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Segregation and Reputation
The Gilbertine Order in Lincolnshire

Over sixty SLHA members and others "zoomed" into the first of the Society's on-line talks on Wednesday 16 December. It was given by Dr Pete Townend, with Ian George, SLHA Chairman, acting as host.

Gilbert of Sempringham founded his first cell in his native village and went on to establish a further nineteen in his lifetime, principally in Lincolnshire and neighbouring counties. Apart from being the only religious foundation of English origin, the Gilbertine order is distinctive in having several "double houses", ie with both men and women.

A detailed study of these sites indicates how the canons and nuns led their separate yet closely related lives. An east-west wall through the centre of the church, a deep ditch bisecting the site, and entirely separate cloisters and ancillary buildings - these were the physical features that kept men and women apart.

The Gilbertine monasteries, then numbering 27, were dissolved in 1538-39 in the second wave of action under Thomas Cromwell. Robert Holgate, later to become Archbishop of York, a Lincolnshire man, played a prominent role in this process.

Dr Pete Townend

December 2020

Maureen Birch
Loss of a much valued SLHA member

It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Maureen Birch on 27 November 2020. She never let up on being involved with many activities. Latterly whether it be guiding in the cathedral, preaching regularly on her local circuit of Methodist churches or helping with the editing of Neville's last book on the industry of Stamford, she gave all.

Maureen, along with husband Neville, had been associated actively with our Society for many years. From the 1960s their particular interest in the industrial archaeology of Lincolnshire kept them busy, taking office as well as being active in the field. Chris Page recalls many happy days working with Maureen on projects, measuring and recording buildings.

I often travelled to these sites with Maureen and Neville in their Reliant 3-wheel van. I recall being bundled into the back of the van along with their two children, sitting on a bag of sand, which helped to stabilise the vehicle.

These were the early years of industrial archaeology surveys in the county when we were given the use of a room at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. Maureen helped to clear out the pigeon muck and cobwebs before installing an elderly Gestetner duplicating machine and storage cabinet. It was from here that we sent out the first Industrial Archaeology newsletters.

Two of the projects Maureen worked on were the recording of the 'Hett' water wheel at Branston and the tannery at Castlethorpe, outside Brigg. She helped to organise many tours, one being a tour down the River Witham for members of the industrial archaeology group and all enjoyed travelling in the half size Keel called Delrye.

She took on an even more active role in the early 1990s when Neville became vice chairman and then chairman of the Society. Maureen joined the officers and became Society Secretary. As with everything she undertook she did it with gusto. If a job needed doing Maureen was sure to say 'I'll do that', with the result that she was doing far more than was expected of the secretary's role. She was serving the History of Lincolnshire Committee, selling books, organising social events and using her many skills to best advantage.

This was a time of change for the SLHA because it was new for us to have our own headquarters and a shop. Maureen was most helpful in what was still the settling in process when rooms and furniture were taking shape. Her energy was boundless.

Not content with all the demands of Jews' Court, Maureen embarked on a local history degree with Bishop Grosseteste University, in part of which she included archaeology, and became cook manager of a LACE residential home.

On stepping down from office she and Neville kept fully active and supportive but also spent more time guiding in the cathedral. Even though latterly she could not walk for any length of time she gained permission to continue guiding from her wheelchair -nothing daunted.

We offer sympathy to Maureen's family not only for their loss but for them having to cope with her always bubbling over with energy.

Pearl Wheatley

Maureen Birch (1937-2020)

November 2020

Dr Brian Hodgkinson
National award for article in SLHA Jounal

Congratulations to Dr Brian Hodgkinson for his article on 'The Holland Causeway and Bridge End Priory' which has been awarded The David Hey Memorial Article 2020 by the British Association for Local History. Brian's article was published in 2018 in the SLHA journal, Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, Volume 50.

This is a detailed case study, making use of a wide range of primary sources, which looks at a key link in Lincolnshire's medieval communications network. The paper shows how the small priory at Bridge End near Sleaford tried to manage the burden of upkeep.

Brian received the award at the Annual Meeting of BALH held 'virtually' on Saturday 13 June. This is the second year in succession that LHA articles have received national recognition through BALH.


