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This is a revised version of Doing a Parish History compiled by Dr Dennis Mills & first published on the Lincolnshire County Council website in 2001.

Parish History
A guide to local books and other sources - by Dennis Mills


This guide is aimed at those who wish to research the history of an individual village, or small town.

Although the history of each parish is different from that of its neighbours, they will all have gone through many common experiences, for example the Norman Conquest, the Reformation, and the influence of railway construction. It is, therefore, sensible and useful to look at some general sources at an early stage of the research.

This guide contains sources of background information and the general history of Lincolnshire, as well as the titles of standard reference works giving information on many different individual parishes.

All titles are available in Lincoln Central Library (LCL), at least in the form of one reference copy. Many of them can be borrowed and/or are to be found in the larger branch libraries, as well as the major libraries in Scunthorpe and Grimsby. Some are also to be found in the Lincolnshire Archives (LAO).

The titles have been divided into two groups, one listing three kinds of very general suggestions for reading and activities, the second and much longer group focusing on periods and topics.

With each set of titles will be found some remarks indicating what help to expect from them, and in many cases examples of the type of information have been included.

Hackthorn Hall & Churchl
Hackthorn Hall and Church
Old School, Nettleham
Old Primary School, Nettleham



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Although these general works are set out first, local historians will find themselves going back to them at many stages of the work. They set the context in which individual parish histories have developed, and help the parish researcher to judge whether events in his village were typical or unusual.

They are mostly well illustrated, often with archive material depicting scenes or people long since gone. Check the indexes to see if your parish name occurs. The titles are arranged in two lists, the second being volumes of the standard county history - the History of Lincolnshire series in 12 volumes.


List 1 (a)

  • M. W. Barley, Lincolnshire and the Fens, London, 1952 and Wakefield, 1972  
  • S. Bennett, A History of Lincolnshire, Chichester,1999.
    This is a replacement for Rogers, see below, although it is advertised as the third edition. 
  • R. H. Bewley, ed., Lincolnshire's Archaeology from the Air, SLHA, 1998  
  • P. Everson, C. C. Taylor and C. J. Dunn, Change and Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-west Lincolnshire, London, 1991.
    This very considerable body of archaeological fieldwork embraces the 125 parishes of the West Lindsey District Council area. 
  • J. W. F. or Sir Francis Hill
    Four volumes on Lincoln are worth consulting for the considerable background of county history, and to check the many specific references to country parishes:
    * Medieval Lincoln, 1948
    * Tudor and Stuart Lincoln, 1956
    * Georgian Lincoln, 1966
    * Victorian Lincoln, 1974
    All published in Cambridge 
  • H. Healey, A Fenland Landscape Glossary for Lincolnshire, Lincoln, 1997 
  • J. R. Ketteringham, Lincolnshire People, Barnsley, 1995  
  • J. R. Ketteringham, Lincolnshire Women, Lincoln, 1998  
  • M. Lloyd, A Portrait of Lincolnshire, London, 1983  
  • W. Marsden, Lincolnshire, London, 1977  
  • A. E. B. Owen, ed., The Medieval Lindsey Marsh; select documents, Lincoln Record Society, 85, 1996.
    Contains documents about many individual places stretching from Somercotes to Wainfleet. 
  • W. T. Pike, ed., Lincolnshire at the Opening of the Twentieth Century, Brighton, 1907.
    An account of the great and good in Lincolnshire a century ago. 
  • C. K. Rawding, The Lincolnshire Wolds in the nineteenth century, SLHA, 2001.
    A must for anyone studying a Wold village, or with an interest in landownership types. 
  • A. Rogers, A History of Lincolnshire, Henley-on-Thames, 1970, 2nd ed. Chichester, 1985  
  • D. Start and C. Cruickshank, Lincolnshire from the Air, Sleaford, 1993.
    Has many photos of modern features, but also very strong on archaeology. 
  • H. Thorold and J. Yates, A Shell Guide: Lincolnshire, London, 1965.
    Very brief descriptions of numerous places, often of churches, but also of country houses, etc. 
  • E. Trollope, Sleaford, And the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn, In the County of Lincoln, 1872, new ed., Heckington, 1999.
    An excellent Victorian exemplar of parish history, covering a large number of parishes in mid-Kesteven.
  • J. Varley, The Parts of Kesteven: Studies in Law and Local Government, Sleaford, 1974.

Additionally there are several useful texts on how to study English local history, to be found in most of the larger libraries. The three following titles are suggested as look-up texts for many problems of detail:

  • J. Bristow, ed., The Local Historian's Glossary and Vade Mecum, Nottingham, 2nd. ed., 1994
  • C. R. Cheney, ed., Handbook of Dates,
    Cambridge, 2nd. rev. ed., 2000
  • J. Richardson, ed., The Local Historian's Encyclopedia,
    Barnet, 1974, with later reprints and editions


List 1 (b)

The History of Lincolnshire is the standard history of the county published by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, Jews Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln, LN2 1LS. The books are well indexed, so references in the text to individual parishes can be easily checked, but the many maps should be studied separately, since places marked on them are not mentioned in the indexes.

  • J. May, Prehistoric Lincolnshire (Volume I) 1976
  • J. B .Whitwell, Roman Lincolnshire (Volume II) 1970, revised edn., 1992
  • P. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Lincolnshire (Volume III) 1998

Examples are given here of the information afforded by volumes I-III of the History of Lincolnshire on a random selection of individual parishes:

Great Ponton
Vol. I, pp. 44-45 and fig. 23, and p. 214 on the Neolithic settlement; p. 75 on the barrow cemetery; vol. II, p. 80 on the Roman villa.

Vol. I, p. 152 on salt-making; p. 209 Stukeley born there; vol. III, pp. 233-34, references to Holbeach in probably spurious Anglo-Saxon charters; p. 243, property at Holbeach belonging to Crowland Abbey.

Vol. I, p. 9, connection with Bluestone Heath Road; vol. II, p. 75, Roman road, p. 139, Roman settlement; vol. III, p. 85, significance of the burh name.

  • G. Platts, Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire (Volume IV), 1985  
  • D. M. Owen, Church and Society in Medieval Lincolnshire
    (Volume V) 1971, rep. 1981 and 1990  
  • G. Hodgett, Tudor Lincolnshire (Volume VI), 1975  
  • C. Holmes, Seventeenth-Century Lincolnshire (Volume VII), 1980  
  • T. W. Beastall, Agricultural Revolution in Lincolnshire (Volume VIII), 1978  
  • R. W. Ambler, Churches, Chapels and the Parish Communities of Lincolnshire, 1660-1900
    (Volume IX), 2000 
  • R. J. Olney, Rural Society and County Government in Nineteenth Century Lincolnshire
    (Volume X), 1979  
  • N. R. Wright, Lincolnshire Towns and Industry 1700-1914 (Volume XI), 1982.
    Whilst this has little to say on rural parishes, many of the topics covered illuminate rural life. For example, there are useful appendices on the setting up of turnpikes and the opening of railways. 
  • D. R. Mills, ed., Twentieth Century Lincolnshire (Volume XII), 1989

Many parish historians are residents of the places on which they intend to do research, but even for them an important exercise is to walk round as much of their parish as is accessible, noting landscape features such as rights of way, watercourses, the location of parish boundaries, patches of woodland, as well as buildings.

