.

 

And what I would say, is, if you’ve never been and explored the Marshes then get yourself down here. Happy rambling.

First published in the The Journal (June)

by Emma Lingard 14 May, 2017
THERE'S a part of Lincolnshire which contains a place, which many seem to see as their happy go to place.

It's tucked away in the village of Great Limber in the north of the county between Keelby and Kirmington. If you're not careful you can easily drive straight past the car park.

Mausoleum Wood sits on land owned by the Brocklesby Estate - home to the Earls of Yarborough. It's open between April 1 and Aug 30 every year.

It's a mixture of woodland and open glades and contains some fabulous buildings, which are listed.

This place is my go to happy place and I've heard others say it is theirs too. It's enough that you don't always bump into other people. Occasionally you may come across hordes of people, usually youngsters out to explore the woods and the cave.

If you get your timing right, you won't bump into anyone, or at least very few people.

Once you've parked up I take the path directly out the car park up the incline to the Mausoleum sitting on top of the hill. The hill is said to have been an Iron Age hill fort and used by successive generations.

The Mausoleum, which is Grade 1 listed, was built by James Wyatt and is based on the Vestas Temple in Rome. It is dedicated to Sophia Aufrere, the wife of the 1st Baron Yarborough Charles Anderson-Pelham. He was advised against marrying her, as she had no fortune.

She died in 1786 and to honour her, Anderson had the Mausoleum built the following year. Once a year the estate open the gates and allow visitors to look round.

From here head down the hill. You may see carpets of Bluebells as you meander, dependent on the time of year. At the bottom take the path to the left and walk between the plantations of mixed trees. Keep walking, heading towards the main road which can be heard beyond the line of trees and follow the path round, as if you are doubling back  on yourself.

As you sweep round, there's a well trodden path to the left and at this point you enter the woodland and follow it through coming out on a recently cleared and replanted plantation.

You'll follow the track to the right and it brings you back to another path, at this point you have a choice. I usually take the path to the left which connects directly with the main hard track which takes you to the temples.

This place is special for having two "temples". The first is dedicated to Affectionate Aunt Mary Carter, and the second with seating and a font, said by some to be Roman is a wonderful place to sit and watch the sunset. It has views over the Point to Point course and you can watch the planes land and take over from nearly Humberside International Airport.

After your stop, keep walking and you come across the ancient Hermitage, complete with seats. To the left follow the path down and you enter a tunnel - keep going if you dare to come out the other side and continue along the main path. Past a Willow and turn immediately right and sweep at the back of the temples.

On this path you'll come across some exotic specimens of trees including the Wellingtonia Gigantea, which is now a memorial to the crew of a Lancaster that crashed in March 1945. They were all killed as they returned to RAF Kirmington (now the airport) and clipped the tree.

Just past here is a giant urn dedicated to the memory of a former Earl's tenant and friend. He must have been well regarded to have such a monument set in his name.

The path comes out at the back of the first temple and you set foot back on the hard track heading back to the car park. You can follow this path until it returns you to the base of the monument, or do as I do and when I get to the bend and trangel of grass I take the path to the right which brings you back out at the foot of the hill. Follow the path and it heads left through the trees and comes back on the other side of the monument.

At this point I cut across the meadow, head in to the wood on the far side and follow the well trodden path back into the car park.

After all that walking why not head across the road into Limber and pop in The New Inn - serves a range of refreshments and food.
by Emma Lingard 28 Apr, 2017

IT’S Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival this month and as usual I’ll be taking part as I have done for the last eight years leading guided history walks around Healing.

 

In this leafy village hidden away from prying eyes is one grand house, which features in my tours, whose history starts before Domesday 1086.

 

The Manor was once home to many lords and ladies of varying degree and in later years has been turned into a hotel as people fell out of love with grand homes with numerous bedrooms and acres of land.

 

The current building was built in the 1700s with additional wings and bay windows added in the 1880s. As with so many large houses new owners would leave their mark as they rebuilt and redesigned to go with the latest trends.

