Monument record MLI91642 - General settlement record for New Sleaford


The settlement of New Sleaford originated in the Saxon period, and is first mentioned in documentary sources in the 9th century. It survives to the present day.

Type and Period (1)

  • (Early Medieval/Dark Age to Modern - 700 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

PRN 65282 Sleaford is first mentioned in documentary sources in the 9th century. Evidence of Saxon period activity at the Market Place has also been found (see PRN 65283). It is thought that Sleaford was an important Pre-Conquest political, economic and social centre, with a market and court. {1} There are two entries for ‘Eslaforde’ in Domesday Book, however ‘Old’ and ‘New' Sleaford are not distinguished. Land there was held by the Bishop of Lincoln and Saint Benedict of Ramsey. {2} It was previously thought that the settlement of Old Sleaford pre-dated that of New Sleaford, and that New Sleaford was a planned town created in the 12th century. It was therefore assumed that both Domesday entries referred to it. However, this has been challenged and it is now thought that New Sleaford is the manor/settlement belonging to the Bishop of Lincoln in Domesday, and that Old Sleaford is represented by the much smaller holding of Saint Benedict of Ramsey and was part of the manor at Quarrington. (See also PRN 65277) {1}{3} Therefore, the minimum population at the time of Domesday was 29 villeins, 6 sokemen, 11 bordars and a priest. A church and 8 mills are also mentioned. {2} The first element of the place name Sleaford originates from the Old English river name ‘Sliowa’ meaning ‘muddy waters, water with slimy vegetation’. The second element is the Old English ‘ford’, hence the name means ‘ford over the Sliowa’. Post Conquest forms show Old Danish influence. {4} 'New' Sleaford is first documented in 1263. 12th century documents that differentiate between the two settlements refer to 'East' and 'West' Sleaford. {1} The Lay Subsidy of 1334 records New Sleaford's wealth as £16 0s. 8 1/4d., making it the richest settlement in its wapentake (Flaxwell) by a considerable margin. {5} The Diocesan Return of 1563 records 145 households resident in the parish. {6} By the late 17th to early 18th century, there were more than 250 families at Sleaford (this may include Old Sleaford) and these include Prebyterians, Anabaptists and one Quaker. A Public School and the hospital of Sir Robert Carre are also mentioned. {7} By 1801 there were 1483 people living in the parish, rising to 3955 by 1881 before falling slightly to 3824 by 1901. There was a large rise in 1871 due to an influx of railway workers. {8} Sleaford became a Borough in 1258. A market was granted to the Bishop of Lincoln by Henry II in 1154-65. In 1202, the market day was changed from Sunday to Thursday. On the 15th February 1329, Edward III confirmed the charter. A fair was granted to Bishop Alexander of Lincoln by King Stephen in 1136-40, to be held at the manor at the feast of St Denis (9th October). On 15th February 1329, this charter was confirmed by Edward III and in 1401 Henry IV granted to Bishop Henry of Lincoln the right to hold a fair at the same time in the town. Another fair, to be held at the feast of St Peter's Chains (1st August) was granted at the same time, also to be held in the town. {9} An account of Sleaford and its residents in 1856 is given in White's 'Directory'. At this time, there was a market held on Mondays, and five annual cattle fairs of which three were of 'much consequence', also a cheese-mart was held in October . {10} During the medieval period, there were several guilds at Sleaford, including those of the Holy Trinity or St Thomas, Corpus Christi and St John. These guilds were religious and charitable institutions, intended to give aid to their members in life, death and after death, although some also had an interest in advancing prosperity in trade. Each had a guild hall, although the locations of these are not known. {11} Various copper tradesmen's tokens were produced at Sleaford during the 17th century. {11} FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE MEDIEVAL CORE OF SLEAFORD PLEASE SEE RECORD PRN 65283. THE POST MEDIEVAL SETTLEMENT RECORD IS SPLIT INTO TWO QUARTERS; EAST AND WEST (PRNS 65284 AND 65285), WITH SOUTH GATE/NORTH GATE AS THE DIVIDING LINE. PLEASE SEE THESE RECORDS FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION IN THESE AREAS.

Sources/Archives (12)

  •  Article in Serial: ROFFE, D.. 1979. 'Origins' in South Lincolnshire Archaeology 3: Sleaford. pp 11-16.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: C.W. Foster and T. Longley. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. 7/43; 10/2.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Shelia M. Elsdon. 1997. Old Sleaford Revealed: A Lincolnshire Settlement in Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Medieval Times: Excavations 1882-1995. Chapter 9.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Kenneth Cameron. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. p 112.
  •  Article in Serial: R.E. Glasscock. 1964. 'The Lay Subsidy of 1334 for Lincolnshire' in Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society Reports and Papers. vol.10.2, p.124.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Gerald A.J. Hodgett. 1975. Tudor Lincolnshire. p 198.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: R.E.G. Cole. 1913. Speculum Dioeceseos Lincolniensis sub Episcopis Gul: Wake et Edm: Gibson A.D.1705-1723. Part 1: Archdeaconries of Lincoln and Stow. pp 109-110.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. p 362.
  •  Website: Letters, Samantha (Dr). 2003. Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516: Counties and Wales. Sleaford.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. pp 430-43.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Edward Trollope. 1872. Sleaford and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn in the County of Lincoln. pp 102-140.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. FN85, FN86, FN87.



Grid reference Centred TF 06792 45773 (900m by 821m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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