It is worth buying a current Ordnance Survey 1: 25,000 (Explorer) map on which to record observations. This map will show the present-day boundaries of the civil parish, which in many cases will be identical to the boundaries of the ancient parish. However, because many small ancient parishes have been combined, more reliable guides to ancient boundaries are the early editions of the OS Six-Inch maps. These can be printed out from microfiche copies in Lincolnshire Archives and again are useful for recording purposes. (Note, however, that some care is needed if microfiche copies are to be obtained at exactly the original scale). The definition of the territory and its status are discussed again in the next section. The list below is in two sections, the maps first, other references second.



  • Ordnance Survey First Edition One-Inch Maps
    Originally published c.1824. Later editions had additions, mainly confined to railways. David and Charles and Cassini modern reprint editions are available. 
  • Ordnance Survey early editions of Six-Inch maps
    c.1890, c.1905, c.1930. c.1956. Copies at Lincolnshire Artchives (LAO) and Lincoln Central library (LCL) including microfiche copies from LAO. 
  • Ordnance Survey early editions of 25-Inch maps
    c.1890, c.1905, c.1930. At LAO, LCL, including microfiche copies from LA. These give acreages of OS fields and plots of ground. 
  • Ordnance Survey 1: 25,000 maps
    Various dates, but post-1945, first (provisional) edition was based on Six-Inch maps, c.1930. 
  • Bryant's One-Inch Map of Lincolnshire
    1828 (LAO, LCL) including microfiche copies from LAO. Not as reliable as the OS First Edition, but interesting all the same. 
  • R. C. Wheeler, ed., Maps of the Witham Fens from the Thirteenth to the Nineteenth Century,
    Lincoln Record Society, 96, 2008. Notes are printed for 204 maps, many of which are reproduced in full colour.

A note on the acreages of ancient parishes and townships

Comparisons between parishes are made easier when their sizes are known. Also, as farms and estates will bulk large in the research, it is a good idea to have an accurate figure for the size of the parish, especially as many rough estimates will be encountered, e.g., in directories before about 1890. The first comprehensive and very accurate survey of parish sizes was not conducted by the Ordnance Survey until around 1880, after which the figures collected began to appear in directories and in other publications:
OS Six-Inch maps, especially those of the second edition, often give parish acreages (see above).

  • The Population Table in W. Page, VCH Lincs II (see list 8).
  • Census Reports from 1891, thence every tenth year (see list 10).

Having found the late Victorian acreage, keep a look-out for evidence of changes in boundaries before that date, but these are relatively rare in Lincolnshire, except where new parishes were created out of existing townships.



A major work much referred to below is:

  • S. Bennett and N. Bennett, eds., An Historical Atlas of Lincolnshire, Hull, 1993.
    This includes maps on a very wide range of topics, based on parish boundary outlines, for which there are keys useful for other purposes.

Other useful texts are as follows:

  • M. W. Barley, The English Farmhouse and Cottage, London, 1961.
    This book covers the whole country, but because Prof. Barley was a Lincoln man he used many Lincolnshire examples. 
  • R. Cousins, Lincolnshire Buildings in the Mud and Stud Tradition, Heckington, 2000.
    An excellently organised book which includes a gazetteer of recorded examples, some of them now demolished. 
  • P Dolman, Lincolnshire Windmills, a contemporary survey, Lincoln, 1986. 
  • R. Oliver, Ordnance Survey Maps: a concise guide for historians, London, 1993. 
  • N. Pevsner and J. Harris, The Buildings of England, Lincolnshire, London, 2nd edn revised by N Antram, 1989.
    Describes all Anglican churches, as well as some of the other interesting buildings in most towns and villages. Good background in both editions.


The following indicates the range of items mentioned and described in a village with a substantial, but not exceptional entry in Pevsner and Harris's book:

St Clements church, much detail of Perpendicular and Decorated styles in the architecture, followed by comments on the font, west gallery, pews and brass. Houses mentioned include the Old Vicarage, Tithe Farm, Grainthorpe Hall, Grainthorpe House and a comment on encased mud-and-stud cottages. Also a note on the tower mill and the canal warehouse on the Louth Navigation.

  • O. Rackham, The History of the Countryside, London, 1986.
    Gives a good background for the study of fauna and flora and landscape of a parish.
  • D. N. Robinson, Lincolnshire Bricks: History and Gazetteer, Heckington, 1999.
    This booklet is concerned with early brick-building and the hand manufacture of bricks. The gazetteer is especially useful in the present context. 
  • H. Thorold, Lincolnshire Houses, Wilby, Norwich, 1999. 
  • R. Wailes, Lincolnshire Windmills (two volumes), Heckington, 1991.
    Contains lists of Lincolnshire post- and tower-mills, now mostly 'lost', with descriptions. 
  • A. Winchester, Discovering Parish Boundaries, Princes Risborough, Bucks, 1990.

Listed Building Notes, more properly known as Lists of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest, published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (and several predecessor publishers). Volumes cover a single parish, or more usually a group of parishes.

The distribution of these Lists is erratic, but many are available in LCL. Local authorities have a statutory duty to make them available to the public. Therefore, you should be able to consult them at your council offices, usually in the planning department. The information is not uniformly reliable, since it is largely based on visual impressions of properties from the road frontage, without back-up from literary sources. However, the Lists make a useful addition to Pevsner, and the two together may act as a starting point for more detailed local studies.

See also Section 7 (Landowners) below for items on country houses and Section 4 (Early Days) below for the Sites and Monuments Records.

The Illustrations Index
or photo collection at LCL is indexed by place. The parish files of photos are easily accessible to the public and photocopying is possible. 

Directories provide a mixture of historical, administrative and geographical information, followed by a list of the principal residents, farmers, tradesmen, etc. County directories were published every few years between 1842 and 1937 and there is a virtually complete set in Lincoln Central Library, with a large number in Lincolnshire Archives.

Directories will be constant sources of reference, especially in any study focusing on that period, so this section is limited to an introduction.


General Information

One of the most useful aspects of directory information is that relating to the administrative status of various territories. Townships were territories that had their own open-field systems and administered their own rating systems, especially for the poor. Mostly townships were also parishes, that is, ecclesiastical units of administration with their own church, incumbent, parsonage house and system of tithes and glebe land. But some parishes contained more than one township, for example, Doddington, as is made clear in the entry for this parish in White's Directory of Lincolnshire of 1856.

Example from White's Directory of 1856:

Doddington, a small village on a commanding eminence, nearly six miles W. by S. of Lincoln, has in its township 175 souls, and 2410 acres of land....The parish also includes Whisby township......
Whisby, a hamlet or township, in Doddington parish, 6 miles S.W. by W. of Lincoln, contains only 89 souls, and about 1500 acres of land......