 

The first manor stood somewhere within the present Scheduled Ancient Monument site – a rectangle following the lines of the original moat. Where within no one can really say. Some speculate it’s on the current island, which was formed when the moat was diverted in the 1880s to create an ornamental lake.

 

The first description we have of the house is in the will of Francis Mussenden in 1612, whose family were Lords of the Manor from 1390 having purchased it from John of Helyng.

 

The description is of a grand house indeed fitting for the Lord of the Manor and a family with a long military career. It was surrounded by “two farmyards with stables for horses, oxen and calves. There was also a workshop with a storeroom containing timber for carts and ploughs. And a storeroom over the stables.”

 

The approach to the house was via “a gatehouse with a granary. A dairy and a brewhouse.” The will goes on to give us an insight in to the dwelling itself. Its ground floor “contained a galleried hall with an armoury” and it also had a great and a small dining room as well as a large kitchen with two pantries.

 

It goes on to describe the remaining rooms. The building also had a garret three storeys high and two cellars and 14 bedrooms. It certainly sounds like a fine fortified manor house and surrounded by a large moat.

 

This house no longer stands for whatever reason. During building work in 2006 archaeologists were on site and discovered the medieval garden, which ran along the front of the present house – it’s now underneath the raised decking area.  They also found bricks and roof tiles dating to the 12th Century along with pottery indicating occupation and most likely pointing to the location of the original early medieval Manor. At some point too a Saxon bone pin beater was discovered, a remnant from weaving.

 

In the 1700s, whether under Manning or Parkinson’s ownership, the house was rebuilt. Parts of this house can still be seen – it faces south west - and in the cellar the original bricks from an earlier building can be viewed, quite possibly the Mussenden building.

 

It’s next major phase of renovation began in the late 1880s when John Maunsell Richardson moved to the Manor with his wife, the Dowager Countess of Yarborough. Known as Maunsell to his friends, a name inherited from his grandfather.

 

Richardson had been Master of the Brocklesby Hunt and had fallen in love with Victoria Alexandrina, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Listowel and widow of the 3rd Earl of Yarborough who had died in 1875.

 

Maunsell had waited patiently for seven years to marry Victoria in 1881 when her son came of age and became the 4th Earl of Yarborough and they moved to Healing in 1887 when the Earl married.

 

The Manor was extended and created into a home befitting of a Countess. Canted bay windows were added and hanging tiles on the upper stories adorn the exterior walls in the Queen Anne revival style.

Constructed in the Arts and Crafts style, which was part of a major movement in Victorian England to combine the Middle Ages with traditional crafts, the porch is richly decorated with leaves and strange creatures.

It’s a wonderful example of an English country residence and is two storey in brick with half timbering. Inside there are some beautiful panels and ornate ceilings with grand fireplaces.

 

The Richardson crest can be seen on the stable block and the cottages on the main road dating to 1889, the year the building work completed.

The stable block complete with grooms quarters was built by Richardson and is a fine example of Victorian love for horses. He was a renowned huntsman, horse judge and racehorse trainer.

 

In 1902 the Richardsons’ left Healing Manor and Captain Hon Gerald Portman purchased the house and estate for £18,000 – a union, which was to last until his daughter’s death in 1987.

 

But let’s move to the village of Healing and one Henry Marrows. Henry was a builder living and working in Grimsby. He bought land in Healing in 1895 along Station Road and The Avenue and began laying the foundations for houses, including his own Briarfield (now known as Hazeldene), which the family moved into in 1901.

 

The Victorian village we see is credit to Marrows, described as a Master Builder. He built not only houses in the village, but also the block of shops and carried out repairs to the church.

 

During his lifetime he built the County Hotel, Immingham; Cleethorpes Town Hall; Barclays Bank (Grimsby); Strand Street School, the only one to have a playground on the roof; Barcroft School and some of the houses down there; Bursar School; Healing Methodist Chapel; Pyewipe car sheds for the railway, and electricity substations throughout the borough.

