1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lincolnshire
LINCOLNSHIRE, an eastern county of England, bounded N. by the Humber, E. by the German Ocean and the Wash, S.E. for 3 m. by Norfolk, S. by Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, S.W. by Rutland, W. by Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and N.W. by Yorkshire. The area is 2646 sq. m., the county being second to Yorkshire of the English counties in size.
The coast-line, about 110 m. in length, including the Humber shore, is generally low and marshy, and artificial banks for guarding against the inroads of the sea are to be found, in places, all along the coast. From Grimsby to Skegness traces of a submarine forest are visible; but while the sea is encroaching upon some parts of the coast it is receding from others, as shown by Holbeach, which is now 6 m. from the sea. Several thousand acres have been reclaimed from this part of the Wash, and round the mouth of the Nene on the south-east. The deep bay between the coasts of Lincolnshire and Norfolk, called the Wash, is full of dangerous sandbanks and silt; the navigable portion off the Lincolnshire coast is known as the Boston Deeps. The rapidity of the tides in this inlet, and the lowness of its shores, which are generally indistinct on account of mist from a moderate offing, render this the most difficult portion of the navigation of the east coast of England. On some parts of the coast there are fine stretches of sand, and Cleethorpes, Skegness, Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea are favourite resorts for visitors.
The surface of Lincolnshire is generally a large plain, small portions of which are slightly below the level of the sea. The south-east parts are perfectly flat; and about one-third of the county consists of fens and marshes, intersected in all directions by artificial drains, called locally dykes, delphs, drains, becks, leams and eaux. This flat surface is broken by two ranges of calcareous hills running north and south through the county, and known as the Lincoln Edge or Heights, or the Cliff, and the Wolds. The former range, on the west, runs nearly due north from Grantham to Lincoln, and thence to the Humber, traversing the Heaths of Lincolnshire, which were formerly open moors, rabbit warrens and sheep walks, but are now enclosed and brought into high cultivation. The Wolds form a ridge of bold hills extending from Spilsby to Barton-on-Humber for about 40 m., with an average breadth of about 8 m. The Humber separates Lincolnshire from Yorkshire. Its ports on the Lincolnshire side are the small ferry-ports of Barton and New Holland, and the important harbour of Grimsby. The Trent forms part of the boundary with Nottinghamshire, divides the Isle of Axholme (q.v.) from the district of Lindsey, and falls into the Humber about 30 m. below Gainsborough. The Witham rises on the S.W. border of the county, flows north past Grantham to Lincoln, and thence E. and S.E. to Boston, after a course of about 80 m. The Welland rises in north-west Northamptonshire, enters the county at Stamford, and, after receiving the Glen, flows through an artificial channel into the Fosdyke Wash. The Nene on the south-east has but a small portion of its course in Lincolnshire; it flows due north through an artificial outfall, called the Wisbech Cut. Between the Wolds and the sea lie the Marshes, a level tract of rich alluvial soil extending from Barton-on-Humber to Wainfleet, varying in breadth from 5 to 10 m. Between the Welland and the Nene in the south-east of the county are Gedney Marsh, Holbeach Marsh, Moulton Marsh and Sutton Marsh.
The The Fens (q.v.), the soil of which has been formed partly by tidal action and partly by the decay of forests, occupy the Isle of Axholme on the north-west, the vale of Ancholme on the north, and most of the country south-east of Lincoln. The chief of these are the Holland, Wildmore, West and East Fens draining into the Witham; and the Deeping, Bourn, Great Porsand, and Whaplode Fens draining into the Welland.
The low lands adjoining the tidal reaches of the Trent and Humber, and part of those around the Wash have been raised above the natural level and enriched by the process of warping, which consists in letting the tide run over the land, and retaining it there a sufficient time to permit the deposit of the sand and mud held in solution by the waters.
