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Archaeology along a Pipeline
A wide range of information revealed by a countywide excavation

On Wednesday 20 March, Pippa Adams and Helen Noakes of SPA (the Strategic Pipeline Alliance) gave an account of the huge project to undertake research on and archaeological survey of the route of a new pipeline under construction that is currently crossing the county north to south.

Various types of modern survey techniques were used to assess the surviving archaeological remains along the route, which included a number of Iron Age and Roman settlements.

One of particular interest was a possible Roman villa close to the line of Ermine Street between Bracebridge Heath and Waddington, which featured on an episode of 'Digging for Britain' a few months ago.

Although the site work is largely complete, the team now has to analyse all the data and finds, but we hope to learn more when they are ready to present us with a digest of the results.


March 2024

New Views of Old Villages
Use of LIDAR to reveal medieval features in the landscape

Mark Gardiner, Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the University of Lincoln, has recently directed a project exploring the use of LIDAR (Laser Imaging Detection and Radar) to interpret village sites in Kesteven.
At a meeting (a Sunday Special) in Nettleham on 17 March, Mark used LIDAR images to illustrate new understandings arising from this modern technique in Thorpe Latimer, Burton Pedwardine, Graby, Lenton, Edenham and Silk Willoughby.
Compared to earlier ground-level surveys this new technique yields much more detail of medieval features such as tofts and field boundaries and also reveals evidence of structures not previously recognised.
Photo: Prof Mark Gardiner

March 2024

Samuel Forster of Grantham
A local man who became a distinguished attorney and financial adviser

The achievements of a relatively unknown Lincolnshire man, Samuel Forster (1709-1776), were described by John Manterfield at the SLHA Sunday Special on 17 March.

Forster, born in Welby, is commemorated in a substantial memorial in St Wulfram’s Church, Grantham, which has recently been refurbished.

This man was a distinguished attorney who worked for Sir John Brownlow of Belton, who had recently been created Viscount Tyrconnel.

Forster not only helped put the affairs of the baronet on a secure financial footing, but also acquired considerable wealth himself.

Image: Sir John Brownlow, First Viscount Tyrconnel (1690-1754)  

March 2024

The End of Ruston-Bucyrus
How a major Lincoln engineering company declined and fell

At a Sunday meeting of SLHA in Nettleham on 17 March, Derek Broughton, former employee at Ruston-Bucyrus, outlined the reasons for the loss of this major Lincoln company in 1999.
In the 1960s RB made a very successful range excavators in Lincoln, such as the 22RB, and employed 3000 men. However, they failed to change the underlying technology of their machines which, though supremely robust, were relatively costly to build and awkward to use.
Despite the formation of a new company in 1985 with a reduced workforce of 400, they steadily lost market share and finally closed in 1999.
Photo: Ruston-Bucyrus 22RB

March 2024

A Remarkable Brick Church
St John the Baptist Church, Burringham

Ken Redmore gave an interesting Zoom talk on 6 March on the history of the church of St John the Baptist in Burringham.

Before 1856 there was no church in the village and Ken explained why it was decided to build one, who subscribed to the building fund and why the ‘rogue’ architect Samuel Sanders Teulon might have been chosen to design it.

Ken showed the original plans and how they differed from the completed project. He also compared and contrasted the building with Teulon’s only other brick church in Lincolnshire, St Peter’s in New Bolingbroke.

SLHA is planning to have an open day at Burringham during Heritage Open Days in September.


March 2024

Museum Store
A fascinating visit 'behind the scenes' at Lincoln Museum

On 22 January, a group of almost thirty members of the Society visited the Lincolnshire Museum Store on St Rumbold's Street. We were guided by Dawn Heywood, Senior Collections Development Officer, and her colleague Lisa Mitchell.

The first-floor store houses the main finds archive, consisting of material - mainly from excavations in the city and county - that required no special environmental controls - pottery, tile, animal bone, etc. There is a vast amount of material, the sites in the city being particularly prolific.

The system whereby excavation teams communicate with the Museum and transfer material, including the paper archive, to the long-term care of the Museum, was explained.

The other area visited was the sensitive store, where material requiring conservation and environmental controls, including organics such as wood and leather, was stored in airtight containers.

Dawn showed the impressive range of armour, and one or two objects of Greek, Egyptian, and even African origin that had come into the Museum's collection. We also saw a range of artefacts of particular interest, from early prehistoric axes through to post-medieval ceramics.