 

His houses are all distinctive of the Victorian style with a nod to the Arts and Crafts movement, though Arden Court is more Art Deco and was built for Louis Porri, the editor of the Grimsby News.

 

Predominately they are all red brick with elaborate chimneys in some of the larger houses and are half timbered. Bricks in doorways were rounded so as not to snag people’s clothes.

 

Everything was crafted on site – the staircases, window casements, finials. At his own house the newel posts for the stairs were carved elaborately after he’d seen a beautiful piece of embroidery that his wife had done.

 

A window had an ornate decorative segment carved out of wood and bearing the initials HM. This is now in the possession of his great grand daughters after a previous occupant had it ripped out.

 

In the estate agent’s brochure Healing was described as a “garden village”. Each house sitting in enough land to allow one to breathe, with fresh water being drawn from a spring.

 

Henry Marrows and the development of Healing along with The Manor are just two of the walks I lead during the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival, which starts on Saturday May 20th and runs until Sunday 5 June.

 

To find out more about this year’s festival visit www.woldswalkingfestival.co.uk where you will find information on the many other walks that are being led by volunteers around the county. There are so many to choose from. Happy rambling!

(First published in The Journal, May 2017)

by Emma Lingard 17 Apr, 2017

AS we enter warmer months, then one of the places I always like to visit is Horncastle, one of the great Lincolnshire towns for antiques.

 

Entering Horncastle makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time as this market town has kept its charm and it has plenty of history.

 

Called Banovallum by the Romans, which means wall by the river, it was built as a defensive settlement on the angle of the rivers Bain and Waring. Its modern name Horncastle comes from its Saxon name Hyrnecastra.

Horna, was Old English for a horn shaped piece of land formed in a river bend.

 

Parts of the Roman walls can still be seen today as you wander round the town. A great place to view part of it is in the library.

 

There are many pubs in the town and the area known as the Bull Ring was once the terminus for the passenger horse drawn coaches. The Red Lion and The Bull Hotel are two old posting inns still standing.

 

The King’s Head is one of the county’s original mud and stud buildings and still boasts its thatched roof, which gives it is local name, The Thatch. If you’ve been here before then you know in the summer it has a colourful display of hanging baskets.

 

As we head down to the River Bain we can see how the river was used in the past. Stevenson’s Watermill with the outline of its wheel still stands, though no longer used as a mill. Today this area is frequented by people feeding the ducks, but back in the 19th century it was used by the Baptists for their baptisms.

 

One of the town’s famous residents was Sir Joseph Banks, botanist and President of the Royal Society. Born in 1743 in London he accompanied Captain Cook on his voyages around the globe. Around 80 species of plant bear his name. His love of botany was instilled in him when as a child he roamed the family’s Lincolnshire estate.

 

Aged 21 he’d inherited the family’s estate at Revesby Abbey and also had a house in Horncastle, now marked by a blue plaque, and standing in the street named after him.

 

The Sir Joseph Banks Centre is located in the town and was set up to celebrate Banks' life. It has research facilities and a garden in which rare plants can be viewed and purchased.

 

 Banks also supported the building of the Horncastle Canal, which opened in 1802 and helped the town to prosper before the arrival of the railway.

 

The canal cost £45,000 to build – four times what it was estimated - and is eleven miles long running to Tattershall. Its main commerce was coal, lime and farm produce. It partially closed in 1889 due to decline in use because of competition from the railway.

 

In the centre of the market place stands the Stanhope Memorial, erected in 1894 to commemorate Edward Stanhope, Lord of the Manor, MP for Horncastle and a local benefactor.

 

Stanhope was born in London in 1840, the son of the 5th Earl of Stanhope. He became a Conservative MP for Mid Lincolnshire in 1874 and then served Horncastle from 1885 until his sudden death in 1893 of a heart attack.

