Monthly Archives: October 2018

900th Anniversary of Peterborough Cathedral

Peterborough Cathedral is considered to be one of England’s most beautiful medieval buildings, and at our meeting on 8th November, Dr Jonathan Foyle will give an illustrated talk about its unique architecture.

Jonathan is well known as a lively and engaging speaker.  He grew up in Deeping and holds degrees in Architecture, History of Art and Archaeology.   His latest book titled “Peterborough Cathedral – a Glimpse of Heaven” was timed to celebrate its 900th anniversary.

Construction of the present church began in 1118, after earlier monastery buildings were accidentally destroyed by fire.  A previous monastery was also burned down in 1070 by “men from all over the fens” led by a local landowner named Hereward.  In an attempt to overthrow their new Norman rulers, he combined forces with a Danish king.  The Anglo Saxon Chronicle states they arrived in Peterborough by boat and seized the Abbey’s treasures, including gold and silver shrines, fifteen great crosses of gold and silver, and “the arm of St Cuthbert” – a holy relic.

Hereward the Outlaw, as he was called at the time, became a legendary hero after he evaded capture by William the Conqueror at Ely. He later became known as Hereward the Wake, when the Wake family who owned the Manor of Deeping, claimed to be descended from his daughter.

In 1380 when Blanche Wake died, a summary was made of her land holdings and income from Deeping Manor.  As well as the Manor House with fish moats and dovecote, she owned three water mills, arable land, meadow and “a certain marsh called Deeping Fen”. She was entitled to tolls from markets and fairs held in Deeping, and annual rents of pepper, cumin seed and 120 hens.  She could also claim “work and slavery from natural tenants or natives born there”, valued at £35 a year.

Jonathan Foyle’s talk starts at 7.30pm in the Main Hall at Deepings School.  Tickets costing £6 are for sale at Deeping Library, or by phoning Geoff on 01778 343390.  Seats may be available on the night, but reserving tickets is recommended.   

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You are warmly invited to St Guthlac’s Church on Sunday, November 11th between 12 noon and 4pm for another opportunity to see the Market Deeping posters, dossiers and photographs of those who served in the war.  They were all prepared by the Deepings Remember 1914-18 Group as part of an exhibition in the Community Centre in November 2014. Other items connected with the war, and especially the Armistice and eventual peace, will be on display.

∗ THERE WILL BE NEW INFORMATION TOO.  Find out about the 21 men who served, whose names were found in recently discovered Parish Magazines.  Are you related to them?  We have already located one local family.

∗ READ THE MOVING LETTERS WRITTEN BY THE RECTOR, CANON ASHBY when he was serving in the trenches – especially the one written to the children of the Sunday school, featuring “Whiz Bang” the kitten…

We hope you will join in remembering the men and women who served – those who survived and those who never returned to their families and to our community.



Conserving Lincolnshire’s Heritage

The speaker at our meeting on 11th October will be Liz Bates, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Lincolnshire, based in Heckington, near Sleaford.  Formed over 25 years ago, the organisation manages six historical sites in the county, including a 13th century Knights Templar tower at Temple Bruar and a 1950s nuclear bomb monitoring post near Holbeach.  It also provides archaeological services, fosters traditional skills and monitors buildings at risk.

When no ancient buildings remain as evidence of an area’s history, sometimes the street names give a clue.  Examples in Market Deeping are Godsey Lane, and The Orchard which connects it to Church Street, along the side of the Glebe Field.

Godsey family baptisms were among the earliest entries in Deeping St James parish register in the 1560s.   The surname is uncommon and varied in spelling over the years, from Godsawe to Godsow and Godsay.  William Godsawe was a weaver when he died in 1623, owning horses and cattle.  He bequeathed two looms to Hugh Laxton on condition that Hugh gathered “sweet and good fodder for my wife’s beasts this summer to serve the winter following”.  William left no male descendants but he named a kinsman as Nicholas Godsaw.  A later Nicholas Godsay had two sons born in Deeping St James around 1700.

It is not clear when the family’s name first became associated with the route to our supermarket!  It has also been unofficially known as Tinkers Lane, but a map drawn in about 1810 shows a narrow section called “Godsey’s Lane” at the southern end, with the remaining, wider part called “Godsey’s Road”.  There were no buildings along its length at that date.  In 1911 there was a single cottage with stables.  By 1939 a terrace of nine houses was erected, with Godsey Crescent being constructed in the early 1950s.

Houses in The Orchard are even more modern, yet the origin of that name goes back to the 16th century, when John Roote owned a coppice and orchard bordering the Rectory grounds. When he died in 1604 the property was inherited by his widow, Margery and after her death, by their eldest son Theophilus Roote.

From the mid 1700s, five generations of the Algar family cultivated the orchard, which was described in 1828 as “a very capital garden planted with the choicest standard and other fruit trees”.  It extended back to “Godsey’s Road” and included the house pictured next to the churchyard, with a large grapevine trained on the south wall.  From about 1830, William Algar also ran a pub from the premises, which he named The Vine.

His son, William junior continued the business as nurseryman, seedsman and publican, but was declared bankrupt in 1862, owing money to a brewer, Joseph Phillips.  The Vine public house then transferred to the building where it still trades today, and was run by John Bluff, a coal merchant.  The Algars continued as nurserymen with five acres of gardens and orchards containing “gooseberries, currants and raspberries, interspersed with fine young orchard trees of apples, pears, plums, walnuts etc.”  The land was said to be the finest in the parish of Market Deeping.

From the 1890s the French family ran the nursery and were still occupying the house in 1939.  It was eventually demolished to make way for the new road and the orchard land was used for houses.

Before Liz Bates starts her very interesting talk, we will have a brief  Annual General Meeting, at 7.30pm in the Conference Centre, Deepings School.  Everyone is welcome.  There is a £2 charge for non-members.