A personal note from Brian:

In 1995, I retired from 30 years of bus and coach driving in Nottingham, where I drove the local WEA study tours for a number of years. Because I took great interest in these courses, especially those in history, some of the tutors that led the groups (Michael and Diana Honeybone, Carol Allen) suggested that I studied for the Certificate in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham Department of Continuing Education.

There I eventually came under the tutelage of Professor Sarah Speight, who guided me through the upper realms of academia, gaining a BA, MA in local history, eventually moving onto the 'Big One', a PhD.

This is where I 'discovered' Lincolnshire, and found there were other places apart from Skegness, Mablethorpe and Ingoldmells, all of which I went to many times in my previous occupation.  My thesis subject was the dissolution of the monasteries in the county, primarily utilising wills dating from 1520-1540.

I gained my doctorate in 2013 and decided to write papers on some of the research topics in the thesis; hence "Bridge End Priory".  My present task is the transcription of the churchwardens' accounts from Louth St. James (1527-1570), hopefully for future publication by the Lincoln Record Society.

Brian with the cetficate for the prestigious award

June 2020

Ian George
New Acting Chairman of SLHA

We are pleased to announce that Ian George, Archaeologist and longstanding SLHA member, has taken on the role of Acting Chairman of the society following the sudden death of Nigel Burn in late March.

Ian has a degree in Geography and Archaeology and prehistory at Sheffield University and a Masters in Scientific Methods in Archaeology at the University of Bradford. He worked on long term projects in Italy, Peru and south-western USA.

He first became involved with the SLHA in 1990 and has lived in Lincolnshire ever since. He has had several jobs over this period, including 18 as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments for English Heritage/Historic England. For three years, 1996-99, he was Archaeology Officer for Lincoln City Council.

Since 2017 Ian has been Historic Places Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, heading up the team of archaeologists who provide the Historic Environment Record, Planning Service and Portable Antiquities Scheme for the county. He has recently been appointed Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

"The society is dear to my heart and has a strong part to play in both researching and promoting the history and heritage of our fine county", Ian says. "We are going through a strange time which is going to leave us a legacy of very changed ways of operating - and we have to find a way of creating a new normal for all of us so that the society doesn't lose contact with its membership and continues to thrive." 

May 2020

Nigel Burn (1951-2020)
Sudden death of SLHA Chairman

We were extremely saddened and shocked on to hear of the untimely death of Nigel Burn the Chairman of SLHA on 25 March. He was such a major asset for the Society and a friend to us all. Our sense of loss is compounded by the fact that currently we are denied the conventional methods of closure, remembrance and celebration of life

The funeral will take place at Lincoln Crematorium on Tuesday 12 May at 13.10 and will be 'webcast'. Instructions for viewing the webcast are given here plus log-in details.

When we can - and maybe with other local organisations - we will also do something appropriate to reflect Nigel's life and contribution to the City and County's heritage.


Memories of Nigel. As Chairman of SLHA and active member of the Society, Nigel touched many lives. Memories, recollections and anecdotes are invited so that we can appreciate his life as fully as possible. Contributions would be warmly welcomed by the SLHA Secretary,


Tribute from Stewart Squires, Chairman of Trustees, SLHA

Members heard with shock and regret of the death of our Chairman, Nigel Burn, who died suddenly, at home and after a short illness, on Wednesday 25 March 2020. Nigel was a retired solicitor who, in a relatively short time, made a significant contribution to the Society at a number of levels, not least as Chairman of the Executive Committee and as a Society Trustee.

Born in 1951 in Tanzania, Nigel studied Law at Leeds University and in Guildford. He was an Articled Clerk in Derby, moving to Lincoln, to work in the Gilbert Blades practice in the late 1970's and, when that was taken over by Wilkin Chapman he worked for them as a Partner, until his retirement.

History, and Lincolnshire, was clearly important to Nigel. He was also a member of the Lincoln Castle Guides, Lincoln Cathedral Roof Guide Leader and a Floor Guide, and an active member of the national Castle Studies Group. I had the opportunity to do both the Cathedral tours with him and was impressed with his expert leadership and understanding of the building.