As revealed in VCH II, p. 362, the accurate acreages were 2,527 for Doddington, 1,677 for Whisby; but White quoted the 1851 census figures precisely (see Section 10 below for Population).

Before the rise of nonconformity, chapels were outposts of parish churches, often known as chapels-of-ease, since they made church attendance easier. Chapelries, or the territories of chapels, were therefore usually co-terminous with townships not having parochial status. With the growth of population in the nineteenth century, many chapelries and townships gained full parochial status, as did Martin in Timberland parish, and this would usually lead to another set of changes, such as the appointment of separate incumbents, and frequently the building or rebuilding of the place of worship, with a new burial ground. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century extra-parochial places were eliminated by absorption into existing parishes or by being created civil parishes.

The paragraphs of general information, especially for the large parishes and in White's later directories (1882, 1892), sometimes contain much detail on many topics, as illustrated by the following entry for Long Sutton:

Example from White's Directory of 1892:

The entry for Long Sutton runs to two pages of closely set type, the first paragraph setting out administrative matters, acreages, and population, including the location of the parish within the Parts of Holland, the Holbeach Union and county court district, Elloe wapentake and Long Sutton petty sessional division. This is followed by considerable detail as to fen drainage, the building of Sutton Bridge over the River Nene, the new outfall for the latter, the former fen commons, and so on. There is then a note of several administrative and commercial matters, including the Burton and Lincoln Brewery Company, the corn exchange and public rooms, the gas works, the Local Board (for sanitary purposes), the chief landowners and their manorial administrations, and the police station. A very large paragraph is devoted to the substantial parish church, including many alterations and improvements and matters of ecclesiatical administration. By comparison, the four nonconformist chapels are dismissed in about half-a-dozen lines, but these do record dates of establishment and enlargement not so easily discovered as the architectural detail of an established church. Two paragraphs are devoted to a wide variety of charities, some as ancient as the sixteenth century. The last paragraph covers postal arrangements - three collections, etc.


Lists of Residents and Tradesmen

Directories are very useful for a picture of traditional village communities in the days when they were relatively self-sufficient. A table has been constructed from the lists of tradesmen for a group of neighbouring villages to show the differences in services available between them. This table makes it clear that smaller villages depended to some extent on their bigger neighbours for some services, whilst even most of the biggest villages lacked services such as a doctor, a solicitor, and a bank, which were generally found only in the nearest market town.


Lincolnshire County Directories

  • White: 1826, 1842, 1856, 1872, 1882, 1892
  • Kelly: 1849, 1855, 1861, 1868, 1876, 1885, 1889, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1905, 1909, 1913, 1919, 1922, 1926, 1930, 1933, 1937 (1849-1876 inclusive are entitled Post Office Directory)
  • Slater: 1841, 1851
  • Hagar: 1849

City of Lincoln Directories

These are included mainly for the sake of giving a complete list of directories for the county, but also because those published by Ruddock especially are useful when researching the history of villages within the Lincoln area, which included sections on the villages nearest to the city.

  • Akrill: 1857, 1863, 1867, 1877, 1881, 1885
  • Victor and Baker: 1843
  • Cook: 1895
  • Ruddock: 1894, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1913, 1919, 1922, 1928, 1932
  • Kelly: 1937, 1939 (and also many at dates between 1945 and 1975)

Also useful is Dennis R. Mills, Rural Community History from Trade Directories, Oxford, 2001, which gives general guidance on trade directories, with many Lincolnshire examples.

Example of information obtained from a directory:

Numbers of Trades/craftsmen in a group of North Kesteven parishes in 1922

Village Waddington Aubourn Haddington Harmston Bassingham
1911 pop.






Baker 2
Beer retailer 1 1 1
Blacksmith 1 1 1 2
Boot repairer 1
Bricklayer 1
Butcher 1 2
Carpenter 1 1
Carrier 2 1
Cattle dealer 1
Chemist 1
Coal dealer 1
Co-op Stores 1
Cycle agent 1
Cycle maker 1
Doctor 1
Grocer 3 1 1
Miller 1
Plumber 1
Post Office 1 1 1 1
Public House 3 1 1 2
Saddler 1
Shopkeeper 1 1 1 2
Stone mason 1
Tailor 1
Tobacconist 1
Wheelwright 1 1 1 1
Total services 16 7 1 8 16
Total outlets 22 7 1 8 20

Source: Kelly Directory of Lincolnshire, 1922

Note: Where a person declared two occupations, e.g., grocer and Post Office, these have been counted separately in order to show the most comprehensive picture available. Likewise, totals have been calculated for both the number of different services reported and the number of different enterprises involved.

To be read in conjunction with the directories are Herbert Green's Lincolnshire Town and Village Life Press cuttings c. 1900 (LCL). These appeared in the Lincoln Gazette and Times, when Green was a reporter on that newspaper and visited a large proportion of villages in the county. His articles include both historical and contemporary information, but it is for the latter that they are recommended since much of Green's historical information is inaccurate or dated. The entry for Little Bytham includes the following points, including an explanation of the location of the school outside the village on the way to Counthorpe and Creeton:

Example from Green's book:

Reading room at Little Bytham erected 1900, Wesleyan chapel 1889. A School Board district set up for Little Bytham, Counthorpe and Creeton, school built 1877 with accommodation for 120, with 74 children currently on the books. Situated on the parish boundary near the brickworks (and its cottages), where products include adamantine clinker a very hard material used for floors, and to be seen in the school playground. Much Roman pottery found in the vicinity of the school. (vol. 8, pp. 201-2).

Although a difficult period for the beginner, it is desirable to have some knowledge of the early centuries, since the basic geography of the county was already established before they came to an end.

See also Section 1b above for vols. I-III of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (maps 5-15).

  •  K. Cameron and J. Insley, A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names, English Place-Name Society, 1998. Although the interpretation of place-names is a specialised subject, it is more than casually interesting to know something about the origins of your village/parish name. The present spelling may be no clue as to either old spellings or plausible meanings. The book has a complete list of all sources, which may be useful in other contexts, and a glossary of common place-name elements. A typical entry is that for Barholm:

Example from Cameron and Insley's book:

Barholm. The entry consists first of the old spellings of the name, with abbreviations as to the sources used: Berceham, Bercheham, Bercham, 1086 DB, Bercham c1128 (12th) ChronPetro, 1202 Ass, Berham 1138 NthCh, 1189 (1332) Ch, Bergham 1242-43 ib, Barhome 1494 Pat
This is followed by a suggested meaning: 'the homestead, estate on the hill', from Old English beorg and ham. The change of -ham to -holm(e) is common in Lincs. The place is on a slight rise.

