Note: Researchers should be aware that there is at least one other Kirkstead parish in England.
- The parish was in the Tattershall sub-district of the Horncastle Registration District.
- The North Lincolnshire Library holds copies of the census returns for 1841 and 1881.
- Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
- The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
||H.O. 107 / 2108
||R.G. 9 / 2370
||R.G. 10 / 3384
||R.G. 12 / 2600
- The Cistercian abbey was founded here in 1139 and dedicated to Saint Mary. The original abbot and twelve monks were from Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire.
- It appears the small, ancient Anglican church or chapel was built for the villagers by the monks of the Abbey in the 13th Century, since only the monks were allowed at services in the Abbey. It now stands near the Abbey ruins. The church here was originally a thatched-roof stone building, but the roof was converted to slate in 1790, and the bell, which had hung in a tree, was placed over the west end of the building. The graveyard is thought to date from around 1200.
- The present Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Leonard.
- The Anglican church building fell into disuse and was taken over by Daniel DISNEY as a Presbyterian chapel from 1730 until 1812, when a new Anglican minister was assigned.
- The church was repaired in 1843 and again in 1846.
- The church was restored in 1914.
- The church only seats 100.
- Visit the Church of St. Leonard's Without page at Churchmouse for a little history and some photographs.
- Visit the Fairweather website for more information on the church.
- Tours of the village church, St. Leonard's, are held on Saturday and Sunday, 2pm - 5pm by Lincolnshire Heritage.
- There is a photograph of Saint Leonard's Church on the Wendy PARKINSON Church Photos web site.
- Here is a photo of St. Leonard's Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):
- The Anglican parish registers date from 1638.
- The LFHS has published several indexes for the Horncastle Deanery to make your search easier.
- Parish registers are now on file at the Society of Genealogists, covering 1663 - 1799.
- Kirkstead marriages are in Boyd's Marriage Index, covering 1676 - 1837.
- I.G.I batch number for christenings, covering 1814 - 1845, is C029621.
- In 1821 and 1822 a new Presbyterian chapel was built at Kirkstead Wharf in Woodhall parish. It was later used by the Unitarians. For information and assistance in researching see our non-conformist religions page.
- Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.
- The parish was in the Tattershall sub-district of the Horncastle Registration District.
- Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.
Kirkstead is both a village and parish in the vale of the River Witham 122 miles north of London and 7 miles south-west of Horncastle. Woodhall and Martin parishes border to the north, Kirkby on Bain to the east, and Tattershall Thorpe parish is to the south. The River Witham flows along the south-west border of the parish. The parish area before 1900 was about 1,550 acres and about 1,440 thereafter. The hamlet of Town End is 1 mile north-east of the church.
Kirkstead village is a small affair, south-west of Woodhall Spa, west off of the B1192 trunk road. The village is alongside the River Witham. If you are planning a visit:
- The village is also in the "AA Road Atlas of Britain 2000", page 33, as being near Woodhall Spa.
- Richard CROFT has a photograph of Kirkstead Bridge over the River Witham on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2005.
- See our touring page for area resources.
- Kirkstead wasn't a parish at the time of the Norman Conquest. At that time it was a hamlet of Kirkby on Bain. William the Conqueror awarded a manor here to Eudo, one of his knights.
- Eudo's son, Hugh BRITO (or Hugo BRETON) founded a Cistercian monestary or Abbey here in 1138, dedicated to St. Mary. Monks here complained that the area was swampy and unhealthy.
- Human bones have been discovered in the Abbey ruins, but none have been identified.
- Dr. John TAYLOR, author of "The Hebrew Concordance", was minister here from 1715 to 1733.
- In the early 1800's, as the River Witham was being dredged, six ancient iron candlesticks, presumably from the Abbey, were found.
- After the dissolution of the monasteries, the Abbey and all lands were surrendered to the King in 1537. The manor passed through several hands and in 1836 it was sold to Thomas MOORE, Esq., of Appleby Hall, Leicestershire. He became owner of all the land in the parish at that time.
- Kirkstead used to be a station on the Great Northern Railway. Kirskstead is included in the book, "Railways to Skegness" by A.J. Ludlam, published by Oakwood Press, ISBN 08536 15187, 160 pages, size A5, with over 150 photographs.
- The Goose and Gridiron Public House stood on the Woodhall side of the Witham River, in a place known as Kirkstead Wharf. The name derives from a coat of arms used by musicians. The coming of the railways in 1856 meant that trade at the Goose fell off drastically, much of it taken by the new Railway Hotel.
- Peter CHURCH has a photograph of the Railway Hotel on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2011. "Kirkstaed Wharf" is now known as "Kirkstead Bridge".
