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RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS
SLHA events - our continuing service to members

Bulletin updated 17 May 2021

Action taken as a result of Coronavirus Pandemic

1. EVENTS

We are offering a series talks accessible online by Zoom; details are being posted on this website (see Events). We are hopeful of offering some 'normal' events later in the summer.

3. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The 2020 AGM was a virtual meeting which took place on-line by 'Zoom' on 6 February 2021. A summary of the meeting is given in the News section of this website.


4. JEWS’ COURT BOOKSHOP

The bookshop has been CLOSED since the middle of March 2020 and is likely to remain so a little longer. We are actively exploring ways in which we can open the shop in a way that ensures the safety of customers and volunteers in our unique historic building. 

Donations of Books: The Bookshop is still in need of book donations both for now and the future, and contributions will be much appreciated. Books cannot be dropped off at Jews' Court at present. However, if you have any books to donate please email booksales@slha.org.uk and we will try to arrange collection.

5. QUARTERLY MAILING TO MEMBERS

The latest issue of Lincolnshire Past & Present (No.123, Spring 2021) was sent to members at the end of April.

Notices and other information will be sent by mail to members from time to time. We also aim to keep members informed of Society business through this website.

6. ANNUAL AWARDS

As in previous years, the Society is recognising the achievements of groups and individuals through its awards. Entrants for 2021 are invited to submit their bids before 30 September. Entry forms and full details are on this website.

7. SLHA OFFICE

Contact with the Society can be made by email: info@slha.org.uk. Please bear with us if responses are less prompt than usual.

June 2021

Keeping our Feet Dry
A short history of Anglo-Dutch land drainage through engineering

An on-line talk about land drainage was given by Roger Backhouse, a retired engineer living in York, on Wednesday 9 June; there were about 50 who tuned in.
 
Scoop-wheel pumps powered by windmills were followed successively by steam, diesel and electric power which operated increasingly sophisticated mechanical pumps, each development allowing land to be drained more quickly and effectively.
 
The technology of draining in Holland and English fens has followed parallel lines; the Dutch were early pioneers but later innovations by English engineers were transferred to Holland.
 
There are notable Dutch drainage museums near Rotterdam and Haarlem, while in this country the small but historically significant Lincolnshire drainage museum at Dogdyke is well worth a visit.
 
Photo: Building at Cruquius, Holland, which houses the huge drainage engine for draining the adjacent polder and enabling a large area of land below sea level to be reclaimed.

June 2021

Evolution of the Fossdyke
New geophysical research

Jo Westlake of the University of Lincoln gave an on-line talk to SLHA members on Wednesday 12 May about the evolution of the route of the Fossdyke between the Trent and Lincoln. Over 50 members tuned in.
 
The Fossdyke is the oldest canal in Britain, though the date of its origin has never been settled, despite extensive study of documentary sources. It follows a low-lying route from the Trent at Torksey and passes through wetlands to the western end of Brayford, a natural pool.
 
Jo’s study of Lidar evidence together with a stratigraphic analysis of samples taken in sections across the shallow valley near the city reveal that the Fossdyke did not utilise the channel of the River Till in its approach to Lincoln as might have been expected.
 
The study has also shown the varying rates of change to the Lincoln area wetlands over the period from 9000 BC; they were greatest in the Bronze and Iron Age periods. Extreme floods originating from the Trent, an occasional occurrence, have had an impact on the topography.
 
Illustration: The area immediately to the west of Brayford is shown in a LIDAR image
 

May 2021

Charter of the Forest
Historic document held in Lincoln

Erik Grigg, Lecturer in History at Bishop Grosseteste University, gave an illustrated on-line talk on 28 April about Charters of the Forest, one copy of which, dating from 1217, is held at Lincoln Castle.
 
Royal Forests were protected areas in the early Middle Ages under the control of the Crown. At one time these forests, which embraced woodland, moorland and also open uncultivated areas, along with the associated chases, covered 25% of England.
 
Forests were the natural habitats for game animals and birds, and hunting was an important activity, but the woodland areas were also a significant resource for everyone, not only as a source of timber but as valuable grazing and pannage for swine and sheep.
 
The Charters of the Forest, which became codified in parallel with the Magna Carta, reduced the size of forest areas and eased the restrictions on their use by the general population.
 
Some of the principles - and even some of the functions - set out in the charters remained in place until the late 20th century. Many of the today’s National Parks and AONBs have developed from the original Royal Forests.