  • K. Cameron, J. Field and J. Insley, The Place Names of Lincolnshire: Part Four, The Wapentakes of Ludborough and Haverstoe, English Place-Name Society, LXXI for 1993-94.
  • G. Drinkwell and M. Foreman, The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Castledyke South, Barton-on-Humber Sheffield Excavation Reports, no 6 (Sheffield, 1998). Contains a general introduction by Leahy, including a new list of Anglo-Saxon burial sites (cf. his list in Vince, see below).
  • H. Dudley, Early Days in North-West Lincolnshire, A Regional Archaeology, Scunthorpe, 1949. A wealth of information on areas within about 15 miles of Scunthorpe.
  • E. Ekwall, ed., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names 4th edn., London, 1960. Although originally published between the two world wars, this is still useful for comparison with Cameron's much newer work, and for the possibility of comparing similar names in other parts of England.
  • E. A. Fisher, Anglo-Saxon Towers, Newton Abbot, 1969. An important reference book in a county with more than its fair share of Anglo-Saxon towers: well illustrated, with a gazetteer section.
  • P. L. Everson, C. C. Taylor and C. J. Dunn, Change and Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-West Lincolnshire, London, 1991. This contains essays on surviving earthwork sites in the West Lindsey District Council area, arranged by parish.
  • M. Gelling and A. Cole, The Landscape of Place-Names, Stamford, 2000. Although pitched at the national level, this discusses many Lincolnshire place-names, and elements often found within them, and relates them to the landscape.
  • D. Hall and J. Coles, Fenland Survey: an essay in landscape and persistence, London, 1994. In stock at the Spalding and Boston libraries.
  • R. Hanley, Villages in Roman Britain, Princes Risborough, 1987.
  • P. P. Hayes and T. W. Lane, eds., The Fenland Project No. 5: Lincolnshire Survey, the South-West Fens East Anglian Archaeology, Report no. 55, 1992; and T. W. Lane, ed. No. 8: The Northern Fen-Edge no. 66, 1993. These major reports contain parish studies, in the first case, of 18 parishes in the area stretching from Billingborough and Quadring to the Deepings and Crowland; in the second case, of 14 parishes in two groups, one near Billinghay, the other, bigger group north of Boston.
  • N. Loughlin and K. R. Miller, A Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, Hull, 1979. Parish by parish listing and description of archaeological sites, covering North and North-East Lincolnshire.
  • I. D. Margary, Roman Roads in Britain, I, South of Fosse Way-Bristol Channel, London, 1955; II, North of Fosse Way-Bristol Channel London, 1957. All Lincolnshire roads but Tillbridge Lane are in vol. I.
  • A.D. Mills, A Dictionary of British Place-Names, Oxford, 2003. LHA, 38, p. 93 - 533pp
  • A. Vince, ed., Pre-Viking Lindsey, Lincoln, 1993. Especially useful for Leahy's essay on Anglo-Saxon settlement, which contains a detailed catalogue of burial sites, including those in Kesteven. For an updated list see Drinkwall and Foreman (above).

Historic Environment Records
(formerly Sites and Monuments Records) include schedules of ancient monuments and much else besides. Visits are by appointment only.

  • For the administrative county of Lincolnshire, contact the HER at Conservation Services, Highways and Planning Directorate, City Hall, Lincoln, LN1 1DN, tel. 01522 553073. Lincolnshire Historic Environment Record
  • For the North Lincolnshire Council area, contact the HER at North Lincs. Council, Church Square House, P O Box 42, Scunthorpe, DN15 6XQ, tel. 01724 297471. North Lincolnshire Historic Environment Record
  • For the North-East Lincs. Council area contact the HER at NE Lincolnshire Council, Origin Two, Origin Way, Europarc, Grimsby, DN37 9TZ, tel. 01472 323586. NE Lincs Historic Environment
  • For the North and South Kesteven and Boston DC areas readers may also consult the Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire, The Old School, Cameron St, Heckington, Sleaford, NG34 9RW, tel. 01529 461499.

The Domesday Survey is such a wonderful, although difficult source, that the beginner should attempt to extract from it the major features of landownership and population for his parish. This knowledge will then act as a benchmark for what comes later.

See also Section 1a above (General Histories) for Hill and Section 1b for vols. III-IV of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above for Bennett and Bennett (maps 17, 18, 22); Section 4 below (Early Days) for Everson et. al.

  • G. Bryant, Domesday Book, How to Read it and What it Means, Waltham, 1985.
    This book is based on the entries for Waltham, and to a lesser extent the whole of the Haverstoe wapentake, but is also of great interest for its interpretation and guidance.
  • H. C. Darby, ed., The Domesday Geography of Eastern England, Cambridge, 1952, with later edns.
    A long chapter on Lincolnshire. Its excellent series of maps complements Foster and Longley, see below.
  • C. W. Foster and T. Longley, eds., The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lindsey Survey, Lincoln Record Society, vol. 19 (1921), 1924.
    This edition is preferred to the edition by Morgan and Thorn, which in my view is less user-friendly, and has some misleading quirks in its translation from the Latin (eg, freemen instead of sokemen). For parishes in Lindsey there is the additional bonus of information from the Lindsey Survey of 1115-18, but the detail is not as great as in Domesday Book, and not so consistent from one area to another. It is set out primarily not by landholders, but by wapentakes (ancient administrative districts containing varying numbers of settlements), with the holdings of individuals shown in such a way that their location is sometimes vague.
  • P. Morgan and C. Thorn, eds., Domesday Book, 31: Lincolnshire, Chichester, 1986, 2 vols. See under Foster and Longley.

Below, the entries for Stapleford, taken from Foster and Longley, are typical of what the Domesday Survey has to offer. Some of the material is quite technical and the beginner needs the help of the books cited above. But it is possible to see straightaway that there were two manors in Stapleford, a church had been built and there was substantial agricultural activity. It is possible to make a population estimate by multipying the number of peasant households (villeins, bordars and sokemen) by the accepted figure of five - in Stapleford's case (3 + 1+ 27) x 5 = 31 x 5 = 153, say, about 150 people.

Example of entry for Stapleford in Foster and Langley's book:

Entry 4/79 - one of the Bishop of Bayeux's holdings:
M. In Stapleforde Turuert had two carucates of land [assessed] to the geld. There is land for one team. Tor, the bishop's man, has one team there [in demesne], and three villeins and one bordar ploughing with six oxen. There are one-and-a-half furlongs of meadow. T R E it was worth 20 shillings; now the like amount.

Entry 56/9 - one of the holdings of the Countess Judith:
M. In Stapleforde Morcar had 10 carucates of land [assessed] to the geld. There is land for five teams. Osbern has of the countess two teams there [in demesne], and 27 sokemen on six carucates and six bovates of this land and three villeins and three bordars with seven teams. There is a priest there, and a church, with half a carucate of this land. And there are five furlongs of meadow in length and 60 perches in breadth. T R E it was worth seven pounds; now 8 pounds; tallage 40 shillings.


Although a special subject in its own right, the parish church encapsulates so much general parish history that it deserves attention for that reason alone.