Nigel was the Society Vice Chairman from 2014, becoming Chairman in 2016 until his death. He had a remarkable appetite for work, outstanding intellectual ability and a keen sense of humour.

As Society Chairman and a Trustee Nigel was involved in the momentous challenges and changes to the SLHA. The period 2014 to 2020 saw first the challenge to the future of the Society with the potential loss of Jews Court as its home. Then followed the merger with the Jews Court and Bardney Abbey Trust to form the new Society as it is today. Several years work and worry distilled into two sentences. But Nigel took the leading and pivotal part in this and the successful outcome was due to his efforts.

As Chairman Nigel attended as many of the Group meetings as he could. This gave him an understanding of the interests and activities across the Society and enabled him to offer advice to each Team as well as cascade information down from the Executive and Trustee activities. Ever looking to help where he could he was very supportive of the Sleaford Group when they had administrative difficulties. He also embraced the Society's new involvement with Bardney Abbey and was actively planning ways to resolve the maintenance and management issues of this important site.

The bookshop was another interest and active involvement. At first, in 2014, he took on the job of new book buying and went on to guide the reformation of Lincolnshire Heritage as our trading company.

He was also active in Society events, giving many talks on the history of Lincoln Castle and the significant events associated with it, his fees being donated to the Society. Most recently he also set up the series of SLHA walking tours in the centre of the City, recruited and trained the Guides and led many of the walks himself.

With his hard work and great clarity of thought he truly left the Society on a much better footing than he found it. The tragedy is that he had so much more to give and we are all so much poorer as a result of his untimely death. Nigel will be greatly missed by us all.

March 2020nigel burn

Dennis Mills (1931-2020)
Death of a notable Lincolnshire historian

We have lost a great friend and highly regarded colleague through the sudden death of Dr Dennis Mills on Monday 23 March. He made an outstanding contribution to the study of Lincolnshire's history in a multitude of ways.

Here is a short biography by Rob Wheeler first published in 'Lincoln Connections' in 2011 (a tribute to Dennis Mills on his 80th birthday).

Dennis Mills was the son of a gardener and grew up in the estate village at Winthorpe, near Newark, and then at Canwick outside Lincoln. One of his grandfathers was a small farmer at Scothern who, by hard work and a canny business sense, was able to buy his own farm at Thurlby by Bassingham. Rural society was already changing under the influence of the internal combustion engine and the shadow of the approaching war but it still retained its traditional structure.

Dennis was thus one of the last of that select group of academic geographers who could write about traditional rural society with the benefit of personal experience as well as academic rigour. As just one small example of how that affected his outlook, in considering the practices of a rural registrar of births and deaths in the mid-nineteenth century, he drew on his own experience to pose questions like how those registering births and deaths would have known where to find the registrar and what his office hours were.

After reading geography at Nottingham, with National Service looming, he chose to join the Royal Navy, for no better reason than that he had seen a little of the Army and Air Force and might as well see how the Senior Service conducted itself. The navy must have been a little unsure what to do with a graduate in a non-technical subject. They might have made a `schoolie' (an Education Branch officer) of him, but the Cold War was getting hotter, there was a massive requirement for Russian translators, and so they sent him to the Joint Service School for Linguists. He thus became one of that select group of kursanty who have so influenced the academic and artistic worlds. After service in Germany, observing a different pattern of rural society, as well as putting his Russian to good use in the service of military intelligence, he returned to Nottingham as a Demonstrator and Temporary Assistant Lecturer.

At this point, fortune may have seemed to turn her back: the temporary post came to an end without anything permanent turning up, and Dennis became a schoolteacher. Nevertheless, it provided an opportunity to take a part-time external PhD from Leicester. It was in this period also that he met his wife Joan, whose subsequent support has meant so much to him, academically as well as domestically.

A subsequent move to Melbourn Village College introduced him to that well-documented village which provided the material for a rich vein of research. Three years as a senior lecturer at Ilkley College followed, after which he joined the Open University, first as a staff tutor, then as a senior lecturer within the central academic staff. That made it possible for him and his wife Joan to move house closer to their home turf, as a result of which Dennis became involved with SLHA's publication programme, chairing its History of Lincolnshire committee and himself editing the Twentieth Century Lincolnshire volume.