 

One of his contributions to the town was the clearance of the old buildings in 1890 to improve the town’s market.

 

Horncastle, before being famous for its antiques shop, was once famous for its annual Horse Fair, which attracted buyers from around Europe for 14 days in August.

 

The fair was granted its charter in 1229 and prices here were used as a guide for the rest of the country.

 

The main breed for sale was the Lincolnshire Black, sometimes referred to as the Old English Black. It was used mainly for ploughing and pulling and was developed from horses brought over by the Normans that were crossed with native horses. In the 1700s these horses were crossed with Dutch horses to create the Lincolnshire Black.

 

Despite its name, it was not a colour breed and there were plenty of bays, greys and chestnuts. It became extinct, but its bloodlines were absorbed into the Shire.

 

For years the army also used the fair as a means of buying horses for its campaigns – particularly for the Crimean War in the 1850s. The horse fair sadly came to an end in 1948 when the need for horses in agriculture waned.

 

On one side of the market place dating from the 13th century is St Mary’s Church. Built from the local green sandstone and like many churches in the locality, it was restored in the Victorian age between 1859 and 1861 by Ewan Christian, a British architect known for his restoration of Southwell Minster and Carlisle Cathedral.

 

Inside are many memorials to Horncastle’s great and good and its inclusion in many notable historical events including its part in the English Civil War.

 

Hung over an archway are thirteen scythes, which are allegedly from the Battle of Winceby fought near by in 1643. Though some believe the scythes may date from the Lincolnshire Rebellion in 1536. Whatever their connection they add to the town’s rich and interesting heritage.

 

Above the font is a memorial canvas to one Sir Ingram Hopton, Commander of the Royalist Dragoons, who was said at the Battle of Winceby to have struck a glancing blow on an unseated Oliver Cromwell, but was himself killed and is buried here.

 

The canvas was hung after the Restoration and describes Cromwell as the “arch rebel”, though local folklore says the Lord Protector personally ensured Hopton received the burial he deserved for his bravery on the battlefield. The battle secured Lincolnshire for Parliament.

 

Outside the main door among the shadows lie the grave of Dr John Fawsett and his family – interred where only outcasts were buried. The idea of this so repelled him he ensured that he was buried with those less fortunate than himself.

 

Standing near the church are two cottages dating from the 18th century. They originally housed the county’s first dispensary and the town’s workhouse. The dispensary was opened in 1789 and served the poor until 1866, when a second opened in North Street.

 

Also in this area is the cottage of the man who invented the long drop. William Marwood was a cobbler in the town and he approached the governor of Lincoln Prison and persuaded him to allow him to conduct an execution.

 

Marwood was successful and was approached by governors of prisons around Britain to carry out executions. The long drop technique ensured the neck was broken. In his 9 years as executioner he carried out 178. A blue plaque is on the cottage he once lived in.

 

The Horncastle History and Heritage Society have a leaflet of a walk around the town, which is well worth picking up as there is much to explore.

(First published March 2017)

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Lingard's Lincolnshire

by Emma Lingard 07 Aug, 2017

THERE’S an area in the northern part of Lincolnshire, which has an interesting history – the Ridge Villages, that run from the Humber to Brigg.

 

The market town of Glanford Brigg – to give it its correct name - marked an important river crossing in ancient times and became famous for its horse fairs.

 

It’s centred around the River Ancholme, once used for sending goods to far off places, but now more likely to be used for leisure.

 

Brigg nestles below the edge of the Wolds and the river has always played some kind of part in its history. During the Bronze Age there was a jetty and in Anglo Saxon times it’s believed there was a causeway.

 

In fact its original name of Glanford is interpreted as the ford where sports are held, while Brigg derives from the Scandinavian word for a jetty. Man has always used the river for navigation and ancient logboats have been uncovered by archaeologists.

 

There are a number of early British settlements flanking the course of the river, of which an early Paleolithic handaxe was discovered close to Bishopbridge near Market Rasen.