See also Section 1a above (General Histories) for Thorold and Yates and Section 1b for vols V-VI and IX of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (maps 23 and 51), Pevsner, Listed Building Notes; Section 4 above (Eraly Days) for Everson et. al., Loughlin and Miller and Sites and Monuments Records.

  • R. W. Ambler, ed., Lincolnshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851, Lincoln Record Society, vol 72, 1979.
    Interpretation of the numbers attending places of worship is a subject of controversy, but the figures give a rough indication of size of denominations in each village in 1851 and often the date of establishment (see also directories).

Example of record in Ambler's book:

Althorpe: population 335 (at 1851 census).
St Oswald's Parish Church, lists endowments; numbers of sittings - 80 free, 100 -other; attendance on census Sunday 141 at afternoon service. Services alternate with Amcotts. Several sentences on the lack of a school in Althorpe, children at work, tasks undertaken, wages.
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, erected 1834, separate and entire building, 34 free sittings, 54 other. Average attendance over 12 months - morning 30, afternoon 40, evening 40, plus Sunday scholars 30 in morning and afternoon, six in the evening.

  • R. W. Ambler, ed., Lincolnshire Correspondence of John Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln, 1827-53, Lincoln Record Society, 94, 2006.
    Much social as well as religious comment and very well indexed geographically.
  • J. C. Cox, Lincolnshire, London, 1916, 1924. In the Little Guide series.
    Bonney's Church Notes, being Notes on the Churches in the Archdeaconry of Lincoln 1845-48, by H. K. Bonney, edited by N. S. Harding, Lincoln, 1937.
  • F. A. Greenhill, Monumental Incised slabs in the County of Lincolnshire, Newport Pagnell, 1986.
    A most conscientious recording in gazetteer form of the more artistic and older slabs, but excluding brasses and many ordinary ledgers (flat gravestones).
  • G. Holles, Lincolnshire Church Notes 1634-42, Lincoln Record Society, vol. 1, 1911.
    Limited to memorials in a large number of selected churches - see also Monson, below.
  • John, 6th Lord Monson, ed., Lincolnshire Church Notes, made by William John Monson, afterwards 6th Lord Monson, 1828-40 Lincoln Record Society, vol. 31, 1936.
    Monson's notes contain descriptions of churches before the wave of Victorian restoration, and much detail of monuments and the like since lost or now indecipherable. Monson did not visit all churches, but his list differs in some respects from that of Holles (see above). The following is an indication of the contents of the entry for Whaplode Drove, a chapel in the parish of Whaplode:

Example of record from Monson's book:

Notes taken in the chapel at Whaplode Drove, 31 March, 1836 - This chapel is modern and built about 20 yards from the site of the old chapel, and to the east of it. It consists of a nave without aisles, having a bow for a chancel and a small turret for three bells at the west end. The windows are quite plain sash ones; a gallery at the west end.

The entry then goes on to list the full texts on wall tablets relating to (1) the means by which the rebuilding of the chapel was carried out in 1820 and (2) to members of the Kelk and Dinham families. He then noted the full texts of flat stones originally in the floor of the old chapel but now exposed to the air, relating to the Heaton family, c. 1700, and commented on several others which were illegible or nearly so.

  • J. Obelkevich, Religion and Rural Society: South Lindsey 1825-1875, Oxford, 1976.
    Relates to 237 parishes south of a line from Gainsborough to Louth: concerned with religion rather than church architecture.
  • E. Peacock, ed., English Church Furniture, ornaments and decorations at the period of the Reformation as exhibited in a list of goods destroyed in certain Lincolnshire churches, AD 1566, London, 1866.
    Arranged by parishes, though a significant proportion do not appear. A most interesting insight into the Reformation at the level of the man-in-the-pew.
  • H. Thorold, Lincolnshire Churches Revisited, Salisbury, 1989.

Individual churches and groups of churches are the subject of innumerable booklets and leaflets. Five good examples of the latter are:

  • S. Birch, A Guide to the Churches of the Haverstoe Deanery, Grimsby, n.d., c. 1994.
  • C. Kightly, Churches of North-West Lincolnshire, West Lindsey DC, n.d., c. 1990.
    This concerns the Corringham Deanery.
  • C. Kightly and R. Watts, Understanding Lincolnshire Church Interiors, Lincoln, 2000.
    Published in connection with Lincs. Heritage Open Days 2000, and therefore contains a gazetteer of 50 churches, including some non-Anglican buildings.
  • R. Massingberd-Mundy, ed., A Guide to the Anglican Churches in the Archdeaconry of Lindsey in the Diocese of Lincoln, The South Ormsby Group of Parishes, 1991.
    Brief notes on 202 churches situated east of a line approximately from Immingham to Bardney.
  • G. Neville, ed., The Diaries of Edward Lee Hicks, Bishop of Lincoln 1910-1919, Lincoln Record Society, 82, 1993.
    Hicks visited many parishes, making social comments as well as on the church building and very well indexed geographically.

The Banks Collection of illustrations includes drawings of many parish churches in the period c. 1790-1805 and the Ross Manuscripts have many mid-nineteenth century church illustrations (both pre-photography and in LCL). "A Collection of Views of the seats of the Nobility and Gentry, of Castles, Churches and Chapels, the Ruins of Ancient Buildings and other objects within the County of Lincoln. Executed at the latter end of the Eighteenth Century by Claude Nattes and other Artists under the superintendence of Sir Joseph Banks. The whole, alphabetically arranged according to the Names of the respective Parishes in Four Volumes".(Vol 4). This is a collection of drawings of major Lincolnshire buildings, commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks. The originals are in the strong room at Lincoln Central Library, and may be seen only on production of photographic identification (e.g. Passport, Archives Card). Copy prints can be seen in the library without identification.

Control over land has clearly been of crucial significance throughout the history of a country parish. As Lincolnshire suffers from a lack of attention having been paid to manorial history, students must shift for themselves much more than in many other counties. Clues will arise in places such as church monuments and directory entries, depending on the period, and local knowledge gathered in the folk memory will often have been expressed in street names and the like.

It is not only a matter of identifying the manorial lord, but also the names of other chief landowners, since in many parishes there was no dominating owner, still less one whose family resided over long periods. Furthermore, there are many 'open' parishes in Lincolnshire where substantial numbers of small freeholders lent a totally different complexion to rural society as compared with the archetypical resident squire under whose control everyone lived.

As good a starting point as any is map 46 in Bennett and Bennett (Section 2, above), or the general information sections in directories, as illustrated by the chosen quotations:

Examples from White's 1892 Directory provides of well-distributed landownership:

Billinghay - J. J. Wheat, Esq., of Norwood Hall, Sheffield, and the Bowling, Cragg, and other families have estates here; but most of the inhabitants are small freeholders.

Goxhill - Goxhill Manor belongs to W. Bradley, Esq., but the soil is chiefly owned by Miss Thorold's representatives, Rev. Frederic Hildyard, the Corporation of Trinity House, J. Turner, Esq., and Thomas Wilson, Esq., Executors of the late W. Brooks, and many resident families.