Dennis's first papers stemmed more from his knowledge of the Russian language than from any deep interest in Russian geography. Besides, Russian geography must have been a rather awkward academic interest at that date, when so much of the relevant material was secret. His first publication on English geography was a division of Kesteven into characteristic regions, a piece of work still used to this day. It drew on his Nottingham MA but did not open up any new lines of investigation. The field of work for which he became best known, the extension of the traditional open/closed classification of English villages in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, started with his Leicester PhD, but then drew on the wealth of material he had uncovered relating to Melbourn, and led to a dozen papers between 1972 and 1988.

A 1978 paper on the techniques of house repopulation may have seemed a mere diversion at the time but was enthusiastically received by the growing band of amateur local historians, people who needed advice on the potential and quirks of the key sources for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century social history and a demonstration of how those sources could be used. This linked in to the activities of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. In due course it led to a series of papers and books on the Census Enumerators' Books, on Land Tax Assessments and on trade directories. There must be thousands of local historians who have never read a word of Dennis's papers on open and closed villages but who regularly turn to these useful aids whenever they encounter some new oddity in these sources.

Dennis's involvement with the Cambridge Group continued after his retirement from the Open University in 1985. Indeed, freed from the burdens of teaching and administration, Dennis's output of papers grew considerably. One difference was that he was now able to pursue topics that he found interesting, without worrying about whether they would be viewed favourably in academic circles. He wrote extensively on the village of Canwick and the Sibthorp family.

He took an interest in the history of his old school. In fact, it was a wish for a base map on which to plot the residences of the subscribers to this school that served as the germ from which grew the project to republish all of Padley's large-scale Lincoln maps. He wrote on hermaphrodites - which may seem a remarkable jump in interests to those unaware that a hermaphrodite or `moffrey' is a farm cart that can be converted to a wagon.

More recently, an interest in the large-scale map produced in 1848 by the engineer George Giles to set out his proposals for providing Lincoln with a system of underground sewerage led to further work on that phase of Lincoln's long-running sewerage controversy and on the career of George Giles himself. Much of this work was aimed at a relatively wide audience, but it was all characterised by extensive research and a punctilious concern to tie in with existing work in related domains.

Not the least of the benefits Dennis conferred on Lincolnshire historical work was his encouragement of researchers from a wide range of backgrounds. A natural teacher, he had the gift of posing productive questions that can test or transform a hypothesis. He always set himself exacting standards and he encouraged others to live up to them, but in a gracious manner that exhorts rather than commands. By this means, his influence will live on long after his last paper has come off the press.

March 2020

Feather Factories of the Fens
Pillows, mattresses and duvets made in Boston

The third of three talks delivered at the Sunday Special at Jews' Court on 15 March was given by Neil Wright on the topic of feather factories in the Lincolnshire Fens.

Feathers were first collected on an industrial scale in south-east Lincolnshire when goose feathers were made into writing quills. At the same time the softer feathers of the geese - and those of swans - were plucked for filling "luxury" pillows and mattresses.

Small factories were built in Boston - successively in Petticoat Lane, Bridge Street, West Street, Cornhill Lane - from the 1840s for the Anderson family (headed for much of the time by a female member). The firm's final move was to a splendid new factory in Trinity Street in 1876, a building which still survives.

Other feather making concerns emerged briefly in Boston and also at Billingborough. Fogarty took over the Trinity Street factory in 1899 and later moved to modern premises. This firm made duvets and pillows (latterly without feathers) on a large scale with a substantial staff, but closed in 2019.

Former feather factory, Trinity Street, Boston

March 2020

Early Victorian Antiquarians and Archaeologists
Acitivites in Lincoln at the time of George Boole

At the Sunday Special held at Jews' Court on 15 March Mick Jones, former City Archaeologist, spoke about antiquarians and archaeologists in Lincoln at the time of George Boole, i.e. the second quarter of the 19th century.

This was the time when the Mechanics Institute and the short live Topographical Society were set up in Lincoln and among the most local influential individuals were J S Padley (surveyor and cartographer), E J Willson (antiquarian) and W A Nicholson (architect).