 

The town of Brigg was rebuilt in the early part of the 18th century, through the demands of one family – the Elwes family, who had a manor house in Bigby Street.

 

The poor of the town lived in cramped houses in a series of narrow yards, which ran northward from the marketplace and Wrawby Street. They were condemned as slums in the 1800s but not removed until the 1950s. Now the yards are home to shops and retail units.

 

One thing Brigg has become strongly connected with, apart from horses, is music and it all began with Gervase Elwes, who was a well known concert performer and reknowned for his tenor voice. He founded the North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival in the early 1900s.

 

Gervase’s friend, was the Australian composer Percy Grainger, who visited Brigg to record folk songs – most notably Brigg Fair, the folk song which Grainger turned into a choral arrangement and was the inspiration of Delius’ English Rhapsody.

 

All these songs were inspired or said to have been handed down from the Gypsy travellers who came to Brigg each year for the Horse Fair. Each year on or near August the fifth they descend on the town to sell their ponies and have done for many years.

 

The folk singer Joseph Taylor, who became a friend of Grainger lived in nearby Saxby All Saints. In 1906 Grainger came to the area and recorded various local singers, including Taylor.

 

All this came about after Taylor won the North Lincolnshire Musical competition on April 11 1905 singing a song called Creeping Jane.

 

Sadly both Elwes and Taylor died in tragic circumstances – Taylor died in 1910 after being thrown from his trap and Elwes died while on tour in America in 1921 after being hit by a train.

 

Another neighbouring village with connections to horses is Horkstow. The painter George Stubbs, famed for his equine pieces, lived at the Manor House here between 1756 and 1760, while studying the anatomy of the horse.

 

It’s said horse carcases were hoisted up through the roof into the attic where they were dissected and drawn.

 

And in the grounds of the nearby Hall stood a Roman villa. A rare mosaic floor was found here in 1747 depicting a chariot race. This is now in a museum in Hull.

 

And while here, you must visit Horkstow Bridge - a single span suspension bridge built in 1844 by Sir John Rennie, and the only suspension bridge he ever designed. It links the brick kilns on the banks of the River Ancholme.

 

The bridge can be crossed by vehicles, but there’s a weight limit and there’s no metalled road the other side. Of course the most famous bridge Rennie built, was London Bridge opened in 1831.

 

If you keep heading north, then we reach the Humber Estuary and the village of South Ferriby, whose residents were hit by the tidal surge that came up the river in December 2013.

 

Around one hundred homes were seriously damaged that night with flooding and families were forced to find shelter elsewhere.

 

South Ferriby can be dated back to the Roman times when it was a major settlement. It’s known as a low village, as it sits at the bottom of the chalk escarpment and marks the point where the Lincolnshire Wolds meets the Humber.

 

And as its name suggests it was the southern end of an ancient ferry route – North Ferriby its counterpart lying on the other bank.

 

Just off shore is Read’s Island – the second largest semi-permanent island in the Estuary of about 300 acres. It’s an RSPB reserve and is constantly being eroded by the river.

 

Over the years it’s been occupied by people at various times in its history and was once the shooting ground for sportsman Sir Joseph Nickerson – the famed agriculturist and sports person.

 

No visit is complete without heading to the church. St Nicholas may possibly be the remnants of a much larger one and what’s different about this church is that it’s on a north south alignment, rather than the traditional east west one.

 

This may have been due to a landslip at some point in its history, as you will notice it sits on the ridge side with commanding views of the Humber.

 

Above the porch is an ancient stone with a figure of St Nicholas flanked by the symbolic figures of the sun and moon.

 

South Ferriby also has connections with the Nelthorpe family who live at Scawby Hall and have done so since the 1600s. The family begins with Richard Nelthorpe who arrived in Brigg from Beverley and married. He bought the Baysgarth estate at Barton and lived here until 1792.

