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Tattershall (Holy Trinity)

TATTERSHALL (Holy Trinity), a market-town and parish, in the union of Horncastle, S. division of the wapentake of Gartree, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 9 miles (S. S. W.) from Horncastle, and 125 (N.) from London; containing, with the township of Thorpe, 907 inhabitants. This place was a Roman military post, as two encampments at Tattershall Park in its immediate neighbourhood indicate; and was granted at the Conquest to Eudo, one of William's followers, whose descendants erected a castle about 1440, south-westward from the town. The fortress stood on a moor, and was surrounded by two fosses, which received the waters of the Bain; the principal part was demolished during the parliamentary war. The northwest tower, still remaining, a rectangular brick structure 100 feet high, flanked by four embattled octangular turrets, was built by Sir Ralph Cromwell, treasurer of the exchequer in the reign of Henry VI. He likewise erected a lofty tower with a spiral staircase leading to its summit, about four miles northward, as an appendage to the larger structure: this is now in a very dilapidated state. The town is situated on the river Bain, near its junction with the Witham; it is much decayed, and the trade is inconsiderable. A canal from the Witham to Horncastle passes through it. The market, originally granted by King John to Robert Fitz-Eudo, is on Thursday; there is a market for pigs on Friday, and fairs are held on May 15th and September 25th. The parish comprises by admeasurement 1600 acres.

The living is a donative; net income, £110; patron and impropriator, Earl Fortescue: the tithes of Thorpe were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1796. The church is on the eastern side and in the outer moat of the castle. It was made collegiate in the time of Henry VI., for seven chaplains (one of whom was master), six clerks, and six choristers: at the Dissolution the revenue was estimated at £348. 5. 11. The collegiate buildings have been taken down, and the church alone remains, a venerable cruciform structure, consisting of a nave, transepts, and choir; the choir was of beautiful design, but since the removal of its fine painted windows to the chapel of Burleigh, the seat of the Marquess of Exeter, this part of the edifice has been allowed to fall into decay. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A national school, held in the south transept of the church, is partly supported by £20 per annum from the Gibson charity; and an almshouse, partitioned into ten separate apartments, originally established by the licence which raised the church into a college, has a small endowment from the same fund. Ammonites and other fossils are found in a stratum of blue clay.


Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.