Spalding, Lincolnshire

Spalding, Lincolnshire

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 52.7858
longitude= -0.1529
official_name= Spalding
population = 30,000
shire_district= South Holland
shire_county = Lincolnshire
region= East Midlands
constituency_westminster= South Holland and The Deepings
post_town= SPALDING
postcode_district = PE11
postcode_area= PE
dial_code= 01775
os_grid_reference= TF245225

Spalding is a market town with a population of 30,000 on the River Welland in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England.

Spalding is well-known for its annual Flower Parade which attracts many regular visitors from all over the world, although the attendance has been declining from year to year. Since 2002 it has also held an annual [ Pumpkin Festival] (not linked to Hallowe'en) in October.

Spalding is twinned with the German town of Speyer.


A settlement has existed in the Spalding area as far back as Roman times when the site was used for the production of salt to which it was suited as marshland.

Timeline [ [ Spalding History - local history, historic sites and famous people from Spalding ] ]

1015 - a Benedictine Priory was founded by Thorold de Bokenhale

1086 - the town is recorded in the Domesday book as 'Spallinge'

1284(c) - St Mary & St Nicholas Church was built as a parish church by the priory under Prior William de Littleport.

1377 - The White Hart Inn of the Market Place is built

1430s - Ayscoughfee Hall built by Richard Alwyn

1566 - Mary Queen of Scots stopped overnight at the White Hart in the Market Place.

1588 - The Spalding Grammar School, originally located within the Church, was founded.

1590s - Spalding's first drains constructed.

1650 - Sir John Gamlyn founded almshouses in Spalding.

1688 - Maurice Johnson was born at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding on June 19th. He founded the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society Museum in 1710, which is the second oldest museum in the country.

1710 - Maurice Johnson founded the Gentlemen's Society Museum, which is now the second oldest museum in the country.

1768 - Holland House, described as the finest house in Spalding, was built by William Sands Junior.

1774 - The famous explorer Matthew Flinders was born on March 16th, he went on to discover most of southern Australia

1801 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 3,296.

1805 - The Friends Meeting House, in Double Street, was built.

1826 - Spalding's last house of correction was built. It closed down in 1884.

1831 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 6,497.

1838 - The High Bridge over the River Welland was re-built.

1842 - The Sessions House in Sheep Market was built.

1847 - The Spalding Free Press newspaper was founded.

1851 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 8,829.

1854 - Spalding Cemetery was consecrated in November.

1855-56 - The Corn Exchange was built.

1857 - The Butter Market was opened.

1858 - The police station was built.

1860 - An Act was passed to pipe fresh water to Spalding from Bourne.

1866 - Spalding Amateur Dramatic Society formed.

1866-67 - St. Mary and St. Nicolas Church was extensively restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

1870 - Goodfellows National School was opened.

1871 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 9,111.

1874 - The ecclesiastical parish of St. John the Baptist was formed on December 1st from the civil parishes of Spalding and Pinchbeck.

1875 - The Church of St John the Baptist and the primary school next door to it, with the same name, were built.

1875-76 - The Church of St. Peter, on the site of the old Abbey, was built.

1878 - Spalding's Roman Catholic church in Henrietta Street, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and St. Norbert, was built.

1880 - St Paul's Church in Fulney was built to designs drawn up by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who was a member of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society [see Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, Spalding] - he also designed buildings for Boston, Lincolnshire, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and other areas.

1881 - The present grammar school building, in Priory Road, was erected.

1884 - Spalding's last house of correction was closed. Part of the site is now occupied by Spalding Library.

1887 - The Methodist church in Broad Street was opened.

1891 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 9,014.

1921 - Spalding United F.C. was formed.

1941 - In May, during World War II, a stray Luftwaffe bomber dropped its bombs on Spalding, destroying much of Hall Place and causing damage to several businesses.

1958 - The first Spalding Flower Parade took place.

1960 - [ St Nicolas Players Amateur Dramatic Society] was formed in Spalding. The group's name came from the use of the St. Nicolas Church Hall for early meetings.

2008 - Tulip Radio was awarded a full time broadcasting licence from Ofcom and announced that they will be broadcasting from January 2009.