 

The grade 1 listed Jacobean manor is home to many beautiful pieces of artwork, including some by Stubbs, who was staying at Horkstow. It is open to the public – check their website for details – but do visit as it’s simply a stunning house.

First published in The Journal, August 2017

 

 

by Emma Lingard 30 Jul, 2017

GRIMSBY has its roots in Scandinavian mythology, or so we are led to believe.

 

Simply ask any Grimbarian and they can recall the tale of the Danish fisherman Grim, who rescued Prince Havelok from the stormy sea and brought him to England, whereon the Prince fell in love and married the English Princess Goldborough. Grim? Well he founded a town and lived in an upturned boat.

 

Whether the tale is fact or fiction, the town seems to have its roots in the Viking ages. The fisherman’s name, Grim linked with the Scandinavian suffix -by, which means the village or farmstead of Grim.

 

The fact Grim or Grimr is seen as the founder of the town can be seen on the borough seal and in a few lines from The Lay of Havelok the Dane . Throw a spanner into the works, Icelandic Snorri Sturluson placed Grimsby within the county of Northumbria and referring to a raid in 866, says that many place-names within that county were Norwegian.

 

In fact researching the name Grim finds it is a common Norwegian name and as we look in to the history of the town it has always had strong connections with this country.

 

In The Orkneyingers Saga, a bunch of merchants arrive in Grimsby from Bergen and land in the mud. The lines depict the Haven.

 

In fact the Haven, is the reason why settlers came. A tidal creek fed by fresh water springs, it originally stretched as far as where modern day Ainslie Street is and branched out towards the present day Welholme Avenue.

 

At the time of the Norman Conquest, Grimsby’s land was divided between lords, Odo the Bishop of Bayeux, Drew De Beurere and Ralf De Mortemer. Overseas trade and fishing was the mainstay of the town’s economy.

 

Jump to the the latter part of the 18th century and Grimsby was merely a market town, but it was the actions of some of the local landowners, which were to transform it to the town we know today, beginning in 1796 with the creation of the Grimsby Haven Company. The plan was to create a dock and the money invested came from local farmers and land-owners.

 

Between 1800 and 1832, a total of 573 lots had been created on the East Marsh with roads laid out, but many of them were not built upon but used instead to grow vegetables. The plan had been to provide working class houses, being so close to the dock.

 

The three prominent families in the town during its growth were the Anderson-Pelham’s, who had the title Earl of Yarborough; Heneage and Grant-Thorold. Others included the Tennyson and Tomline families.

 

Many of the town’s streets are named after these prominent families and the engineers that helped build the docks. It’s these stories, which form the focus of my latest book, Grimsby Streets .

 

The Pelham family owned land in the town centre and to the south, comprising of Scartho. Many of the streets in central Grimsby are named after family members.

 

At the height of the town’s development, the 4th Earl of Yarborough, Charles Alfred Worsley was the title-holder. Dudley Street built in 1882 was named after his brother Dudley Pelham, who had served as a Captain in the 10th Hussars and fought in the Boer War. He was captured at Sanna’s Post and became a prisoner of war for several months.

 

Nearby Augusta Street was named after Lady Gertrude Augusta Anderson-Pelham, sister of the 4th Earl. She married Sir Frank Astley-Corbett, Baronet, of Elsham Hall in 1882.

 

Another of the landowning families were the Heneage family from Hainton Hall near Market Rasen, who owned land in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, but had connections with the town going back to the 15th century.

 

Some streets named after members of their family include Granville Street

named after Lt Col Hon Henry Granville Heneage, the second eldest son of the town’s MP Edward Heneage. Interestingly, he shared a name with his first cousin on his mother’s side, the Hon. Richard Granville Hare, who became the 4th Earl of Listowel.

 

Neighbouring the Heneage lands were the Grant-Thorold’s who were key to the development of Grimsby. Their land ran alongside the East Marsh and Grimsby boundary and throughout the course of the town’s development, this family would have regular feuds with the Heneage family.