Geology.—The geological formations for the most part extend in parallel belts, nearly in the line of the length of the county, from north to south, and succeed one another in ascending order from west to east. The lowest is the Triassic Keuper found in the Isle of Axholme and the valley of the Trent in the form of marls, sandstone and gypsum. Fish scales and teeth, with bones and footprints of the Labyrinthodon, are met with in the sandstone. The red clay is frequently dug for brick-making. The beds dip gently towards the east. At the junction between the Trias and Lias are series of beds termed Rhaetics, which seem to mark a transition from one to the other. These belts are in part exposed in pits near Newark, and extend north by Gainsborough to where the Trent flows into the Humber, passing thence into Yorkshire. The characteristic shells are found at Lea, 2 m. south of Gainsborough, with a thin bone-bed full of fish teeth and scales. The Lower Lias comes next in order, with a valuable bed of ironstone now largely worked. This bed is about 27 ft. in thickness, and crops out at Scunthorpe and Frodingham, where the workings are open and shallow. The Middle Lias, which enters the county near Woolsthorpe, is about 20 or 30 ft. thick, and is very variable both in thickness and mineralogical character; the iron ores of Denton and Caythorpe belong to this horizon. The Upper Lias enters the county at Stainby, passing by Grantham and Lincoln where it is worked for bricks. The Lias thus occupies a vale about 8 or 10 m. in width in the south, narrowing until on the Humber it is about a mile in width. To this succeed the Oolite formations. The Inferior Oolite, somewhat narrower than the Lias, extends from the boundary with Rutland due north past Lincoln to the vicinity of the Humber; it forms the Cliff of Lincolnshire with a strong escarpment facing westward. At Lincoln the ridge is notched by the river Witham. The principal member of the Inferior Oolite is the Lincolnshire limestone, which is an important water-bearing bed and is quarried at Lincoln, Ponton, Ancaster, and Kirton Lindsey for building stone. Eastward of the Inferior Oolite lie the narrow outcrops of the Great Oolite and Cornbrash. The Middle Oolite, Oxford clay and Corallian is very narrow in the south near Wilsthorpe, widening gradually about Sleaford. It then proceeds north from Lincoln with decreasing width to the vicinity of the Humber. The Upper Oolite, Kimeridge clay, starts from the vicinity of Stamford, and after attaining its greatest width near Horncastle, runs north-north-west to the Humber. The Kimeridge clay is succeeded by the Spilsby sandstone, Tealby limestone, Claxby ironstone, and carstone which represent the highest Jurassic and lowest Cretaceous rocks. In the Cretaceous system of the Wolds, the Lower Greensand runs nearly parallel with the Upper Oolite past South Willingham to the Humber. The Upper Greensand and Gault, represented in Lincolnshire by the Red Chalk, run north-west from Irby, widening out as far as Kelstern on the east, and cross the Humber. The Chalk formation, about equal in breadth to the three preceding, extends from Burgh across the Humber. The rest of the county, comprising all its south-east portions between the Middle Oolite belt and the sea, all its north-east portions between the chalk belt and the sea, and a narrow tract up the course of the Ancholme river, consists of alluvial deposits or of reclaimed marsh. In the northern part boulder clay and glacial sands cover considerable tracts of the older rocks. Bunter, Permian, and Coal Measure strata have been revealed by boring to underlie the Keuper near Haxey.
Gypsum is dug in the Isle of Axholme, whiting is made from the chalk near the shores of the Humber, and lime is made on the Wolds. Freestone is quarried around Ancaster, and good oolite building stone is quarried near Lincoln and other places. Ironstone is worked at several places and there are some blast furnaces.
At Woodhall Spa on the Horncastle branch railway there is a much-frequented bromine and iodine spring.
Climate, Soil and Agriculture.—The climate of the higher grounds is healthy, and meteorological observation does not justify the reputation for cold and damp often given to the county as a whole. The soils vary considerably, according to the geological formations; ten or twelve different kinds may be found in going across the country from east to west. A good sandy loam is common in the Heath division; a sandy loam with chalk, or a flinty loam on chalk marl, abounds on portions of the Wolds; an argillaceous sand, merging into rich loam, lies on other portions of the Wolds; a black loam and a rich vegetable mould cover most of the Isle of Axholme on the north-west; a well-reclaimed marine marsh, a rich brown loam, and a stiff cold clay variously occupy the low tracts along the Humber, and between the north Wolds and the sea; a peat earth, a deep sandy loam, and a rich soapy blue clay occupy most of the east and south Fens; and an artificial soil, obtained by “warping,” occupies considerable low strips of land along the tidal reaches of the rivers.