It was a very enjoyable event for all, and one likely to be repeated, as it had been fully booked. Lincolnshire Museums and the SLHA have organised a similar event for Society members to visit the Usher Gallery and its store on 29 February.


January 2024

Victorian Valentines
A brief history and a workshop session

A very well attended heritage inspired craft workshop led by Kathy Holland took place at Jews’ Court Lincoln on 31 January.

The session began with a discussion about the history and origins of St Valentine’s Day leading into how this special day was celebrated by the Victorians.

The group looked at a varied selection of Valentine cards and images, both affectionate in nature and also some of the so-called ‘vinegar’ variety.

After discussing various crafting and embellishment techniques from the Victorian period, the group proceeded to create a greeting card, decoupaged ‘heart’, and decorate a gift box inspired by nineteenth century design ideas.

Illustration: colourful valentines made in the workshop


January 2024

The Ropewalk at Barton
The story of an industrial building and its successful conversion for retail and leisure use

Liz Bennet, Chief Executive Officer of The Ropewalk at Barton upon Humber, gave an on-line talk for SLHA on 24 January.

She outlined the history of the Ropery which began with the purchase of land alongside the Haven in 1801.

Imported natural materials – sisal, hemp and manila – were the raw materials used for early rope making, to be followed by man-made fibres such as nylon and polypropylene.

Wartime brought special demands on this industry; wire ropes were added to the range of products.

Ropemaking ceased in 1999 and the striking 400-metre-long building was converted into an arts centre (The Ropewalk) with café, retail area, workshops and historic display space.

January 2024

Boston's Overlooked Treasure
A grand town centre terrace for residence and commerce

In his contribution to the Sunday Special held in Nettleham on 21 January, Neil Wright told the story of the Corporation Building in Boston’s Market Place which was completed in 1772.

This imposing three-storey brick terrace, built by Boston Corporation, originally consisted of four houses (perhaps the first ‘council houses’ in England) with business premises on the ground floor. Occupying a space in the centre of the terrace, with open access to Market Place and the riverside quay behind, was a fish market with a law court above. 

The buildings have been modified considerably over the years - especially at ground floor level - but it is still possible to appreciate many of the original Georgian features.

Photo: East elevation of Corporation Building (Stewart Squires) 

January 2024

Lesser known Lincoln Gems
Highlights of the Lincoln Local List of Buildings

At the Sunday Special held in Nettleham on 21 January, Richard Croft described the work done in preparing the Lincoln Local List. This is a record of buildings and other structures which, whilst not suitable for statutory listing, are of considerable importance for their architecture or place in the community.

Richard and members of the SLHA Building Recording Group (RUBL) have compiled an impressive list of about 400 such buildings. The meeting was shown photographs of many Lincoln houses and commercial buildings which are usually overlooked but which have considerable architectural merit.

It is confidently expected that the City Council will accept the list and give these buildings special consideration when making planning decisions.

Photo: Salvation Army Citadel, St Botolph's, Lincoln (Richard Croft)

January 2024

A Town Centre Dig
Uncovering the story of early Gainsborough

At the Sunday Special event in Nettleham on 21 January Tom Bell of PCAS Archaeology described the work he undertook with colleagues on the former Lindsey Centre site in Gainsborough over a 4-week period in summer 2023.

Evidence, principally from the numerous post holes uncovered, suggested that the area had been part of the town’s medieval market

Tom’s presentation tellingly reflected the practical frustrations of field archaeology; scorching weather and a spell of heavy rain both created very challenging conditions for this investigation.

Photo: Demolition team at the Lindsey Centre. 

January 2024

SLHA Awards 2023
Presentations to RAF project and Louth Museum exhibition

The 2023 SLHA Awards presentation ceremony took place at the Sunday Special event held at the Old School in Nettleham on 21 January.
The Flora Murray Award for 2023 was presented to Wings to the Past project which brought RAF families together in archaeological digs organised in conjunction with Lincoln's Bishop Grosseteste University. The prize took the form of £200 and a framed certificate.
An Award for Excellence was received by Louth Museum for their exhibition of Louth-made clocks. The project's representatives accepted a framed certificate.
Photograph: Naomi Field (SLHA President), Dr Derwin Gregory (Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln), Suzy Watts (Wings to the Past project), James Watts, Andrew Walker (SLHA Chair)

January 2024