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.