Lincolnshire is one of the principal agricultural, especially grain-producing, counties in England. Nearly nine-tenths of the total area is under cultivation. The wide grazing lands have long been famous, and the arable lands are specially adapted for the growth of wheat and beans. The largest individual grain-crop, however, is barley. Both cattle and sheep are bred in great numbers. The cattle raised are the Shorthorns and improved Lincolnshire breeds. The dairy, except in the vicinity of large towns, receives little attention. The sheep are chiefly of the Lincolnshire and large Leicestershire breeds, and go to the markets of Yorkshire and London. Lincolnshire has long been famous for a fine breed of horses both for the saddle and draught. Horse fairs are held every year at Horncastle and Lincoln. Large flocks of geese were formerly kept in the Fens, but their number has been diminished since the drainage of these parts. Where a large number of them were bred, nests were constructed for them one above another; they were daily taken down by the gooseherd, driven to the water, and then reinstated in their nests, without a single bird being misplaced. Decoys were once numerous in the undrained state of the Fens.
Industries and Communications.—Manufactures are few and, relatively to the agricultural industry, small. The mineral industries, however, are of value, and there are considerable agricultural machine and implement factories at Lincoln, Boston, Gainsborough, Grantham and Louth. At Little Bytham a very hard brick, called adamantine clinker, is made of the siliceous clay that the Romans used for similar works. Bone-crushing, tanning, the manufacture of oil-cake for cattle, and rope-making are carried on in various places. Grimsby is an important port both for continental traffic and especially for fisheries; Boston is second to it in the county; and Gainsborough has a considerable traffic on the Trent. Sutton Bridge is a lesser port on the Wash.
The principal railway is the Great Northern, its main line touching the county in the S.W. and serving Grantham. Its principal branches are from Peterborough to Spalding, Boston, Louth and Grimsby; and from Grantham to Sleaford and Boston, and to Lincoln, and Boston to Lincoln. This company works jointly with the Great Eastern the line from March to Spalding, Lincoln, Gainsborough and Doncaster, and with the Midland that from Saxby to Bourn, Spalding, Holbeach, Sutton Bridge and King’s Lynn. The Midland company has a branch from Newark to Lincoln, and the Lancashire, Derbyshire, and East Coast line terminates at Lincoln. The Great Central railway connects the west, Sheffield and Doncaster with Grimsby, and with Hull by ferry from New Holland. Canals connect Louth with the Humber, Sleaford with the Witham, and Grantham with the Trent near Nottingham; but the greater rivers and many of the drainage cuts are navigable, being artificially deepened and embanked.
Population and Administration.—The area of the ancient county is 1,693,550 acres, with a population in 1891 of 472,878 and in 1901 of 498,847. The primary divisions are three trithings or Ridings (q.v.). The north division is called the Parts of Lindsey, the south-west the Parts of Kesteven, and the south-east the Parts of Holland. Each of these divisions had in early times its own reeve or gerefa. Each constitutes an administrative county, the Parts of Lindsey having an area of 967,689 acres; Kesteven, 465,877 acres; and Holland, 262,766 acres. The Parts of Lindsey contain 17 wapentakes; Kesteven, exclusive of the soke and borough of Grantham and the borough of Stamford, 9 wapentakes; and Holland, 3 wapentakes. The municipal boroughs and urban districts are as follows:—
1. Parts of Lindsey.—Municipal boroughs—Grimsby, a county borough (pop. 63,138), Lincoln, a city and county borough and the county town (48,784), Louth (9518). Urban districts—Alford (2478), Barton-upon-Humber (5671), Brigg (3137), Broughton (1300), Brumby and Frodingham (2273), Cleethorpes with Thrunscoe (12,578), Crowle (2769), Gainsborough (17,660), Horncastle (4038), Mablethorpe (934), Market Rasen (2188), Roxby-cum-Risby (389), Scunthorpe (6750), Skegness (2140), Winterton (1361), Woodhall Spa (988).
2. Parts of Kesteven.—Municipal boroughs—Grantham (17,593), Stamford (8229). Urban districts—Bourne (4361), Bracebridge (1752), Ruskington (1196), Sleaford (5468).