 

Streets named after the family include Harold Street named after Capt Harry Grant-Thorold. On 30th June 1904, Grant Thorold Park was opened by the Captain, as the family had given nine acres for its construction. In a dispute over access to the East Marsh years previously, neighbouring land-owner, Lord Heneage, had said that Thorold had to devote 20 acres of his estate to a playing area. This street is named after his (Harry’s) full Christian name, Harold.

 

On a smaller scale another well-known family with connections to the town dating back to the 1700s were the Tennysons. They owned land in the town and had arrived in the 18th century and married into another prominent family, the Claytons, who had been political giants. When their line died out it was inherited by George Tennyson, and then by his grandson, Frederick, whose brother was the poet laureate, Alfred.

 

Roads off Alexandra Road are named after members of the family. Notably of course Alfred Street , which runs south from Tennyson Street towards Frederick Street.

 

All these street names commemorate the Lincolnshire Tennyson family, as does Somersby Street, named after the village where the family lived.

 

Alfred, its most famous member, was Lincolnshire’s great poet, famous for such poems as The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Lady of Shalott, and Maud. He became Poet Laureate in 1850 and was to retain the title until his death in 1892.

 

Grimsby’s streets are a mixed collection of the famous, councillors and those who helped shape and develop the town and the docks.

 

As part of the book, I’ll also be leading guided walks around the town recounting some of these stories. If you can, join in.

 

Grimsby Streets is published by Pen & Sword July 2017. 

For more information on my guided walks www.lingardslincolnshire.me

 First published in The Journal (July)

by Emma Lingard 29 Jun, 2017

IF there’s one thing about Lincolnshire it has a diverse landscape from the rolling Wolds to the flat Fens and the curvaceous coastline.

 

I have to say I am more of a Wolds girl, loving the walk among those rolling hills and deep valleys. However, a few years ago I did fall in love with the coast and the dunes of Theddlethorpe.

 

Here where the land meets the North Sea, you’ll find big skies, panoramic views and the smell of the sea. Here are Lincolnshire’s coastal marshes.

 

With tales of smuggling and farming Saltfleet, like so many coastal villages was once a thriving port in the Medieval period.

 

It was one of the largest ports outside London from the 12th to 15th centuries.

Trade between here and Europe saw the export of wool and salt, while exotic spices and building materials were brought in.

 

The influence of Europe can be seen in the building materials chosen for the neighbouring St Clement’s Church. The stone is volcanic material, which can only be found in the Rhine valley in Germany and most likely arrived here via boat at the Haven, probably as ballast.

 

One thing the Lincolnshire coast is famed for is the local delicacy of Samphire. This seaweed grows on the tidal marshes and has a salty taste and is delicious steamed with a bit of butter. If you haven’t tried it then you must.

 

The wealth of this former trading haven can be seen in the warehouses, which still stand in the village.

 

The area’s most famous building is the New Inn, a Grade two listed 17th century hostelry, renowned in 1673 for its fish dishes and in Victorian times for its therapeutic bathing waters.

 

Opposite stands the Manor House, which may date back to the 1300s. As with so many places I’ve visited in Lincolnshire, the legendary Oliver Cromwell was said to have visited here, as he was friends with its owner at the time, Lord Willoughby.

 

In a first floor window etched in the glass are the names Robert Fox and Jane Hardy, dated 1673 with a lover’s knot – they were believed to have been imprisoned here for two weeks, for Fox was a gentleman in waiting to King Charles II.

 

There are plenty of walking opportunities in this area and nearby are the

Salfleetby Theddlethorpe dunes. The dunes were formed in the 1300s after a mighty storm threw up shingle and the sand was blown back. Over time it’s created these immense structures, which are constantly shifting and changing.

 

You’ll find a wealth of wildlife around here with some magnificent displays of cowslips, marsh orchids and sea lavender. It’s also the place where on a summer’s evening you’ll hear the calls of the Natterjack toads, which some believe is where the Lincolnshire nickname “yellerbelly” comes from as the toads have a yellow belly.