Pinchbeck - Mrs Johnson and C. F. Bonner, Esq., are lady and lord of the manors, but a great part of the soil belongs to Earl Brownlow, Messrs. Richard, Buckworth, J. H. Bunting, and Samuel Freir, and the Plowright, Beatson, Beridge, Chevins, Duncombe, Waltham, Wayet, Fletcher, and other families.


Examples from White's 1856 Directory of monopoly landownership, followed by two examples of parishes falling between the extremes already exemplified:

Gate Burton - Wm. Hutton, Esq., the lord of the manor and owner of the soil, resides at the Hall....The in the gift of Wm. Hutton, Esq., and in the incumbency of the Rev. George Hutton, B. A.

Syston - Sir John Charles Thorold, Bart., of Syston Park, is the lord of the manor and owner of the soil....He is impropriator of the great tithes and patron of the Church....

South Elkington - J. E. Denison and Rt. N. Lee, Esqrs., have estates here, but a great part of the parish belongs to the Rev. John Smyth, who is lord of the manor, impropriator, and patron of the vicarage....

Timberland - R. P. Milnes, Esq., of Frystone Hall, Yorkshire, is lord of the manor.... and owner of the great part of the soil; but Sir T. Whichcote, Bart., has a large estate, and here are several smaller owners.

See also Section 1 above (General Histories) for Pike and Rawding and for vols. IV, VI, VII, VIII and X of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (maps 31 and 52); Section 3 above for directories; Section 5 above for the Domesday Survey; Section 9 below (Farming) for Beresford on lost villages (often separate estates), and Tyszka et al., on Russell's work on enclosures.

  • Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, e.g., 15th edition (London, 1937). (LCL Reference section)
  • Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, e.g., 105th edition, ed. P. Townsend, (London, 1970). (LCL Reference section)
  • G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vols I-XXII, 2nd rev. edn., edited by V. Gibbs et al., London, 1910-59. (LCL Reference section)
  • G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Baronetage 1900-09, reprint edition, Gloucester, 1983. (LCL Reference section)
  • Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, e.g., 1995 edition, ed. C. Kidd and D. Williamson, London, 1995. (LCL Reference section)
  • T. R. Leach, Lincolnshire Country Houses and their Families, Part 1, Dunholme, 1990; Part 2 Dunholme, 1991
  • T. R. Leach and R. Pacey, Lost Lincolnshire Country Houses, 1, (1990), 2 and 3 (1992), 4 (1993). All published Burgh-le-Marsh)
  • A. R. Maddison, ed., Lincolnshire Pedigrees, four volumes (Harleian Society, 1902-06)

A considerable portion of Lincolnshire was subject to the influence of monastic houses, not just through the building of the monasteries themselves, but also because of the many granges (outlying farms) and many other properties that belonged to monastic orders.

See Section 1b above (General Histories) for vols. V-VI of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (map 24) and Listed Building Notes; Section 4 above (early Days) for Everson et. al., Loughlin and Miller, and the Sites and Monuments Records.

  • D. R. Mills, The Knights Templar in Kesteven, Sleaford, n.d., c. 1994; revised edn, edited by Penny Ward, Heritage Lincolnshire, Heckington, 2009.
    The Templars were very powerful in Lincolnshire, especially in Kesteven. This booklet includes a gazetteer of their Kesteven properties.
  • W. Page, ed. Victoria History of the County of Lincoln, vol. II (only volume published, London, 1906).
    Contains separate accounts of each monastic house in the county. Still extremely useful, despite its date of publication, but from the point of view of the parish historian one needs to know or suspect which house had property in the parish, since the book is not indexed.

Until recent times farming has been the backbone of the Lincolnshire economy, and a village could be defined as the home of the farming population with its attendant tradesmen and craftsmen. Therefore, as with landownership, this subject needs careful attention, including perhaps the reading of some general texts on agricultural history.

See Section 1a above (General Histories) for Healey and Section 1b above for vols. IV, VI-VIII and XII of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (map 26 - lost villages; maps 36, 41, 42, 45, - agriculture); Section 5 above (Domesday Survey) for Foster and Longley (lost places); Section 13 below (Social Provision) for Russell on cow clubs.

  • M. Beresford, The Lost Villages of England London, 1954; new edn., Stroud, 1998.
    Along with Foster and Longley provides a list of deserted medieval villages, many of which are located in parishes/townships also containing 'normal' villages.
  • Jonathan Brown, Farming in Lincolnshire 1850-1945, SLHA, 2005.
  • D. B. Grigg, The Agricultural Revolution in South Lincolnshire, Cambridge, 1966.
    Relates to Holland and Kesteven.
  • H. E. Hallam, Settlement and Society: a Study of the Early Agrarian History of South Lincolnshire, Cambridge, 1965.
    Relates to fenland and fenside parishes.
  • J. A. Perkins, Sheep Farming in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Lincolnshire, Sleaford, 1977.
  • R. C. Russell, The 'Revolt of the Field' in Lincolnshire, Lincs. County Committee, National Union of Agricultural Workers, 1956.
  • R. C. Russell, Three Lincolnshire Labourers' Movements, Barton-on-Humber, 1994.
  • G. I. Smith, The Land of Britain: Report of the Land Utilisation Survey of Britain, Part 69, Lincolnshire: Holland, London, 1937.
  • L. D. Stamp, The Land of Britain: Report of the Land Utilisation Survey of Britain, Parts 76-77, Lincolnshire : Lindsey and Kesteven, London, 1942.
  • T. Stone, General View of the Agriculture of the County of Lincoln, 1794.
  • A. Straw, Lincolnshire Soils, Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union, 1969.
  • J. Thirsk, English Peasant Farming: the agrarian history of Lincolnshire from Tudor to recent times, London, 1957.
  • D. Tyszka, K. Miller and G. Bryant, eds., Land, People and Landscapes: Essays on the History of the Lincolnshire Region written in Honour of Rex C. Russell, Lincoln, 1991.
    This is cited here because it has a bibliography containing all the work on enclosure awards carried out by Eleanor and Rex Russell. These booklets and articles cover a very large number of Lindsey townships.
  • W. H. Wheeler, A History of the Fens of South Lincolnshire 1868, enlarged edition 1896, later reprinted, Stamford, 1990.
    Is excellently organised for use on a topographical basis and has not been surpassed.

Examples of entries from Wheeler's book:

Acreland Clough. On the Three Towns' Drain, near Fishmore End, at the junction of the parishes of Wigtoft and Sutterton, p. 86.

Horbling Fen. In the Eighteenpenny Black Sluice District. Contains 1,344 and a half acres. Inclosed in 1764, p. 274.

Kyme Vacherie. A cow pasture, in North Kyme Fen, formerly attached to the monastery at Kyme.

Tydd Gote. A hamlet of Tydd St Mary. Half a mile SE from the church. The earliest recorded gote or sluice here was in 1293, the second in 1551, the third and present sluice, called 'Hill's Sluice', or Tyd Gote Bridge in 1632, pp. 102, 133.