3. Parts of Holland.—Municipal borough—Boston (15,667). Urban districts—Holbeach (4755), Long Sutton (2524), Spalding (9385), Sutton Bridge (2105). In the Parts of Holland the borough of Boston has a separate commission of the peace and there are two petty sessional divisions. Lincolnshire is in the Midland circuit. In the Parts of Kesteven the boroughs of Grantham and Stamford have each a separate commission of the peace and separate courts of quarter sessions, and there are 4 petty sessional divisions. In the Parts of Lindsey the county boroughs of Grimsby and Lincoln have each a separate commission of the peace and a separate court of quarter sessions, while the municipal borough of Louth has a separate commission of the peace, and there are 14 petty sessional divisions. The three administrative counties and the county boroughs contain together 761 civil parishes. The ancient county contains 580 ecclesiastical parishes and districts, wholly or in part. It is mostly in the diocese of Lincoln, but in part also in the dioceses of Southwell and York. For parliamentary purposes the county is divided into seven divisions, namely, West Lindsey or Gainsborough, North Lindsey or Brigg, East Lindsey or Louth, South Lindsey or Horncastle, North Kesteven or Sleaford, South Kesteven or Stamford, and Holland or Spalding, and the parliamentary boroughs of Boston, Grantham, Grimsby and Lincoln, each returning one member.
History.—Of the details of the English conquest of the district which is now Lincolnshire little is known, but at some time in the 6th century Engle and Frisian invaders appear to have settled in the country north of the Witham, where they became known as the Lindiswaras, the southern districts from Boston to the Trent basin being at this time dense woodland. In the 7th century the supremacy over Lindsey alternated between Mercia and Northumbria, but few historical references to the district are extant until the time of Alfred, whose marriage with Ealswitha was celebrated at Gainsborough three years before his accession. At this period the Danish inroads upon the coast of Lindsey had already begun, and in 873 Healfdene wintered at Torksey, while in 878 Lincoln and Stamford were included among the five Danish boroughs, and the organization of the districts dependent upon them probably resulted about this time in the grouping of Lindsey, Kesteven and Holland to form the shire of Lincoln. The extent and permanence of the Danish influence in Lincolnshire is still observable in the names of its towns and villages and in the local dialect, and, though about 918 the confederate boroughs were recaptured by Edward the Elder, in 993 a Viking fleet again entered the Humber and ravaged Lindsey, and in 1013 the district of the five boroughs acknowledged the supremacy of Sweyn. The county offered no active resistance to the Conqueror, and though Hereward appears in the Domesday Survey as a dispossessed under-tenant of the abbot of Peterborough at Witham-on-the-Hill, the legends surrounding his name do not belong to this county. In his northward march in 1068 the Conqueror built a castle at Lincoln, and portioned out the principal estates among his Norman followers, but the Domesday Survey shows that the county on the whole was leniently treated, and a considerable number of Englishmen retained their lands as subtenants.
The origin of the three main divisions of Lincolnshire is anterior to that of the county itself, and the outcome of purely natural conditions, Lindsey being in Roman times practically an island bounded by the swamps of the Trent and the Witham on the west and south and on the east by the North Sea, while Kesteven and Holland were respectively the regions of forest and of fen. Lindsey in Norman times was divided into three ridings—North, West and South—comprising respectively five, five and seven wapentakes; while, apart from their division into wapentakes, the Domesday Survey exhibits a unique planning out of the ridings into approximately equal numbers of 12-carucate hundreds, the term hundred possessing here no administrative or local significance, but serving merely as a unit of area for purposes of assessment. The Norman division of Holland into the three wapentakes of Elloe, Kirton and Skirbeck has remained unchanged to the present day. In Kesteven the wapentakes of Aswardhurn, Aveland, Beltisloe, Haxwell, Langoe, Loveden, Ness, Winnibriggs, and Grantham Soke have been practically unchanged, but the Domesday wapentakes of Boothby and Graffo now form the wapentake of Boothby Graffo. In Northriding Bradley and Haverstoe have been combined to form Bradley Haverstoe wapentake, and the Domesday wapentake of Epworth in Westriding has been absorbed in that of Manley. Wall wapentake in Westriding was a liberty of the bishop of Lincoln, and as late as 1515 the dean and chapter of Lincoln claimed delivery and return of writs in the manor and hundred of Navenby. In the 13th century Baldwin Wake claimed return of writs and a market in Aveland. William de Vesci claimed liberties and exemptions in Caythorpe, of which he was summoned to render account at the sheriff’s tourn at Halton. The abbot of Peterborough, the abbot of Tupholme, the abbot of Bardney, the prior of Catleigh, the prior of Sixhills, the abbot of St Mary’s, York, the prioress of Stixwould and several lay owners claimed liberties and jurisdiction in their Lincolnshire estates in the 13th century.