Significant archaeological discoveries were made in Lincoln and close by during this period, including the Witham Shield (in the Witham at Washingborough), Roman West Gate (Castle dyke), Roman mosaic (County prison, Lincoln Castle), Roman sewer (Bailgate) and a Viking comb case (Central Station).

The significance of Lincoln was recognised in 1848 when the Archaeological Institute held its 7-day annual meeting in the city, attended by several hundred delegates.

March 2020

Nettleham's Jersey School
Girls spin flax to offset poor rate

One of the three talks at the Sunday Special in the Jews' Court meeting room on 15 March was given by Pearl Wheatley.  Her topic was the Jersey School which operated in Nettleham between 1786 and 1816.

Most of Lincolnshire's Jersey Schools of this period were set up further east in the Wolds area to support the woollen industry based on Lincolnshire Longwool sheep.  The boys and girls who attended the schools were from the poorest families and their occupation, spinning wool and knitting woollen garments, reduced the cost of poor relief in the parish.

In Nettleham it was only girls who attended the school and they spent most of their time spinning flax, not wool. A written record has survived which names the pupils, their ages and the income they generated.

The schoolhouse was on Church Street within a few yards of the parish church. When the Jersey School closed the building was occupied by the village elementary school, which was later classified as a National School.  In the 1880s the village children moved to a new building on a site on High Street now known as The Old School.

March 2020

Lincolnshire Churches
From the Anglo Saxons to the Victorians

Dr Matthew Godfrey, Historic Churches Support Officer for Lincoln Diocese, gave an illustrated talk to SLHA members at Jews' Court on Tuesday 3 March.

Lincolnshire has good examples of church buildings of each architectural period. As well as the much admired tower of St Peter's church in Barton and the crossing at Stow, there is important surviving Anglo Saxon work in grave covers and in a variety of fragments at several sites across the County.

Typical Norman Romanesque features can be seen at Bicker and Long Sutton, and later 12th century - or Transitional - work is superbly demonstrated in the arcades of the other Barton church, St Mary's.

St Leonard's at Kirkstead (the survivor of the abbey) is a fine example of early Gothic style (Early English) with pointed arches and plate tracery.

The Decorated period - both in its earlier Geometric style and later Curvilinear - is especially well represented in both the Cathedral and at Heckington (1290-1340).

Tattershall's church, built in a relatively short period in the 1480s, demonstrates the Perpendicular style and there are other outstanding examples of work form this period in the large churches of Louth (tower and spire) and Boston (tower).

Classical features were reintroduced in the churches built by the Georgians, but the Victorians moved back to Gothic styles (Early English and Decorated mainly) in the rash of church rebuilding in the nineteenth century.

Photo: St Andrew's Church, Heckington, south window in south transept. The tracery is a fine example of the curvilinear style of the Decorated period (c.1300); the stained glass is Victorian.


March 2020

Controlling the Demon Drink
The Alcohol Problem in Victorian Lincolnshire

The speaker at February's midweek meeting in St Hugh's Hall, Lincoln was Adam Cartwright, who has a wide knowledge of Lincolnshire's brewing industry and licensed premises. His superbly illustrated talk dealt with the growth in beer drinking in the nineteenth century and the temperance movement which developed in opposition to it.

Consumption of beer peaked in the 1870s (at about 40 gallons per capita per annum) and the negative impact on family life and well-being among the working class was considerable.

Some of the numerous temperance organisations advocated total abstinence; others created new social venues and offered alternative activities. Temperance hotels and halls were built in several Lincolnshire towns and special rallies attracted large numbers of followers.

One or two prominent Lincoln men became passionate supporters of the temperance cause and were not afraid to defend their views in the public arena.

February 2020

Invaders and Traders!
Craft activities for families inspired by Roman and Viking artefacts.

A successful and well attended half term event with 80 visitors of all ages took place at Kirton-in-Lindsey Jubilee Town Hall on February 18th. The theme was Invaders and Traders with a focus on Romans and Vikings. Visitors had the opportunity to investigate a selection of images of Lincolnshire archaeology plus real and replica artefacts.

