Bytham, Castle (St. James)
BYTHAM, CASTLE (St. James), a parish, in the union of Bourne, wapentake of Beltisloe, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Corby; containing, with the chapelry of Holywell with Aunby, and the hamlet of Counthorpe, 855 inhabitants. This place derives its name from an ancient castle, the origin of which is generally attributed to the Romans: it appears to have been strongly fortified; and within the foundations have been dug up, at various times, stone coffins, and other relics of antiquity. In 1080, Odo, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness, having married Adelina, sister of William the Conqueror, obtained a grant of the castle and adjoining territory for the purpose of enabling them to feed their infant son, Stephen, with wheaten bread; from which circumstance a close, constituting a part of the territory, still retains the name of "Wheaten Close." In 1340, William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle, rebelling against Edward III., fortified his castle of Bytham, and plundered the surrounding country; but the castle being soon afterwards besieged by the royal forces, was taken and levelled with the ground. The living is a discharged vicarage, consolidated with the rectory of Little Bytham, and valued in the king's books at £7. 13. 6.: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1803. At Holywell is a chapel of ease. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a school is partly supported by £25 per annum, from an estate belonging to the parish.