April 2021

Grantham's Churches and Chapels
Victorian church building in a Lincolnshire town

The latest on-line talk arranged by SLHA was given by John Manterfield on the evening of Wednesday 31 March. John’s subject was Churches and Chapels in Victorian Grantham.
 
Grantham, like other Lincolnshire towns, grew rapidly in the Victorian period, which, partly as a consequence of this growth, was an era of chapel building and church improvement. The Census of church worship in 1851 records that about 30% of Grantham’s 10870 inhabitants attended a Sunday morning service, of which 45% were Anglican and 39% Methodist.

St Wulfram’s, Grantham’s principal Anglican church, was extensively renovated at considerable cost under the eminent architect G G Scott in the 1860s. A new church (St John’s) was built in Gothic Revival style by Salvin in 1840 at Spittlegate, close to the Hornsby’s engineering works and its associated housing. The church at Manthorpe (also St John’s, 1847-48), to the north of the town centre, was designed by Place of Nottingham and largely funded by the Brownlows of nearby Belton.

Grantham’s Roman Catholic church (St Mary’s), designed by Edward Willson of Lincoln, provided 500 seats and was opened in 1833.

The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel in Finkin Street in 1803. To keep pace with a steep rise in numbers, a new chapel – the present building – was erected across the road in neo-classical style at a cost of £5000 with strong financial support from Richard Hornsby. The Primitive Methodists built a much more modest chapel in red brick on North Parade in 1886.

Other non-conformist chapels were built in Grantham, some with relatively short life span. The most notable of those surviving is the former Congregational Church at the corner of Castlegate.
 
Photographs: St John's Church Spittlegate (top) and Finkin Street Methodist Church

April 2021

Britons & Anglo-Saxons
Light on the Dark Ages

Caitlin Green has recently revised her book Britons and Anglo-Saxons: Lincolnshire AD 400-650, published by SLHA in 2012. The new edition was published in 2020.

Dr Green surveyed the new evidence and new ideas that have expanded or modified her earlier publication in an on-line talk arranged by SLHA on Wednesday 10 March. The audience for the talk exceeded 60.

Lincolnshire – especially the northern part of the present county – was at the heart of cultural and political changes in the period after the Romans departed and before the Anglo-Saxon society was established.

A great many artefacts point to the continuation of the crafts and skills associated with the Roman period. The etymology of several Lincolnshire place names reflect important trading, political or military activities in the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries.

Illustration: A 'hybrid' domestic jar from Greetwell Villa, Lincoln, showing Roman technology with Anglo-Saxon form


March 2021

Sir Joseph Banks
From Agrarian to Industrialist

Paul Scott of the Sir Joseph Banks Society gave an on-line talk to the Society on Wednesday 24 February; it was attended by over 50 members. Paul explored the significant contribution made by Joseph Banks to the beginning of the Industrial age.

Banks travelled widely and frequently across Britain and became heavily involved in several powerful society groupings – often as leading member - as well as maintaining informal contacts with many influential individuals.

He became well informed in a wide range of day-to-day issues and often acquired considerable practical knowledge of the technologies of the time. His wealth also enabled him to influence many important initiatives.

Paul Scott’s illustrated presentation dealt with examples of Banks’ achievements and how he became involved with such eminent individuals as Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Smith. Reference was also made to Banks’ wife and sister, both intelligent and knowledgeable collectors (porcelain and coins respectively).

Sir Joseph Banks, Aged 30 (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

February 2021

Lincoln Cathedral
New insight into its architecture and decoration

Dr Jonathan Foyle, author of ‘Lincoln Cathedral: The Biography of a Great Building’, was the guest speaker at the SLHA AGM on Saturday 6 February. The title of his talk was 'New Observations on Lincoln Cathedral'.

Dr Foyle recounted the early history of the Cathedral and emphasised the significance of its dedication to St Mary. The many fine carvings of roses, other flowers and leaves in the Cathedral are symbolic of Mary and the contemporary view of her supreme position in religious observance.


February 2021

SLHA Annual General Meeting
Report and elections on-line

The Society’s AGM for 2000 took place on line on Saturday 6 February. Former SLHA President, Catherine Wilson, gave an introductory welcome and the Acting Chairman, Ian George, took the chair. About 60 members were in attendance.

The meeting approved the Society’s general report for 2020 and the Treasurer’s 2019/20 financial reports for both Lincolnshire Heritage and SLHA.