The decorated Roman dagger sheath excavated in East Bight Lincoln in 1981 provided inspiration for one of the craft activities. This sheath dating to the 1st Century was badly corroded but x-rays and careful conservation revealed panels of intricate decoration. The artefact is on display in The Collection, Lincoln. Other activities included making a Roman shield, decorating some Viking beads, designing a Viking ship prow in clay, making Roman mosaic patterns and a runic activity.

The event was organised by Kathy Holland of the Society with thanks to the Kirton-in-Lindsey Society, the Jubilee Town Hall and The Collection for the loan of a selection of artefacts.

A Young Visitor Holding His Clay Masterpiece

February 2020

SLHA is looking to fill the post of Administrative Assistant at Jews' Court.

The Society is a Charity with almost 600 members, many in Lincolnshire but also throughout the UK and worldwide. Run mainly by volunteers it has interests in the local and industrial history as well as the archaeology of the historic county of Lincolnshire, from the Humber to the Nene. It maintains this through a variety of publications, conferences, programmes of meetings and visits. It also runs a bookshop selling Lincolnshire and County related publications as well as second hand books.

The Society has a vacancy for an Administrative Assistant, based at Jews' Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln. The work will include handling the variety of clerical and administrative procedures in a busy office, a crucial part of the team managing the day to day work of the Society.

The post is part time, three mornings a week, and 10 hours a week. The salary is £8.61 an hour. Holiday entitlement is the equivalent of 4 weeks work (40 hours per annum)

An application pack is available by contacting the Society Secretary at Jews' Court, or by downloading the Job Description and Application Form here.

Applications should be returned in an envelope marked "CONFIDENTIAL" by Friday 14 February 2020, to:

The Chairman of the Trustees
Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology
Jews' Court
Steep Hill


Interviews will be held on Wednesday 11th March 2020

February 2020

Shodfriars' Hall, Boston
A restoration project

As one of three presentations to SLHA at the Sunday Special on 19 January, Robert Barker spoke about the ambitious plan to restore Shodfriars' Hall on the edge of Boston's Market Place.

The well-known and much photographed west portion of the building facing the street dates from the late fourteenth century, though much restored. The large Great Hall to the rear was built in ambitious style in the 1870s by George Oldrid Scott.

Over the years the building has had a remarkable range of uses but maintenance of its fabric has been inadequate. It is no longer watertight and lacks many of the features essential for a public building.

The active local group is seeking to restore the building as a multi-purpose community space for social and educational activities.

January 2020

Stamford's Industrial History
Preview of a publication

In 1967 the late Neville Birch published a brief history of the industries of Stamford, and then, over the following decades, proceeded to research the subject much more thoroughly. Before his death in late 2018 Neville had written a new detailed draft which is now being edited by his SLHA colleagues for publication later this year.

At the Sunday Special at Jews' Court on 19 January Chris Lester, editor of the book, spoke about the project and highlighted the range of Stamford's industrial history covered by the book.

It is perhaps surprising that so many industrial concerns were based in the town at one time; it is even more unexpected that several of Stamford's manufacturing firms gained national standing and influence.

The forthcoming book will deal with all the town's industries, both large and small, and promises to attract a wide and interesting readership.


Stamford's Midland Railway Station

January 2020

Historic Graffiti in Lincolnshire
Recording and Interpretation

Brian Porter, Co-ordinator of the Lincolnshire Medieval Graffiti Project, gave SLHA members an update on recent work in the County's churches at a "Sunday Special" in Jews' Court on 19 January.

Now In its seventh year, the project has covered over 200 churches and assembled 8000+ photographs.

A wide range of graffiti has been recorded, though few are dated and their inscribers are generally unknown. Some symbols and patterns are relatively common (double Vs, hexfoils, quatrefoils, Stars of David, merrell squares) while others, such as human figures, are rare and intriguing. Masons' marks are often seen but are not well understood.

A flavour of the group's work can be seen on their website and a report of the completed project will be of great interest.

Graffito at St James's Church, Aslackby

January 2020

The Anchoress and the Queen
Archaeology in the centre of Grantham

The first midweek meeting of 2020 in St Hugh's Hall brought Ruth Crook from Grantham to speak about the history of St Peter's Green in the town.

