Monument record MLI98070 - The settlement of Thimbleby


The settlement of Thimbleby probably has its origins in the late Anglo-Saxon period and survives to the present day

Type and Period (1)

  • (Early Medieval/Dark Age to Modern - 1000 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

PRN48436 The settlement of Thimbleby has it origins in the late Anglo-Saxon period. The name of the village probably means Thymli’s farmstead, or village, and comes from the Old Norse personal name ‘Thymli’ and Old Danish ‘by’. {1} The village is first recorded in the Domesday Book when there are three main land-holders. There is only one manor, the main holding, held by Drew de Beurere that also included a watermill, but there was also a sizable holding held by the King as part of his Soke (or estate) of Horncastle. In addition there was a smaller holding of the Bishop of Bayeux which was possibly part of his estate centred at Langton by Horncastle. All the land-holdings included meadowland and two of them woodland as well. At the time of Domesday in 1085 there was a minimum population of 68 people in the village. A generation later in 1115 the Lindsey Survey also recorded three holdings in Thimbleby and these probably include the same holdings as those recorded in Domesday. {2} In 1334 the Lay Subsidy returns assigned a value of £3 6s.1½d. to Thimbleby which was about average for the area. {3} The population of Thimbleby appears to have remained fairly constant from the sixteenth century until the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1563 there were 40 households in the parish as recorded in the Diocesan returns for that year. {4} In the early eighteenth century (about 1715) there were roughly the same number of families in Thimbleby, with 35 and 41 families recorded in two of the Diocesan censuses. {5} In 1741/42 there was a brief (a call for assistance) issued for Thimbleby. This was possibly for the church, the nave of which had been described as being in a bad state of repair in 1662 during the Archdeacon of Lincoln's visitation. Cox says that the old church was pulled down in 1744 (see St Margaret's Church PRN46437). {6}{7} The parish was enclosed in 1779 and the large open fields divided up into smaller fields which were more efficient for farming. {8} By 1801 the population had reached 224 people. The population then rose over the next fifty years to 492 in 1851. The population dropped during the second half of the nineteenth century to stand at 362 in 1901. {9} In 1856 Thimbleby was described as a long scattered village on a declivity of the Wolds over-looking the valley of the Bain, one mile west of Horncastle. The lord of the manor was Stafford Hotchkin who lived at Woodhall Spa and he also had the patronage of the Church (that is he had the right to appoint the rector). The rector at the time was the Reverend Hotchkin, a relative of Stafford Hotchkin. There was a small manor of Hallgarth in the middle of the village (now Hallgarth Farm at TF 2377 6993). {10} It is possible that Hallgarth Farm is the site of the medieval manor in Thimbleby that is mentioned in the Domesday Book. {11}

Sources/Archives (11)

  •  Bibliographic Reference: Kenneth Cameron. 1998. A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. Thimbleby.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: C.W. Foster and T. Longley. 1924. Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. 1/92, 4/52, 30/18; L19/4, L19/7, L19/8..
  •  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.129.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Gerald A.J. Hodgett. 1975. Tudor Lincolnshire. p.193.
  •  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. Thimbleby.
  •  Article in Serial: Swaby, S.W. 1993. 'The collection of briefs: examples from Uffington and extracts on Lincolnshire briefs' in Lincolnshire Past and Present. p.13.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Cox, J. Charles. 1916. Little Guide: Lincolnshire (first edition). p.314.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: RUSSELL, R.C. AND RUSSELL, E.. 1985. Old and New Landscapes in Horncastle Area. pp.74-76.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William Page (ed). 1906. The Victoria County History: Lincolnshire - Volume 2. population figures, p.371.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. p.771.
  •  Verbal Communication: Bennet, Mark. 2010. Verbal Communication from Mark Bennet of the Lincolnshire HER. December 2010.



Grid reference Centred TF 2378 7000 (843m by 280m)

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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