- The national grid reference is TF 1762.
- You can get an online map of the area by using the parishes two postcodes, LN10 6UH and LN10 6UQ as parameters on Mapquest.com or Streetmap.com.
- You'll want an Ordnance Survey Explorer map, which has 2.5 inches to the mile scale.
- See our Maps page for additional resources.
In St. Leonard's church is an Oak tablet memorial to the five men of World War One from Kirkstead who did not return home.
For a photograph of the Kirkstead War Memorial and the list of names on it, see the Roll of Honour site.
- Kirkstead is from the Old English Cirice+stede for "Site of a Church", presumably because of the Abbey of St. Mary. Shortly after the Abbey was built, the village was called Cristed.
- This place was an ancient parish in Lincoln county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
- The parish was in the south division of the ancient Gartree Wapentake in the East Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
- In the late 1930's, quite a large portion of Kirkstead was taken into the Woodhall Spa Urban District.
- The more ancient parish of Kirkstead amalgamated with Woodhall Spa in the early 1980s. This recognized the reality that Kirkstead was the western part of Woodhall Spa between the village centre and the River Witham.
- For today's district governance, see the East Lindsey District Council.
- Bastardy cases would be heard in the Horncastle petty session hearings at noon, six days a week.
- As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Horncastle Poor Law Union.
- We have a Removal Order and two Settlement Examinations that involve Joseph ATKINSON:
* REMOVAL ORDER dated 20 Jan 1844. Joseph ATKINSON and Susanna his wife and Betsey aged 9 years and upwards David aged 7 years and upwards Mary Ann aged 5 years and upwards and Louisa aged 1 year and upwards their children from Kirkstead to Timberland.
* SETTLEMENT EXAMINATION dated 6 Jan 1844. Joseph ATKINSON of Kirkstead Labourer. I am 31 years of age and upwards and was born at Timberland in the parts of Kesteven in the county of Lincoln where my parents were last legally settled as I have been informed and believe. I was never bound apprentice by indenture I never rented a tenement of £10 a year nor did I ever let myself as a yearly servant. In or about the year 1837 my mother gave me permisson to occupy a house and about 26 or 27 acres of land in the parish of Kirkby super Bain. In the said parts I
occupied the land for four years and upwards without paying any rent for it and resided and slept for the whole of the four years in the said parish of Kirkby that is to say from Christmas 1837 to Mayday 1842. I was duly assessed for the said tenement to all the parish rates for the whole period and duly paid such rates. In or about the month of August 1833 I was lawfully married at Timberland parish church to Susanna my present wife by whom I have five children. Betsey aged 9 years and upwards David aged 7 years and upwards Mary Ann aged 5 years and upwards Joseph aged 3 years and upwards and Louisa aged 1 year and upwards. I am now with my said wife and children actually chargeable to the said parish of Kirkstead.
Joseph Atkinson [signed].
* SETTLEMENT EXAMINATION dated 20 Jan 1842. William Atkinson of Timberland Cottager touching the place of settlement of Joseph Atkinson his son. The pauper Joseph Atkinson is my son by marriage with Susanna my present wife he was born in the parish of Timberland in the parts of Kesteven in the said county of Lincoln in which parish I gained my last legal settlement by renting a tenement. I rented and occupied a farm there for about 40 years at the yearly rent of £135 or thereabouts and resided there the whole time and paid the whole rent and also all parish rates. The last year I had the farm was from Ladyday 1842 to Ladyday 1843 I rentied it for that year of Mr MILLS of Frieston Hall in the west riding of the county of York at yearly rent of £10 and upwards to wit £154 the farm consisted of a farm house and buildings and about 80 acres of land and was situate in the said parish of Timberland I occupied the said farm the whole of the year vizt from Ladyday 1842 to Ladyday 1843 and paid £10 and upwards to wit the whole years rent for the same. I resided and slept for forty days and upwards in the said parish to wit for the whole year And I was duly rated to and paid poor rates for the said farm for the whole year vizt from Ladyday 1842 to Ladyday 1843.
My said son has not done any act to gain a settlement in is own right as I believe His mother and I allowed him to occupy a house and about 27 acres of land in the parish of Kirkby super Bain rent free but we did not let it to him.
Wm Atkinson [signed]. [LQS A/1/635/130&130/1]
- Daniel DISNEY funded schooling for the children of Kirkstead in the 1700's, but the children had to attend school in Langton near Horncastle. By 1900, the parish children had moved to a school in Woodhall Spa.
- No school has been built at Kirkstead.
- For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.
Last updated on 16-Decemberr-2015
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