For much of the medieval period this site, close to the town centre, was owned by Peterborough Abbey. They built a small chapel dedicated to St Peter and attached to it at one time was a small cell occupied by an anchoress.

The remarkable procession carrying the body of Queen Eleanor from Lincoln to London in 1290 broke its journey in Grantham (and at several other places), and an elaborate cross was erected to mark the occasion.  The cross was probably located in St Peter's Hill though it is not known exactly where.

Recent survey work in the area has produced a wide range of material and has confirmed the location of the chapel and other more recent features.

Queen Eleanor memorial at the Guildhall

January 2020

Retirement of Sue Smith
Long-serving SLHA Admin Assistant

On Friday 17 January a large group of members assembled at Jews' Court to wish Sue Smith well on her retirement after 27 years in the SLHA office.

Stewart Squires, Chairman of SLHA Trustees, made a presentation to Sue - a bouquet, a garden gift token and piece of Blue John jewellery - and spoke warmly of the contribution Sue had made to the successful running of the office and the friendly reception of visitors.

Photograph: Sue Smith (left) with Stewart Squires (SLHA Trustees Chairman), Kathy Holland (SLHA Secretary)


January 2020

Lincolnshire Anniversaries 2020
People, Events, Buildings

* Vikings sailed up the Humber and invaded Lincolnshire

* Henry II visited Lincoln, one of several visits he made to the city

* Anthony Thorold, lawyer and politician, born.  He served as MP for Grantham and later for Lincoln

* Pilgrim Fathers, many of whom had gathered in Lincolnshire, set sail for America

* Death of Anthony Tuckney, Puritan Theologian. He was born in Kirton in Holland and became vicar of St Botolph's Boston in succession to John Cotton.
* Act of Parliament for improving the Fossdyke, the canal between Lincoln and Torksey on the Trent. The work was carried out by Samuel Fortrey.

* Leys House, Denton, built as a Public Elementary school
* Wrought iron gates made for St Peter Arches church, Lincoln by Francis Smith (re-erected at Nettleham Hall in 1856)
* Sir George Thorold of Harmston was Lord Mayor of London in this year
* Congregational Chapel built in Star Lane, Stamford
* William Cust of Grantham born. He was a distinguished naval officer, killed on duty aged 28

* Turnpike Road opened between Louth and Horncastle, also between Louth and Saltfleet
* Louth Navigation linking the town to the North Sea at Tetney completed, one of the earliest canals in the country
* All Saints church Stapleford rebuilt in red brick
* Saltfleet tower mill built on the old sea bank on what became known as Mill Lane
* Daniel Lambert, "world's heaviest man", was born on 13 March; he died and is buried in Stamford
* Church restorations at Butterwick (St Andrew) and Irby in the Marsh (All Saints)
* Original lock on the Witham at Bardney completed
* Lincoln horse races were held on the Heath to the south of the city for the last time
* The bank of the Trent breached near Torksey causing a flood which affected properties in Saxilby and Lincoln. The road from Lincoln to Gainsborough was impassable for 10 days (20 November)
* Rt Hon John Cust, MP for Grantham and Speaker of the House of Commons, died (22 January). "Fatigue of his office" was said to be a contributory factor.
* Original lock built at Stamp End on the Witham in Lincoln; it was later relocated downstream

* Jean Ingelow, poet and novelist, born Boston (17 March), perhaps best known for her poem "The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire"
* William Botterill, Hull-based architect of Wesleyan Methodist chapels in Market Rasen and Alford

* Henry Andrews, mathematician and astronomer, who was born 1744 at Frieston near Grantham (26 January)
* Sir Joseph Banks, naturalist, botanist and Lincolnshire landowner (London, 19 June)
* Peter Burrell (1754-1820) 1st Baron Gwydir, married into the Bertie family of Grimsthorpe. He was Boston MP from 1782 to 1796 and was a keen cricketer. He died 29 June.
* Arthur Thistlewood, who had been born at Tupholme, one-time pupil at Horncastle Grammar School, radical activist and part of the Cato Street conspiracy, hanged and decapitated at Newgate Prison (1 May)