Officers elected for the coming year were as follows:
President: Naomi Field
Chairman: Ian George
Treasurer: Chris Hewis
Committee/Team Chairmen: Archaeology: Ian George; Building Recording: David Stocker; History of Lincolnshire: Andrew Walker; Industrial Archaeology: Stephen Betteridge; Local History: Mark Acton; Publications: vacant
Additional members of Executive Committee: Caroline Crane, Ken Hollamby, Michael Jones,  Eva Moore, Ken Redmore, Stewart Squires, David Start, Neil Wright, Jonathan Fitzgibbon

Honorary Vice-Presidents: Thora Wagstaffe, Pearl Wheatley, Catherine Wilson
Trustees: Stephen Betteridge, Michael Daly, Ian George, Rosalind Mellows, Nicholas Moore, Stephen Stefaniuk, David Start, Neil Wright

The Flora Murray Award for 2020 was made to the Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire for their project 'Layers of History'

Particular thanks were expressed to Kathy Holland, SLHA Secretary, and her husband Colin for their dedicated work under difficult circumstances at Jews' Court during the pandemic.




 


February 2021

SLHA Awards for 2020
Presentation at 2020 AGM

The Flora Murray Award for 2020 has been presented to the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire for their project 'Layers of History' led by Cola Jennings. The award was announced at the on-line Annual General Meeting of the Society on Saturday 6 February 2021.

This project involved over 200 volunteers who were given the background knowledge and trained in the skills to investigate, record and understand landscapes at a variety of sites in the county.

(photo to follow)

February 2021

Maidenwell Manor
An historic house and estate in the Wolds

On Sunday 31 January a large on-line audience enjoyed a presentation by Naomi Field about Maidenwell Manor. The tiny hamlet of Maidenwell, 5 miles south of Louth, was mentioned in the Domesday survey but did not grow beyond a handful of houses and never had a church – or at least the site of one has never been established.

The principal manor in the parish – a substantial holding – came into the ownership of Sir James Lancaster in the early 17th century. He had a distinguished naval career and served as a director of the East India Company. Through Lancaster’s will the estate was passed on to the Worshipful Company of Skinners and subsequently to Basingstoke Corporation.

Surveys of the Maidenwell estate in 1713 and 1803 with accompanying plans give useful information about the house, garden and adjoining farmstead. The house fell into disrepair and was rebuilt by Basingstoke in 1903. It was the imminent demolition of this early 20th century property in 2000 that led to a professional survey by Naomi, the outline of which she went on to describe in her talk.

The house was of appropriate size and style for a prosperous tenant farmer, with attractive reception rooms and accommodation for several servants. Details of the house's impressive contents were set out in the advertised sale particulars which followed the tenant’s death in 1908.

Basingstoke sold the estate in 1977  and now a new house is being built by the current owner. It is pleasing to note that the commemorative plaque of the 1903 house will be incorporated in the walls of the new on its adjacent site.

Maidenwell Manor - built 1903

February 2021

John Sass, MBE
Lincolnshire Windmill expert honoured

We were delighted to hear that Jon Sass has been awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours. He is a longstanding member of the Industrial Archaeology team at SLHA and leading light in the Lincolnshire Mills Group.

Jon is widely acknowledged as the foremost authority on the windmills and watermills of Lincolnshire, and over the years he has generously shared his expertise and knowledge with countless mill owners, local historians, molinologists and others.

Jon's knowledge of mills is based on practical experience. He was part of the team that restored Lincolnshire's last surviving post mill at Wrawby in the 1960s and has had direct 'hands on' experience of many mills since.

He has also written numerous articles about Lincolnshire windmills, watermills, millers and millwrights. His book 'Windmills of Lincolnshire' (2012)  brought together much of his accumulated knowledge in concise text and historic photographs. It is a superb lasting tribute to Jon Sass and his recording of this aspect of Lincolnshire's unique heritage.