In John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887), Spalding was described as;"market town and par. with ry. sta., Lincolnshire, on River Welland, 14 m. SW. of Boston, 12,070 ac., pop. 9260; P.O., T.O., 3 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-day, Tuesday. Spalding is an important railway centre, while the river has been made navigable to the town for vessels of from 50 to 70 tons. It is situated in a rich agricultural district, and has a large trade, by river and by rail, in corn, wool, coal, and timber. It has also flour, bone, and saw mills, breweries, and coach works. There are remains of a priory of 1501, a fine old church (restored 1860), a grammar school, a corn exchange, and a spacious market place." [ [ Spalding Lincolnshire through time | Local history overview for the place ] ]

The River Welland

The River Welland flows [ north] from Crowland, [ through] Spalding and passing the village and port of Fosdyke before leading out to the Wash, bisecting Spalding from east to west; the town has developed as a linear settlement around the [ river] . Land had been reclaimed from the wetlands in the area since mediaeval times, and Spalding was subject to frequent flooding. The [ Coronation Channel] , opened in 1953, diverted the excess waters around Spalding and ended the flooding [] , allowing the area around the banks to be safely built upon. Although this area has become heavily built up, the river retains its recreational usage and fishing is still popular.

In July 2005 a "Spalding Water Taxi" service was [ launched] , running from Easter to late October. Its [ route] is from just off Spalding's High Street (behind Hills Department Store), upstream along the river, turning onto the Coronation Channel, and going to "Springfields Outlet Shopping & Festival Gardens", and back. It is mainly used as a recreational tourist attraction, described as "a relaxing 30 minute cruise". [ [ Spalding Water Taxi - Welcome ] ]

Around the north-west of Spalding is a large waterway called [ Vernatt's Drain] , named after one of the civil engineers who drained the fens. [ Fulney Lock] is the point where the Welland is no longer tidal.


The town has a population of about 22,000 (26,000 including the large village of Pinchbeck, to the north). The population is growing fast, due in great part to many retired people coming to the area and migrant workers from eastern Europe working in the many food processing factories or on the land. The A16 used to pass through the town until August 1995, when the Spalding-Sutterton Improvement (by-pass) opened.


The Johnson Hospital [ United Lincolnshire Hospitals] ] , named after long-standing local dignitaries the Johnson family of Ayscoughfee Hall, is in Spalding. The maternity ward was closed in the 1990s and it now serves as a casualty hospital; provision for the elderly and care-patients are now made at the Welland Hospital. Limits on expansion due to the historic nature of the building and space limitations (it is in a densely developed area) and lack of funding are causing trouble for the hospital.

A new nurse-led hospital is being developed as of 2008 off Pinchbeck Road in the north of the town, near the Pinchbeck Industrial Estate. The hospital will be known as "The Johnson Community Hospital" with its name keeping the historic connection with the Johnson Family. This will draw together existing scattered sites into a modern central unit. The nearest major hospitals to Spalding are at Boston (18 miles north) and Peterborough (20 miles south-east).

There are two major local doctors' surgeries, Munro Medical Centre, West Elloe Avenue, and Church Street Surgery. There are smaller surgeries on Pennygate and in surrounding villages.


Primary schools

*Ayscoughfee Hall - a private school, situated near the river
*Parish Day School - Clay Lake
* [ St John the Baptist] School (C of E) [] - Hawthorn Bank
*St Norbert's Roman Catholic Primary School - Tollgate
*Monkshouse Primary - Pennygate
*St Paul's Primary
*Spalding Primary School - Woolram Wygate

econdary schools

Spalding's two secondary modern schools (11-16) are the Gleed Boys' School and the Gleed Girls' Technology College. On leaving many transfer to nearby sixth forms or attend Boston College or Stamford College which also have Further Education centres in the town.

The town's state grammar schools (still selective by 11+ exam) are Spalding Queen Elizabeth Royal Free Grammar School (11-16 for boys) and Spalding High School (11-16 for girls), both of which have mixed sixth forms (16-18).

There are also schools for children with special learning needs; The Priory School (for those with mild to moderate learning difficulties) and The Garth School (for those with more demanding educational needs).


A Vocational 6th form is being established for launch in September 08 as part of the Gleed Campus.

Industry and commerce

Spalding is located at the centre of a major region of flower and vegetable growth, due to the rich silty [ soil] which mainly comprises drained recovered marshland or estuary. There are many garden centres and plant nurseries, as well as a thriving agricultural industry and various vegetable packing plants. The main vegetables are potatoes, peas, carrots, wheat, barley, oats, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. The vast majority of these are sold to large concerns such as supermarkets, with little being available for sale locally.

Despite this, local fruit and vegetable shop "Booth's" sells lots of local produce to Spalding's citizens. They sell all major fruit and vegetables ranging from the famous, locally grown 'Boston' potatoes to imported rarities such as custard apples.

