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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Receive their names from the earliest races


Bridge

Street 117

High Street 121

The Bull Ring 123

The Canal 127

On the Canal 129

The Court House 135

The Stanhope Memorial 137

Watermill Road during the Flood, Dec 31, 1900 141

West Street during the Flood, Dec. 31, 1900 143

Conging Street during the Flood, Dec. 31, 1900 145

The Stanch 147

Old Thatched Inn in the Bull Ring 163

St. Margaret's Church, Thimbleby 171

The Manor House, West Ashby 177

All Saints' Church, West

Ashby 179

St. John the Baptist's Church, High Toynton 181

St. Peter's Church, Low Toynton 187

St. Helen's Church, Mareham-le-Fen 193

Wesleyan Chapel, Mareham-le-Fen 197

St. Michael's Church, Coningsby 205

CHAPTER I.

PART I--PREHISTORIC. HORNCASTLE--ITS INFANCY.

In dealing with what may be called "the dark ages" of local history, we are often compelled to be content with little more than reasonable conjecture. Still, there are generally certain surviving data, in place-names, natural features, and so forth, which enable those who can detect them, and make use of them, to piece together something like a connected outline of what we may take, with some degree of probability, as an approximation to what have been actual facts, although lacking, at the time, the chronicler to record them.

It is, however, by no means a mere exercise of the imagination, if we assume that the site of the present Horncastle was at a distant period a British settlement. {1a} Dr. Brewer says, "nearly three-fourths of our Roman towns were built on British sites," (Introduction to _Beauties of England_, p. 7), and in the case of Horncastle, although there is nothing British in the name of the town itself, yet that people have undoubtedly here left their traces behind them. The late Dr. Isaac Taylor {1b} says, "Rivers and mountains, as a rule, receive their names from the earliest races, towns and villages from later colonists." The ideas of those early occupants were necessarily limited. The hill which formed their stronghold against enemies, {1c} or which was the "high place" of their religious rites, {1d} and the river which was so essential to their daily existence, of these they felt the value, and therefore naturally distinguished them by name before anything else. Thus the remark of an eloquent writer is generally true, who says "our mountains and rivers still murmur the voices of races long extirpated." "There is hardly (says Dr. Taylor {2a}) throughout the whole of England a river name which is not Celtic," _i.e._ British.


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