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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

The nearest railway station is at Tattershall


manor, like that of Moorby and other parishes already named, would at one time belong to the Bishops of Carlisle, and they were till recently patrons of the benefice; the patronage, within late years, being transferred to the Bishops of Manchester, after the creation of that See in 1848.

At an earlier date, being an appendage to the Manor of Horncastle, this demesne would be owned at one period by Gerard and Ralph de Rhodes; and this is shewn by the following records among the Final Concords, date 3rd Feb., 1224-5, whereby an agreement was arrived at between Henry del Ortiay and Sabina his wife, on the one part, and Ralph de Rhodes on the other part, as to certain lands in Moorby, Enderby, Horncastle, and other parishes, that the said Henry and Sabina should recognise the said lands as belonging to the said Ralph; he, on his part, granting to them other lands there, specially designated, they rendering to him "therefor by the year, one pair of gilt spurs, at Easter, for all service and exaction." {203a} This agreement was settled "at the court of the Lord the King at Westminster on the morrow of the purification of the blessed Mary, in the 9th year of King Henry III. {203b}

In the old records, Testa de Nevill (circa 1326-28), it is stated that "the churches of Horncastre, Askeby (West Ashby), Upper Thinton (High Toynton), of Meringes (Mareham-on-the-Hill), and of Hinderby (Wood Enderby), are of the gift of

the lord; and Osbert, the parson, holds them of King Richard."

In _Domesday Book_ it is stated that at the time of the Conqueror, there were "400 acres of wood pasturage" in the parish, a sufficient reason for its designation. Like Moorby, it was among the manors seized by the Conqueror, for his portion of the plunder taken from our Saxon forefathers. In Saxon times the Thane, Siward, had land here; which was given by the Conqueror to his steward, Robert Despenser, brother of the Earl Montgomery. {203c}


This is a large village, about 8 miles from Horncastle, in a southerly direction. It is bounded on the north by Tattershall Thorpe, on the west by Tattershall, on the south by Wildmore, and on the east by Tumby and Mareham-le-Fen. Its area is 3,442 acres, including the hamlet of Hawthorn Hill; rateable value 5,160 pounds; population 1,192. Apart from a limited number of shops and three inns, the people are engaged mainly in agriculture. The soil is mostly a light sand, with a subsoil of gravel deposits and clay. The nearest railway station is at Tattershall, distant about 1.5 miles.

The owners of over 50 acres are Lord Willoughby de Eresby, M.P., Lord of the Manor; Sir H. M. Hawley, Bart., J.P.; F. Sherwin; J. Rodgers; J. Burcham Rogers, J.P.; Mrs. Evison; the rector, Rev. Canon A. Wright, M.A., J.P., Rural Dean and Canon of Lincoln. Smaller owners, about 50. The only gentleman's seat now existing is the hall, the residence of J. B. Rogers, Esq., J.P.

The old custom of ringing the pancake bell on Shrove Tuesday is still kept up. The annual feast is held in the week after St. Michael's Day, the patron saint. The "Ignitegium," or curfew, was rung within the last 35 years, but has been discontinued, the parish being now lighted by gas.

There are a few field names, indicating the former "woodland and waste" {204} character of the locality. The Ings, or meadows, so common throughout the district; Oatlands; Scrub Hill, scrub being an old Lincolnshire word for a small wood; Reedham, referring to the morass; Toothill, probably a "look-out" over the waste; Langworth, probably a corruption of lang-wath, the long ford; Troy Wood, may be British, corresponding to the Welsh caertroi, a labyrinth or fort of mounds. The hamlets are Dogdyke, a corruption of Dock-dyke (the sea having once extended to these parts); Hawthorn Hill, Scrub Hill. There is an enclosure award in the possession of the clerk of the Parish Council.

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