The shire court for Lincolnshire was held at Lincoln every forty days, the lords of the manor attending with their stewards, or in their absence the reeve and four men of the vill. The ridings were each presided over by a riding-reeve, and wapentake courts were held in the reign of Henry I. twelve times a year, and in the reign of Henry III. every three weeks, while twice a year all the freemen of the wapentake were summoned to the view of frankpledge or tourn held by the sheriff. The boundaries between Kesteven and Holland were a matter of dispute as early as 1389 and were not finally settled until 1816.
Lincolnshire was originally included in the Mercian diocese of Lichfield, but, on the subdivision of the latter by Theodore in 680, the fen-district was included in the diocese of Lichfield, while the see for the northern parts of the county was placed at “Sidnacester,” generally identified with Stow. Subsequently both dioceses were merged in the vast West-Saxon bishopric of Dorchester, the see of which was afterwards transferred to Winchester, and by Bishop Remigius in 1072 to Lincoln. The archdeaconry of Lincoln was among those instituted by Remigius, and the division into rural deaneries also dates from this period. Stow archdeaconry is first mentioned in 1138, and in 1291 included four deaneries, while the archdeaconry of Lincoln included twenty-three. In 1536 the additional deaneries of Hill, Holland, Loveden and Graffoe had been formed within the archdeaconry of Lincoln, and the only deaneries created since that date are East and West Elloe and North and South Grantham in Lincoln archdeaconry. The deaneries of Gartree, Grimsby, Hill, Horncastle, Louthesk, Ludborough, Walshcroft, Wraggoe and Yarborough have been transferred from the archdeaconry of Lincoln to that of Stow. Benedictine foundations existed at Ikanho, Barrow, Bardney, Partney and Crowland as early as the 7th century, but all were destroyed in the Danish wars, and only Bardney and Crowland were ever rebuilt. The revival of monasticism after the Conquest resulted in the erection of ten Benedictine monasteries, and a Benedictine nunnery at Stainfield. The Cistercian abbeys at Kirkstead, Louth Park, Revesby, Vaudey and Swineshead, and the Cistercian nunnery at Stixwould were founded in the reign of Stephen, and at the time of the Dissolution there were upwards of a hundred religious houses in the county.