Known as "The Heart of the Fens", Spalding is famous as a centre of the bulb industry, and has close links with the Netherlands (origin of the [ Geest] family, who were former major local employers). Many small and internationally famous products are supplied from the area including the [ George Adams] pork products [ Welland Power] generators from the Farrows family. Uniq (former Unigate) have a factory for their prepared salads. The annual [ Tulip Parade] takes place on the first Saturday in May, and is a major tourist attraction, comprising a procession of floats on various themes, each decorated with tulip petals, a by-product of the bulb industry. In years when the tulips are late, daffodils are sometimes used in their place. When the tulips are early, crepe paper has to be substituted. The flower industry has, however, become less important in recent years, and the bands of bright colours that covered the fenland are now essentially gone.

Spalding is the sausage capital of the world being the home of Lincolnshire sausage ranging from the traditional recipes of Brownings and Bennetts Butchers in Winsover Road to the more peppery flavours of T Law in Hall Place Spalding, or the perfectly acceptable mass produced George Adams sausages. The key ingredient of the Lincolnshire sausage is sage. One town centre fish and chip shop, Turner's (known locally as Sheddy's), sells Spalding produced butcher's sausage in batter to wide customer acclaim.

World Tulip Summit

Spalding was chosen to host the [ World Tulip Summit] in 2008, from Thursday, 1 May to Friday, 2nd May, alongside a broader "Tulipmania" festival from 13th April to 24th May. This coincides with the date of the [ Flower Parade] (Saturday, 3rd May), which is coincidentally the fiftieth one. The Summit is expected to attract about 200 delegates from around the world.

Accompanying the Summit and Festival will be many entertainment activities, all with a general focus on promoting the local area.

Landmarks and facilities

The best-known building in Spalding is Ayscoughfee Hall, formerly a 15th century country house and now a museum and tourist information centre. Visitors to Spalding can find other local attractions at the Pinchbeck Engine Museum (just north of Spalding), the Springfields [ Shopping Outlet] and [ Gardens] , Bulb Museum (situated at Birch Grove Garden Centre, Pinchbeck) and the Gordon Boswell Romany Museum, to the south of the town.Spalding and the surrounding area is also famous for its parish churches; [ St Paul's] at Fulney, on the eastern side of the town, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the designer of St Pancras Station London, who was a friend of Spalding Gentlemen’s Society. [ Spalding Parish Church] itself (St Mary & St Nicolas) has a handsome spire visible for miles around and dates from the 12th century. The [ Chatterton Tower] is near Sainsburys.

Four supermarkets are available to locals: a Sainsbury's in the centre of the town, a Co-op in the Winsover Centre, a Marks and Spencer Food Hall, and a [ Morrisons] in Pinchbeck. The [ Castle Sports Complex] provides fitness facilities throughout the day and evening. The [ South Holland Centre] is an arts centre on Market Place that stages concerts, theatre productions and film showings. A new £425m, 860MW combined cycle gas turbine power station, owned by Intergen, was built on the [ former site] of British Sugar on "West Marsh Road" by Bechtel in October 2004. In mid-2006 a new wind farm (operated by Wind Prospect UK) became visible from much of Spalding, located in nearby Deeping St Nicholas.

Spalding is [ situated] on the Lincoln Central - Peterborough railway line, operated by Central Trains. A spur from March, which carried the so-called 'Boat Train' between Harwich and Sheffield, closed in 1982.

Spalding has a popular, reasonably-sized, market every Tuesday and Saturday and on the first Saturday in every month a Farmers' Market. In Spring and Summer, there is a Gardeners' market once a month on a Sunday morning.

Spalding also has its very own local radio station, Tulip Radio [] broadcasting on 87.9 in April/May and October/November, meanwhile training local media students while off air. These students are also involved in local promotional activities with the station, in notable local events like the Flower and Pumpkin parades.

Recently Gregor Fisher, star of Rab C Nesbitt and The Baldy Man, has purchased a holiday home in Spalding.

ee also

* Tulip Festival


External links

* [ Spalding Online]
* [ World Tulip Summit 2008]
* [ Spalding Flower Parade]
* [ Springfields Festival Gardens]
* [ Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press]
* [ Spalding Information]
* [ Gordon Boswell Romany Museum]
* [ Welland photographs from source to estuary taking in Spalding]
* [ Spalding United FC]
* [ Boston College]
* [ Stamford College]
* [ South Holland Freecycle]
* [ Spalding's Tulip Radio]
* [ Vision of Britain]
* [ Spalding Amateur Dramatic & Operatic (SADOS) web site.]
* [ Act II Drama]
* [ South Holland Youth Council (SHYC)]

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