* Normanby Park rebuilt for Sir Robert Sheffield (1786-1862) by Robert Smirke
* Lincoln Lunatic Asylum (later The Lawn) completed, Richard Ingleman the architect
* Sleaford Playhouse theatre was built for Joseph Smedley, a local printer and actor; it is a Grade II listed building.
* Chapels built at Crowle (Baptist), Kirton Holme (Wesleyan Methodist), Wainfleet All Saints (Wesleyan Methodist), Boston (Unitarian), Louth (Congregational), Lincoln (Tanners Lane, Independent)
* Windmills erected at Stickford (Barr Green), Mareham le Fen (Chatterton's), Middle Rasen, Cleethorpes, East Kirkby (Barlow's)
* St Germain's church at Thurlby (NK) rebuilt; north aisle rebuilt at St Mary Horncastle

Other events
* Samuel Bamford sent to Lincoln Prison. The previous year he had been one of the speakers at Peterloo meeting which preceded the "massacre".
* Lincolnshire Agricultural Society's first annual Show
* Coningsby Waldo Sibthorp of Canwick Hall elected to Parliament (8 March)

* Death of John Ross (1801-1870), antiquary
* Churches: new buildings at Hatton, St Stephen; Lincoln, St Peter in Eastgate; work began on St Swithin's, Lincoln. Major restoration or partial rebuilding at Laceby St Margaret; Howell St Oswald; Mavis Enderby; Waltham All Saints; Hogsthorpe; Burton Pedwardine; Grayingham St Radegunda; Coningsby St Michael; Metheringham St Wilfrid.
* Chapels opened at East Butterwick (PM); Horncastle, Queen St (WM); Lincoln Bracebridge (FM); East Stockwith (PM); Lincoln, Mint Street (Baptist); Sutton St Edmund (WM); Bleasby Moor (WM); Grantham, Castlegate (Congregational).
* Other buildings: Spridlington School opened; Oddfellows Hall erected at Ingoldsby; Becklands, Barnoldby le Beck built for Henri Jossi, Grimsby businessman;

* Dr Charles Plumpton, mathematician
* Doris Stokes, spiritualist and psychic medium, at Grantham (6 January)
* A E (Ted) Smith (1920 - 2015), conservation pioneer who played key role in foundation of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
* William Garfit (b. Boston), banker and Conservative politician, onetime High Sheriff of Lincolnshire and MP for Boston (29 October)
* Peacock, Mabel Geraldine Woodruffe (born 1856) Lincolnshire folklore collector
* Hanging rood installed in Lincoln St Peter at Gowts
* Sleaford cinema, originally known as Picturedrome Cinema, opened with 900 seats
* Victoria Hotel, Woodhall Spa burned down, caused by when an electrical fault (4 April)
* Mumby post mill, said to date from the seventeenth century, was demolished, though the mill house in Mill Lane still survives.
* Coliseum Picture Theatre opened in High Street, Cleethorpes
Other Events:
* First World War memorials unveiled in many Lincolnshire towns and villages
* Serious flood in Louth, 23 lives lost (29 May)
* Stone copings and railings fitted on Tattershall Bridge
* Lincoln's tramway converted to overhead trolley system
* Greetwell ironstone mine, east of Lincoln closed. It had opened in 1875 and was worked by the Mid Lincolnshire Ironstone Company.
* Institution of Mechanical Engineers held their week-long conference in Lincoln
* The Bracebridge Council Schools were transferred to the City of Lincoln as a result of boundary changes

* East Lincolnshire railway line from Boston to Grimsby and the section of the Loop Line from Boston to Lincoln closed for passengers (5 October)
* "Roman Lincolnshire" by J B Whitwell, first book in History of Lincolnshire series, published by SLHA

* Primary schools closed at Hainton, Careby and East Stockwith
* Methodist chapels closed at Thorpe Bank (PM)  and Sutton St Edmund (UM)
* Scunthorpe Centenary Methodist Church burnt down (21 August)
* Horncastle's former Drill Hall on Boston Road reconfigured as the Town Hall

January 2020