 

Remnants of the country’s stand against the invaders can be found all along this coast with a Second World War pillbox defending the beach.

 

In fact believe it or not Saltfleetby was considered to have been a possible landing place by the Germans, hence why the pillboxes, tank traps and gun emplacements can be seen along the east coast stretching from East Yorkshire all the way down to Gibralter Point.

 

The marshes have a rich history stretching back to the Neolithic period and from time to time the sand gives up its treasures. The coastline at one point would have been further inland – probably where the current road, the A1031 runs.

 

At the sea edge there were many salt workings – it’s where the villages get their name and the production of salt carried on into the 16th century.

 

In the medieval times and maybe long before that people started bringing their livestock off the grassland on to the marshes during the summer, where the pasture was rich. Even now the marshes are said to be therapeutic and cattle can still be found grazing.

 

There are many churches along this coast and what you notice about many of them is that they lean, which has made them an icon of the landscape. Many also stand alone – isolated from villages. It’s not clear why this is – but could be they served scattered settlements?

 

At nearby Skidbrooke stands the church of St Botolph – the patron saint of wayfarers. What’s interesting is that Botolph was said to have rid the marshes of their devils. And in later years sadly, it’s been at the centre of some strange goings on.

 

It can be dated back to the early thirteenth century and like so many churches is now redundant. Over the years it has undergone many transformations. Made from limestone it stands resplendent in the Lincolnshire landscape.

 

It was last used in 1973 and is now under the care of the Churches Preservation Trust. It’s one of my favourite places – a former shell of itself, but its crudeness allows you to see what the church would have been like when first built.

 

 

In neighbouring Saltfleetby they have two churches, All Saints and St Peter’s. The tower is the only thing that remains of the latter – its main building having been moved to a new location.

 

It’s known locally as The Stump and is looked after by the Friends of Friendless Churches.

 

All Saints is a Grade I listed building and it too has a leaning tower. Parts of it date to the 11th Century and inside it has a 14th Century screen between the nave and the chancel.

 

This landscape has strong ties with the sea, which also give rise to tales of smugglers and one story relates to a chap called Blood, who appeared one day in Theddlethorpe.

 

He helped out at the Rectory doing odd jobs for the church and slept in the hayloft. In an extract from Lincolnshire Stuff by Polly Williams in 1798 he is described as illiterate and vague, but knew many things especially about the coastal tides.

 

Despite his limp he was able to travel great distances with a long stride. Mothers would tell threaten their children that if they misbehaved Blood would get them. But if anyone had lifted the boards he slept on, they would have found contraband. It’s said the smuggling system in the area ran like clockwork under him.

 

Along the east coast we find many ancient settlements with a strong connection with the sea – even though they may no longer stand on its edge.

 

Theddlethorpe is one – it means the village of the people, though it’s made up of two villages. Out the two churches it’s worth exploring Theddlethorpe All Saints for it is a beautiful church and deserves its title Cathedral of the Marsh.

 

Built around 1380 its exterior is a mix of stone and red brick. Inside it is a delight being light and airy and containing many fine features including a beautifully carved rood screen with some interesting intricate carvings which dates from the 15th century.

 

If you look carefully on the piers and on the pews you’ll find evidence of ship graffitti – for someone has spent time carving images of old sailing boats with sails and rigging, likely from the 17th century.

 

The pews have poppyheads carved into them – in fact every part of this wondrous building has some kind of carving. What I love is that it is here for you to admire.

 

And what I would say, is, if you’ve never been and explored the Marshes then get yourself down here. Happy rambling.

First published in the The Journal (June)

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Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Thomas Jefferson

Grimsby Streets

Published July 30th 2017 by Pen & Sword.

The history behind Grimsby's streets. Who were the people whose names can be found on the street signs.

For pre-orders check out online.
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