  • A. Young, General View of the County of Lincolnshire 1813, reprinted Newton Abbot, 1970.
    LCL has an index to this work.

See Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (map 43 - population trends).

The major source for the nineteenth century is W. Page (ed.) Victoria History of the County of Lincoln, II (only volume published, London, 1906). This contains a Table of Population, which is much superior to directories, since it gives population figures for all townships at every census from 1801 to 1901.

For census figures since the 1901 census, there is a full set of 1911-1991 Lincolnshire Census Reports in LCL, and some in LAO. However, note that the 1981 and 1991 Reports do not contain parish population totals. For these consult Lincolnshire County Council, Highways and Planning Department, 1991 Census Profiles, several volumes for different districts, covering the LCC area.

For the former Humberside area look for Humberside Facts and Figures for various years, or the Humberside County Monitors for 1981 and 1991 in either the Scunthorpe or Grimsby Central Library.

The table of population data for a group of parishes in South Kesteven illustrates how to handle these tricky sources. Note, in particular, the variety of administrative arrangements

1086 c1300 1563 c1715 1801 Vict. 1901 1991
 Corby Glen 270 810 200? 320 436 818 718 607
 Counthorpe 125 375 50 (1) 35 85 40 (2)
 Creeton 105 325 60 45 62 88 66 116
 Edenham 450 1350 c450 c400 513 777 503 335
 L Bytham 150 450 120 160 189 482 378 265
 Swinstead 185 555 180 170 306 451 309 246

Footnotes: (1) In Castle Bytham; (2) With Creeton


A. 1086: Domesday Book (see above Section 5)

B. c. 1300: a crude multiplication of 1086 x 3.5 for the medieval peak, based on national sources (R. A. Dodgshon and R. A. Butlin, eds., An Historical Geography of England and Wales, 1978, p. 87).

C. 1563: Appendix 1 of vol VI of the History of Lincolnshire quotes the Diocesan Return, which gives figures by families or households. These have been multiplied by the conventional 4.5 for comparative purposes.

D. c. 1715 - R. E. G. Cole, ed., Speculum Dioceseos Lincolniensis, Part I, 1705-23, Lincoln Record Society, 4, 1913. Gives population figures by 'families' (i.e. households). In the table an average of the three dates has been multiplied by 4.5.

E. 1801 census.

F. The Victorian peak - the census showing maximum population, after eliminating 1851 when railway navvies were at work in this area. (The respective years are: Corby Glen - 1861, Counthorpe - 1841, Creeton - 1871, Edenham - 1831, Little Bytham - 1891, Swinstead - 1841.)

G. 1901 census.

H. 1991 census, from 1991 Census Profiles, Lincolnshire County Council, Department of Highways and Planning, volume relating to South Kesteven parishes.

Note: All the early figures should be treated with caution, but the general impression will be reliable for the district as a whole. The first peak of population after the Conquest was almost certainly in the early fourteenth century before the Black Death, although the figure estimated could be well above the actual figure, as national trends have been used, which may not apply fully to this area.

For example, the richness of some of the churches lends some support to the idea that it was at a peak of wealth in the early middle ages, on either side of the Conquest. Even with the burst of population growth c. 1750-1850, the Victorian peak was probably lower than the c. 1300 peak.

The present day population is no more than the level in the eleventh century, and about two-thirds the Victorian peak. An impression is that the settlements have more or less maintained their relative positions, except that at the bottom of the scale there has been disproportionately more shrinkage, especially the lost places of Bowthorpe and Southorpe, but also at Counthorpe and Creeton, and possibly Scottlesthorpe and Elsthorpe

See Section 1b above (General Histories) for vols IX and XII of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (maps 37 and 51); Section 3 above for directories; Section 6 above (The Parish Church) for Ambler and Obelkevich.

  • R. W. Ambler, Ranters, revivalists and reformers: Primitive Methodism and rural society in south Lincolnshire 1817-75, Hull, 1989.
  • J. N. Clarke and C. L. Anderson, Methodism in the countryside: Horncastle Circuit 1786-1986, Horncastle, 1986.
    This book is very well indexed, and covers a much wider area than might be expected since the Circuit had a very large territory at the time of its formation, before Alford, Spilsby and Boston formed their own circuits.
  • S. Davies, Quakerism in Lincolnshire, Lincoln, 1989.
  • W. Leary, A Methodist Guide to Lincolnshire and East Anglia, World Methodist Historical Society, 1984.
    This is mainly about events in the life of the Wesleys and other leading Methodists, but it is arranged in the form of tours, so the reader gets information on many chapels.
  • W. Leary, Lincolnshire Methodism, Celebrating 250 Years, Buckingham, 1988.

See Section 1b above (General Histories) for vols. X and XII of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (maps 38 and 48); Section 3 above (Directories) for directories; Section 13 below (Social Provision) for Charities Report.

  • R. C. Russell, A History of Schools and Education in Lindsey, Lincolnshire, 1800-1902, four volumes Lincoln, 1965-67.
  • R. C. Russell, Living and Learning in Lindsey, Lincolnshire 1830-90: a history of adult education in North Lincolnshire, Hull, 1994.

Example of the kind of 'lead' to be found concerning school history from an entry in White's Directory of Lincolnshire for 1872:

The Free Endowed School (at Kirton-In-Lindsey), with master's house attached, is situate on the Green. It was founded in the reign of Elizabeth, under a decree of the Court of Exchequer, 'for the universal benefit of the inhabitants'. It has never, however, within the memory of man, been of much benefit to the inhabitants, owing to the mode in which it has been conducted, and they are now anxiously looking for some improvement to be effected under the Endowed Schools Act.

It then goes on to give details of an enclosure allotted under the enclosure award, of scholarships to Magdalene College, Cambridge never taken up, and so on.


See Section 1b above (General Histories) for vol. X of the History of Lincolnshire; Section 2 above (Maps & Fieldwork) for Bennett and Bennett (maps 31 and 49 - poor law; map 44 - friendly societies).

  • Charity Commissioners' Reports for Lincolnshire London, 1839. More properly known as Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring concerning Charities, County of Lincoln, 1837.
  • R. C. Russell, Friendly Societies in the Caistor, Binbrook and Brigg Areas in the Nineteenth Century, Nettleton, 1975.
  • R. C. Russell, Cottagers and Cows 1800-1892: the Cow Clubs in Lincolnshire, Charity, Self-help, Self-interest, Barton-on-Humber, 1987.

Example from White's Directory of Lincolnshire for 1856 showing the range of charities and self-help activities in a small town:

(At Crowland) Roger Walker bequeathed in 1612 land for the reparation of the church and the relief of the poor - details of area and rent are given.
In 1684 James Browne gave land for the poor - details of area and rent.
An unknown donor gave a house and also land known as Fodder Lot Lands.
The Crowland Clothing Club distributes clothing to the poor each winter.
The Marquis of Exeter has about 130 half-acre allotments let at nominal rent - very good influence on the moral and physical condition of the labourers.
The town has three Benefit Societies; two Lodges of Odd Fellows and Foresters, and two Associations for the Prosecution of Felons.