Jon Sass, MBE - Lincolnshire molinologist

January 2021

Lincolnshire Anniversaries 2021
People, Events, Buildings

1521
* Anne Askew, Protestant martyr, born at Stallingborough

1571
* Severe storm on Lincolnshire coast; 60 ships stranded between Boston and Newcastle
* John Whitgift, later Archbishop of Canterbury, became Dean of Lincoln

1671
* Fossdyke between Lincoln and the Trent improved and Torksey Lock built
* Act of Parliament for improvement of River Witham for navigation
    
1721
* Thomas Cowley, landowner and benefactor of Donington, died, aged 96 (17 July)
* Thomas Thistlewood, plantation owner and diarist, born at Tupholme (16 March)
* Chaplin family bought the Riseholme estate from the St Pauls and subsequently built the Hall
* West tower of St Botolph’s Church, Lincoln, rebuilt by Henry Grix

1771
* The Carholme on Lincoln’s West Common first used as a racecourse
* George Bass, surgeon and navigator of Australia, born at Aswarby (30 January)
* First Stamp End lock built on the Witham in Lincoln
* Reconstruction work begun at St Luke’s church, North Carlton
* The re-building of St Peter’s church at Doddington, funded by Lord Delaval, began
* Cogglesford Mill built on the River Slea

1821
* Thomas Scott (born at Bratoft), theologian and author, co-founder of the Church Missionary Society, died
* Coal mine shaft started in Coal Pit Wood, Woodhall Spa, by John Parkinson
* The Crescent at New Bolingbroke started by John Parkinson for weavers in his factory
* St Peter’s Church at Frithville built
* Congregational Chapel in Horncastle built, Grade II
* Wainfleet All Saints church built on site of medieval church
* Whaplode St John church built by Jephtha Pacey
* Torksey St Peter nave, aisle and chancel rebuilt
* Sibsey Wesleyan Methodist chapel built
* Swineshead North End windmill built
* Messingham Wesleyan Methodist chapel built
* Horncastle St Mary’s south aisle rebuilt
* Sleaford Primitive Methodist: first society formed

1871
*Lincoln Corporation acquired Hartsholme Lake as source of the City’s water supply
* GNR railway line opened between Firsby and Wainfleet, for goods (11 Sept) and passengers (24 October)
* Passenger services ceased on the Little Bytham to Edenham railway after only 19 years
* New C of E churches built: Apley, St Andrew; Fosdyke, All Saints; Lincoln, St Mark;
* Anglican churches remodelled or restored:  Burgh on Bain, St Helen; Claxby, St Mary; Freiston, St James; Helpringham, St Andrew; Salmonby, St Margaret; South Ormsby, St Leonard; Tealby, All Saints; Thornton le Moor, All Saints
* New Methodist chapels built: Belchford (Wesleyan); Kirkby on Bain (Primitive); Lade Bank (Wesleyan);
* New school buildings: Brant Broughton; Brattleby; Saxilby infants. Belchford school board formed and laid plans for the first school in the village
* Gainsborough Temperance Hall on Spital Terrace opened
* Mablethorpe’s Lincolnshire Seaside Convalescent Home, built by James Fowler of Louth, opened
* Butterwick windmill built; it had four storeys and four sails
* Boston gasworks extended by J T B Porter & Co of Lincoln
* Boston People’s Park in Boston opened by W H Wheeler
* Louth town water supply from Hubbards Hills began
* Boston Cottage Hospital opened, the forerunner of Pilgrim Hospital

1921
* Liz Smith (film and TV actress) born, Crosby (Scunthorpe) (11 December)
* Many First World War memorials unveiled and dedicated in Lincolnshire towns and villages
* Robert H Crawford & Son, agricultural engineers of Frithville, founded
* Belton House gardens remodelled
* William Dennis, potato grower, died Kirton in Holland (7 January)
* Steve Race (composer, pianist and TV presenter) born Lincoln (1 April)

1971
* Theddlethorpe gas terminal opened
* Samantha Cameron, who grew up at Thealby Hall on the Normanby estate and became business woman and wife of UK PM, born (18 April)
* Horncastle-Woodhall Spa railway line finally closed to goods traffic (5 April)
* Lincoln City Council offices built by John Roberts Associates
* Methodist chapels closed: Haltoft End (Freiston), Owmby by Spital, Moorby, Little Steeping, Keal Coates, Susworth, East Kirkby, Swaby, Frampton, East Stockwith, Amber Hill, Partney, Beaumont Street (Gainsborough).
* Lincoln St Marks church demolished
* Village school closures: Swarby, Stainby, Wickenby, Timberland, Silk Willoughby, West Deeping, Stainfield, Stubton, Dowsby, Claxby, Old Somerby, Irnham, Upton cum Kexby, Kirkby Underwood, Pickworth,
* Laceby Road Methodist Church, Grimsby, opened
* Bracebridge Heath became an independent parish
* First phase of new Pilgrim Hospital in Boston opened

January 2021