Horncastle is a very ancient town dating back to well
before the Roman invasion. There has been much
evidence of a pre Roman settlement found within the town
over the years. During the Roman occupation the town was
known as Banovallum although there is a dispute over the
name from some quarters. There is still a lot of
the old Roman wall surviving around the town. One
notable section is to be found within the local library,
follow the LINK to view a few photos and more
information about this period in our history, or for a
more in depth history of Horncastle please follow this LINK..
Also if you follow this LINKyou will find photographs of many of the local
monuments and unusual landmarks that can be found whilst
looking around the town.
Horncastle in Viking times became the Capital of a
Viking Wapen Soke (District), although very little as
ever been found from this period around the town.
The photograph shows us a picture of
Banovallum house which is now the headquarters for the
Lincolnshire Nature Trust. The house is situated down
manor house road in the town.
At one time Horncastle used to hold a annual horse fair
during the month of August, during the 19th century it was one
of the largest in Europe if not the world. A lot of the
horses which charged in the charge of the light brigade
originated from Horncastle. With the coming of the
railways the fair began to diminish in size and importance until
after the 2nd world war when it was held for the final time.
Around the turn of the twentieth century Horncastle had in
excess of 50 pubs and ale houses, the equivalent of one drinking
house for every 100 residents. Most of the ale houses just
opened for the period of the horse fair. Today there are
just ten pubs left, one of them the ship is pictured
below. There is a story to be told about nearly every past
and present pub in the town, one of the most notorious was the
Fleece which was next to the Red Lion. It was renowned as
a whore house from world war 2 back.
Horncastle as had several famous people live in or been
associated with the town over the years including Sir Joseph
Banks, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and William
latter was the public executioner for eleven years from 1872
until his death in 1883. Marwood devised the long drop,
through a split trap door, where the body weight and length of
rope would dislocate the vertebrae and cause instant death,
rather than choking. One of the alleyways off Wharf Road
was the place he practised his grisly trade. He was deeply
religious and strongly believed in his humane method. His
fee was £20 a day, and he travelled to prisons all over the
country. He lived on Foundry street in town and and before
he died on the 4th of September 1883 he had despatched over 350
men and women. He is buried in the local Holy Trinity
churchyard off Spilsby Road.
A famous English civil war battle was held nearby just
outside the village of Winceby, artefacts are to be found in the
local St Mary's church from the battle. Also there are
some scythes which are thought to belong to the time of
the Lincolnshire rising within the church. The
Lincolnshire rising was basically a rebellion over the
disillusion of the monasteries by Henry the 8th.
It was mainly residents from Horncastle and Louth which
took part in it. Several people ended up been
executed at Lincoln.
Horncastle as Two rivers the river Bain and the
river Waring flowing through it as well as a canal which
was dug by navies in the 19th century, most of these
workers were Irish and houses were built for them to
live in while the work was been done. The street
names of these houses are Paradise way and Paradise
place, they are just off Foundry street and still
survive today. After a days digging it certainly
must have felt like paradise. The town is at the bottom
of a glacier formed valley and the rivers have flooded numerous
times, most recently in 1920, 1960 and 1982. The
photograph is the river Bain running high in water early
in 2001, the view is upstream towards the old watermill,
to the left is the local coop with its nature reserve
where people regularly feed the local duck population.
If you have any ideas
which you think would help this page and or enhance it please clickHERE to let us know,
If you wish to go back to the Home page clickHERE, If you wish to go back to the top of the