Browsing in the places sections of the Local Studies Collection is as good a way as any to find examples to follow - and sometimes to avoid! This list makes a few suggestions as to contrasting approaches, some written by academics, some by amateur individuals, some by amateur groups, and some by adult classes with greater and lesser input by their tutors.

See Section 1b above (General Histories) for vol. XII of the History of Lincolnshire - chapters on Welbourn in the twentieth century and on separation of workplace from home; and Section 6 above (The Parish Church) for Obelkevich - excellent on the nineteenth century village community.



One of the best researched Lincolnshire villages, resulting in three publications:

  • R. J. Olney, ed., Labouring Life on the Lincolnshire Wolds: a study of Binbrook in the mid-nineteenth century, Sleaford, 1975.
    The product of an evening class
  • C. Rawding, ed., Binbrook in the 19th Century Binbrook, WEA, 1989
  • C. Rawding, Binbrook 1900-1939, Binbrook WEA, 1991


A small market town, but part of rural society all the same:

  • R. Gurnham, Georgian Spilsby, Spilsby WEA, 1989
  • R. Gurnham, Victorian Spilsby, Spilsby WEA 1984
  • R. Gurnham, Edwardian Spilsby, Spilsby WEA, 1987
  • B. Walker, Spilsby 1914-39, Spilsby WEA, 1994

Other Examples

  • P. Baumber and D. Mills, eds., Kirkby Green and Scopwick: historical sketches of two Lincolnshire parishes, Scopwick, 1993.
    The 'sketches' cover selected topics from early times to the twentieth century. The product of an evening class, published by the Local History Group.
  • E. Bennett, Brackenborough: the story of a manor, Louth, 1995.
    Brackenborough estate contains a deserted medieval village site. For a DMV study, this book makes unusually full use of documentary sources from earliest times to the end of the twentieth century. Published by the Louth Naturalists', Antiquarians' and Literary Society.
  • S. D. Bingham et. al., eds., Willingham-by-Stow: an historical summary for the Millenium Celebrations, 2000 AD, Willingham-by-Stow, 2000.
    One of the best examples of its kind. Pages 1-7 demonstrate how the references included in this bibliography can be used for parish history down to the nineteenth century.
  • J. N. Clarke, Belchford: the history of a Lincolnshire Wolds village, Belchford, 1984.
    Well referenced and indexed; published by the author.
  • D. Edmonds and D. Cox, My Village - Pinchbeck, Pinchbeck, 1986.
    Well illustrated. A series of sketches of mostly recent history, with many extracts from sources, including oral recollections.
  • M. J. Elsden, Aspects of Spalding villages in words and photographs, Spalding, 2000.
    From LHA 35, p. 71 - work on Holland is sparse and this book of 262pp seems promising.
  • R. Foers, The history of Castle Bytham (update 2000), Castle Bytham, 2000. LHA 35, p.72
  • C. W. Foster, A history of the villages of Aisthorpe and Thorpe-le-Fallows, Lincoln, 1927.
    Probably the best of the older parish histories, and very strong on manorial history.
  • S. R. Garner, Burnham: the story of an Axholme village, Skellow, Doncaster, 1994.
    Mostly recent history; good use made of directories, censuses and maps. Published by Old Granary Publications.
  • J. M. Goodwin, Uffington in Lincolnshire, Stamford, 1997.
    Well indexed; 165 illustrations.
  • P. M. Greatorex, Reflections on the life and history of Morton by Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, Morton, 1984.
    Has well defined chapters and is well illustrated.
  • Kirton-in-Lindsey Writers' Group, Kirton-in-Lindsey: historical aspects, Kirton, 1993.
    A distinctive approach, being a collection of well sourced essays by nine authors.
  • M. Newton, South Kyme: the history of a Fenland village, South Kyme, 1995.
    A well illustrated book covering all periods with general success. Published by Kyme Publications.
  • B. M. Pask, Allington: the story of a Lincolnshire village, Newark, 1990.
    Excellent illustrations, indexed. Published by the author.
  • Pickworth Local History Group, Pickworth, a south Lincolnshire village, Pickworth, 2009
    J. Platt, Withern: the story of a Lincolnshire parish, Louth, 2005. (LHA, 40, p.71).
  • G. W. Robinson, The Parish of Burton-upon-Stather, Normanby and Thealby, Burton, 1996.
    Essentially a picture book, but very well done; published by the Parochial Church Council.
  • R. C. Russell and E. Holmes, Two hundred years of Claxby parish history: 1801-1901 (RCR) and 1901-2000 (EH), Claxby, 2002.
    Demonstrates Rex's view that parish history starts in the eighteenth century! Unusual in its emphasis on 20th century. LHA, vol. 37, p. 76.
  • C. Rothery, Mablethorpe, Trusthorpe and Maltby-le-Marsh scrapbook of times past, Sutton-on-Sea, 1994.
    What it says, but jolly and attractive.
  • R. C. Russell, ed., Aspects of the history of Barrow-on-Humber c1713 to 1851, Joyce Martin, 1988.
    The aspects are the Barrow town book, 1713 (a marvellous set of rules for the administration of the fields); an eighteenth-century diary; the enclosure; social change 1801-1851; and a census study for 1851. The product of an evening class.
  • A. Rogers, ed., Stability and change: some aspects of North and South Rauceby in the nineteenth century, University of Nottingham, 1969.
    The product of an evening class.
  • D. I. A. Steel, Lincolnshire Village: the Parish of Corby Glen in its historical context, London, 1979.
    An excellent comparison of a modern (1970s) village with the same village in the past, and a recommended text at the national level.
  • Witham-on-the-Hill Historical Society, A piece of the puzzle: the journey of a village through history, Witham-on-the-Hill, 2000.

T. Leach, Lincolnshire Places - Source Materials, in SLHA Newsletter, April 1987, followed by E. Nannestad, same title, in SLHA Newsletters January 1988 - July 1990, thence in Lincolnshire Past and Present, nos. 1-14, Autumn 1990 - Winter 1993-94. A series of 25 bibliographical articles on groups of parishes, published in alphabetical order, from Aby to Donington-on-Bain. Similar information is available in the Subject Index at LCL. The books and articles listed are of extremely variable quality and do not include every book or article that may be relevant to a particular parish.

Lincoln Central Library
 has a large collection of news cuttings files arranged by parish for the post-war period, which are fuller from c. 1970.

Lincolnshire Archives
has a series of leaflets on various types of documents available there, including one entitled Tracing the History of Your Village and another called Tracing the History of Your House.

The Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire
offers a range of information on historical and archaeological subjects and events: visit their website

The Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology
publishes an annual journal entitled Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, and a quarterly magazine called Lincolnshire Past and Present. Copies of these and other journals can be found in LCL and elsewhere.

For details of Listed Buildings see: and