Swineshead History Montage

Swineshead Directories


Swineshead - Lincolnshire

Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England 1831

Swineshead, a parish (formerly a market town) in the wapentake of KIRTON, parts of HOLLAND, county of Lincoln, 7 miles ( W. by S.) from Boston, containing 1696 inhabitants. 

An abbey for Cistercian monks was founded here by Robert de Greslie, in 11344, the revenue of which at the dissolution was valued at £175. 19. 10.; many valuable coins and several skeletons have, at various periods, been dug up near the spot, and, in 1825, on sinking a well, one of the latter was discovered, which measured six feet four inches. 

King John, in passing the Cross Keys wash, near this place, lost his carriages and baggage, and escaped to the monastery only with his life, where he died. The ruins of the monastery have entirely disappeared, but its site is still visible, and a mansion, recently modernised, was erected with a portion of its materials, about two hundred and twenty years since. 

The sea formerly flowed up to the town, and near the market place was a harbour. About thirty years ago, a bridge was taken down, which crossed a river then navigable for small craft, but now choked up. 

The market, nearly disused, is on a Thursday, and a fair is held on October 2nd.

The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at £14. 9., endowed with £30 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £900 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome edifice with a lofty spire. 

A free school was founded, in 1720, by Thomas Cowley, Esq., who endowed it with certain lands producing £35 per annum, for which thirty five children receive instruction, with a small surplus for clothing the poor, who also receive from the interest of charitable bequests the benefit of a distribution amounting to £200 per annum. About a quarter of a mile north-westward of the town is a circular encampment, called the Man-war-rings, about sixty yards in diameter, and surrounded by a double fosse.




















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