In the struggles of the reign of Stephen, castles at Newark and Sleaford were raised by Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, against the king, while Ranulf “Gernons,” earl of Chester, in 1140 garrisoned Lincoln for the empress. The seizure of Lincoln by Stephen in 1141 was accompanied with fearful butchery and devastation, and by an accord at Stamford William of Roumare received Kirton in Lindsey, and his tenure of Gainsborough Castle was confirmed. In the baronial outbreak of 1173 Roger Mowbray, who had inherited the Isle of Axholme from Nigel d’Albini, garrisoned Ferry East, or Kinnard’s Ferry, and Axholme against the king, and, after the destruction of their more northern fortresses in this campaign, Epworth in Axholme became the principal seat of the Mowbrays. In the struggles between John and his barons Lincoln in 1216 made peace with the king by surrendering hostages for the payment of a fine of 1000 marks, but after the landing of Louis the city was captured by Gilbert de Gant, then earl of Lincoln. After his disastrous march to Swineshead Abbey, John journeyed through Sleaford to Newark, where he died, and in the battle of Lincoln in 1217 Gilbert de Gant was captured and the city sacked. At the time of the Wars of the Roses the county, owing to territorial influence, was mainly Lancastrian, and in 1461 the Yorkist strongholds of Grantham and Stamford were sacked to such effect that the latter never recovered. The Lincolnshire rising of 1470 was crushed by the defeat of the rebels in the skirmish known as “Losecoat Field” near Stamford. In the Civil War of the 17th century, Lindsey for the most part declared for the king, and the Royalist cause was warmly supported by the earl of Lindsey, Viscount Newark, Sir Peregrine Bertie and the families of Dymoke, Heneage and Thorold. Lord Willoughby of Parham was a prominent Parliamentary leader, and the Isle of Axholme and the Puritan yeomanry of Holland declared for the parliament. In 1643 Cromwell won a small victory near Grantham, and the Royalist garrisons at Lynn and Lincoln surrendered to Manchester. In 1644, however, Newark, Gainsborough, Lincoln, Sleaford and Crowland were all in Royalist hands, and Newark only surrendered in 1646. Among other historic families connected with Lincolnshire were the Wakes of Bourne and the d’Eyncourts, who flourished at Blankney from the Conquest to the reign of Henry VI.; Belvoir Castle was founded by the Toenis, from whom it passed by the Daubeneys, then to the Barons Ros and later to the Manners, earls of Rutland. In the Lindsey Survey of 1115–1118 the name of Roger Marmion, ancestor of the Marmion family, who had inherited the fief of Robert Despenser, appears for the first time.
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were between 400 and 500 mills in Lincolnshire; 2111 fisheries producing large quantities of eels; 361 salt-works; and iron forges at Stow, St Mary and at Bytham. Lincoln and Stamford were flourishing centres of industry, and markets existed at Kirton-in-Lindsey, Louth, Old Bolingbroke, Spalding, Barton and Partney. The early manufactures of the county are all connected with the woollen trade, Lincoln being noted for its scarlet cloth in the 13th century, while an important export trade in the raw material sprang up at Boston. The disafforesting of Kesteven in 1230 brought large areas under cultivation, and the same period is marked by the growth of the maritime and fishing towns, especially Boston (which had a famous fish-market), Grimsby, Barton, Saltfleet, Wainfleet and Wrangle. The Lincolnshire towns suffered from the general decay of trade in the eastern counties which marked the 15th century, but agriculture was steadily improving, and with the gradual drainage of the fen-districts culminating in the vast operations of the 17th century, over 330,000 acres in the county were brought under cultivation, including more than two-thirds of Holland. The fen-drainage resulted in the extinction of many local industries, such as the trade in goose-feathers and the export of wild fowl to the London markets, a 17th-century writer terming this county “the aviary of England, 3000 mallards with other birds having been caught sometimes in August at one draught.” Other historic industries of Lincolnshire are the breeding of horses and dogs and rabbit-snaring; the Witham was noted for its pike; and ironstone was worked in the south, now chiefly in the north and west.
As early as 1295 two knights were returned to parliament for the shire of Lincoln, and two burgesses each for Lincoln, Grimsby and Stamford. In the 14th century Lincoln and Stamford were several times the meeting-places of parliament or important councils, the most notable being the Lincoln Parliament of 1301, while at Stamford in 1309 a truce was concluded between the barons, Piers Gaveston and the king. Stamford discontinued representation for some 150 years after the reign of Edward II.; Grantham was enfranchised in 1463 and Boston in 1552. Under the act of 1832 the county was divided into a northern and southern division, returning each two members, and Great Grimsby lost one member. Under the act of 1868 the county returned six members in three divisions and Stamford lost one member. Under the act of 1885 the county returned seven members in seven divisions; Lincoln, Boston and Grantham lost one member each and Stamford was disfranchised.
Antiquities.—At the time of the suppression of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. there were upwards of one hundred religious houses; and among the Fens rose some of the finest abbeys held by the Benedictines. The Gilbertines were a purely English order which took its rise in Lincolnshire, the canons following the Austin rule, the nuns and lay brothers that of the Cistercians. They generally lived in separate houses, but formed a community having a common church in which the sexes were divided by a longitudinal wall. These houses were at Alvingham, Catley, Holland Brigg, Lincoln, before the gate of which the first Eleanor Cross was erected by Edward I. to his wife, Newstead in Lindsey, Sempringham, the chief house of the order, founded by St Gilbert of Gaunt in 1139, of which the Norman nave of the church is in use, Stamford (a college for students) and Wellow. There were nunneries of the order at Haverholme, Nun Ormsby and Tunstal.
