Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HORNCASTLE

HORNCASTLE, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a soke, in Lincoln. The town stands at the confluence of the rivers Bain and Waring, at the E foot of the Wolds, and at the terminus of the Horncastle railway, 20½ miles E by S of Lincoln. Its name was originally written Horncastre, and was derived from a "hyrn" or angle at the confluence of the rivers, and from a "castrum '' or fort built here by the Romans. The fort may be assumed to have been strong; and it appears to have been renovated or reconstructed, both in the Saxon times and after the Norman conquest; but it is now represented by only a few small fragments of walls. The original castrum has been identified, by some distinguished antiquaries, with the Bannovallinm of the Roman geographer Ravennas. A Roman road went hence to Lincoln, nearly in coincidence with the present road; and another Roman road branched off to Caistor, and thence to the Humber, and is still known as the Highstreet. Many Roman coins, several Roman urns and fragments of urns, and some fine specimens of the silver currency of the early English, have been found to the S of the town; and an ornamental brass spur, a dagger, and part of a brass crucifix were found, in 1802, in an adjacent part of the bed of the Bain. The site of a Roman maze, called the Julian Bower, is on the SW side of the town, near the vestiges of the fort. A place called Hangman's Corner, where capital sentences of the manorcourt were formerly carried into execution, is at the SE part of the parish, near a mill on the Mareham road. The manor was held by Queen Editha, by Adeliza de Candia, and by Girard of Rhodes; was given, by Henry I II., to the Bishops of Carlisle; and passed, in 1858, to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.. The town stands chiefly in the angle at the confluence of the rivers; has undergone great recent improvement; and, notwithstanding that its streets are somewhat narrow and irregular, presents a modern and pleasing appearance. The corn exchange, in High street, was erected in 1856, at a cost of about £3, 500; is a handsome edifice of brick, with stone facings; and includes a news room, a mechanics' institute, with a library, and a hall for assemblies, concerts, and lectures. The butter market was erected in 1853, at the expense of J. B. Stanhope, Esq. The public pumps were recently all made drinking fountains, by having affixed to them galvanized iron goblets. The parish church is later English, of the time of Henry VII.; includes small portions of a previous early English church; underwent reconstruction of its aisles in 1821, and a general restoration, at a cost of about £4, 000, in 1861; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and spire; and contains some Comwellian weapons used at the battle of Winceby, a brass of the Dymoke family, and monuments of Dr. Madely and George Heald, Esq. Holy Trinity church was built in 1848, contains about 400 sittings, and is a chapel of ease. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists; a grammar school, founded in 1562, of high repute, with endowed income of £240; a free school, with endowed income of £62; national and British schools; a dispensary, a workhouse, and some charities. The Horncastle railway was authorized in 1854, at an estimated cost of £45, 000, and opened in 1855; goes south-westward into junction with the Lincoln and Boston line at Kirkstead; is 8 miles long, single, and worked by the Great Northern; and has a station at Woodhall-Spa. The river Bain was made navigable from Horncastle to the Witham, a distance of 10 miles, under acts of 1792 and 1800, on a capital of £35, 000. The town has a head post office, ‡ two banking offices, and two chief inns; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling place; and publishes a weekly newspaper. A weekly market is held on Saturday: a fair for cattle and sheep on the fifth Thursday in Lent; a fair for horses and cattle on 21 and 22 June; a great fair for horses, one of the greatest in the kingdom, on the Monday after 8 Aug. and five following days, the last two of which are also for sheep and cattle; a fair for foals and lambs, on the second Saturday of Sept.; and a fair for cattle, sheep, and horses, on 28 and 29 Oct. A good trade is carried on in malting and brewing, and in corn and coal. Pop. of the town, in 1851, 4, 921; in 1861, 4, 846. Houses, 1, 057. The parish includes an allotment in Wildmore Fen, and comprises 2, 510 acres. Real property, £18, 471; of which £379 are in the Bain navigation. Pop. in 1851, 5, 017; in 1861, 4, 944. Houses, 1, 075. Pop. of the Wildmore Fen portion in 1861, 98. Houses, 18. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £700.* Patron, the Bishop of Carlisle. -The sub-district contains the parishes of Stixwould, Horsington, Langton-near-Horncastle, Thornton, Edlington, Wispington, Hemingby, Goulsby, Asterby, Cawkwell, and Scamblesby, and also, excepting their fen allotments, the parishes of Horncastle, Martin, Woodhall, Thimbleby, and West Ashby. Acres, 27, 209. Pop., 9, 112. Houses, 1, 945.—The district comprehends also the sub-district of Wragby, containing the parishes of Wragby, West Torrington, West Barkwith, East Barkwith, Panton, Langton-by-Wragby, Hatton, Sotby, Benniworth, Market-Stainton, Ranby, Great Sturton, Baumber, Minting, Gantby, Waddingworth, Tupholme, and Bucknall, and the extra-parochial tract of Langton-Woodhouse; the sub-district of Tetford, containing the parishes of Tetford, Belchford, Fulletby, Salmonby, Somersby, BagEnderby, Ashby-Puerorum, Greetham, Scrafield, Hameringham, Winceby, Hagworthingham, and ClaxbyPluckacre, and also, excepting fen allotments, the parishes of High Toynton, Low Toynton, Mareham-on-theHill, Lusby, Asgarby, Miningsby, Moorby, Wood-Enderby, Scrivelsby, and Dalderby; and the sub-district of Tattershall, containing the parishes of Tattershall, Roughton, Haltham-upon-Bain, Kirkby-upon-Bain, Kirkstead, Coningsby, Mareham-le-Fen, Wilksby, and Revesby, the allotments of twelve parishes in Wildmore Fen, the allotments of three parishes in West Fen, and the extra-parochial tracts of Haven-Bank, Land-Southof-the-Witham, Great Beats, and Little Beats. Acres, 113, 588. Poor rates in 1863, £13, 065. Pop. in 1851, 25, 091; in 1861, 24, 718. Houses, 5, 117. Marriages in 1862, 139; births, 820, -of which 76 were illegitimate; deaths, 420, -of which 133 were at ages under 5 years, and 16 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 683; births, 8, 170; deaths, 4, 716. Theplaces of worship, in 1851, were 67 of the Church of England, with 12, 099 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 549 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 674 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 65 s.; 47 of Wesleyans, with 7, 219 s.; and 15 of Primitive Methodists, with 1, 392 s. The schools were 28 public day schools, with 1, 997 scholars; 68 private day schools, with 1, 247 s.; 66 Sunday schools, with 4, 039 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 4 s.-The soke is in the parts of Lindsey, and contains fifteen parishes. Acres, 24, 780. Pop. in 1831, 11, 078; in 1861, 10, 739. Houses, 2, 900.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a soke"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Horncastle CP/AP       Horncastle SubD       Horncastle SubD       Horncastle PLU/RegD       Lincolnshire AncC
Place: Horncastle

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