The following are a few of the most famous abbeys. Barlings (Premonstratensian), N.E. of Lincoln, was founded 1154, for fourteen canons. The tower, Decorated, with arcading pierced with windows, and the east wall of the south wing remain. The Benedictine Mitred Abbey of Crowland (q.v.) was founded 716, and refounded in 948. Part of the church is still in use. Thornton Abbey (Black Canons) in the north near the Humber was founded in 1139. There remain a fragment of the south wing of the transept, two sides of the decagonal chapter-house (1282) and the beautiful west gate-house, Early Perpendicular (1332–1388), with an oriel window on the east. Kirkstead Abbey (Cistercian) was founded in 1139. Little remains beyond an Early English chapel of singular beauty.
In the Parts of Lindsey several churches present curious early features, particularly the well-known towers of St Peter, Barton-on-Humber, St Mary-le-Wigford and St Peter at Gowts, Lincoln, which exhibit work of a pre-Conquest type. Stow church for Norman of various dates, Bottesford and St James, Grimsby, for Early English, Tattershall and Theddlethorpe for Perpendicular are fine examples of various styles.
In the Parts of Kesteven the churches are built of excellent stone which abounds at Ancaster and near Sleaford. The church of St Andrew, Heckington, is the best example of Decorated architecture in the county; it is famed for its Easter sepulchre and fine sedilia. The noble church of St Wulfram, Grantham, with one of the finest spires in England, is also principally Decorated; this style in fact is particularly well displayed in Kesteven, as in the churches of Caythorpe, Claypole, Navenby and Ewerby. At Stamford (q.v.) there are five churches of various styles.
It is principally in the Parts of Holland that the finest churches in the county are found; they are not surpassed by those of any other district in the kingdom, which is the more remarkable as the district is composed wholly of marsh land and is without stone of any kind. It is highly probable that the churches of the south part of this district owe their origin to the munificence of the abbeys of Crowland and Spalding. The church of Long Sutton, besides its fine Norman nave, possesses an Early English tower and spire which is comparable with the very early specimen at Oxford cathedral. Whaplode church is another noteworthy example of Norman work; for Early English work the churches of Kirton-in-Holland, Pinchbeck and Weston may be noticed; for Decorated those at Donington and Spalding; and for Perpendicular, Gedney, together with parts of Kirton church. Of the two later styles, however, by far the most splendid example is the famous church of St Botolph, Boston (q.v.), with its magnificent lantern-crowned tower or “stump.”
There are few remains of medieval castles, although the sites of a considerable number are traceable. Those of Lincoln and Tattershall (a fine Perpendicular building in brick) are the most noteworthy, and there are also fragments at Boston and Sleaford, Country seats worthy of note (chiefly modern) are Aswarby Hall, Belton House, Brocklesby, Casewick, Denton Manor, Easton Hall, Grimsthorpe (of the 16th and 18th centuries, with earlier remains), Haverholm Priory, Nocton Hall, Panton Hall, Riby Grove, Somerby Hall, Syston Park and Uffington. The city of Lincoln is remarkably rich in remains of domestic architecture from the Norman period onward, and there are similar examples at Stamford and elsewhere. In this connexion the remarkable triangular bridge at Crowland of the 14th century (see Bridges) should be mentioned.
See Victoria County History, Lincolnshire; Thomas Allen, The History of the County of Lincoln (2 vols., London, 1834); C. G. Smith, A Translation of that portion of the Domesday Book which relates to Lincolnshire and Rutlandshire (London, 1870); G. S. Streatfield, Lincolnshire and the Danes (London, 1884); Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lincolnshire, 1470, ed. J. E. Nicholls, Camden Society, Camden Miscellany, vol. i. (London, 1847); The Lincolnshire Survey, temp. Henry I., ed. James Greenstreet (London, 1884); Lincolnshire Notes and Queries (Horncastle, 1888); Lincolnshire Record Society (Horncastle, 1891).