Stamford, Lincolnshire

Stamford, Lincolnshire

infobox UK place

static_image_caption =Stamford south bound from Town Bridge towards St Martin's church.
country = England
latitude= 52.6556
longitude= -0.4837
official_name= Stamford
population = 19,525
shire_district= South Kesteven
shire_county = Lincolnshire
region= East Midlands
constituency_westminster= Grantham and Stamford
post_town= STAMFORD
postcode_district = PE9
postcode_area= PE
dial_code= 01780
os_grid_reference= TF025075

Stamford is located 100 miles north of London, just off the A1, which was the old Great North Road leading to York and Edinburgh. It is a town within the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated on the River Welland, in a southwesterly protrusion of Lincolnshire, between Rutland to the north and west, and Peterborough to the south. It borders Northamptonshire to the south-west at the only point in England where four counties meet. Stamford was declared a conservation area in 1967 and has over 600 listed buildings.



The town originally grew as a Danish settlement at the lowest point that the Welland could be crossed by ford or bridge. Stamford was the only one of the five Danelaw boroughs not to become a county town. Initially a pottery centre, producing "Stamford Ware", by the Middle Ages it had become famous for its production of wool and woollen cloth (known as Stamford cloth). Stamford was a walled town but only a very small portion of the walls now remain. Stamford became an inland port on the Great North Road (also part of the Roman road Ermine Street - it passes through the town - where it forded the River Welland). Notable buildings in the town include the mediaeval Browne's Hospital, churches and the buildings of Stamford School, a public school founded in 1532.Fact|date=September 2008


During 1333-4, a group of students and tutors from Merton and Brasenose Colleges, dissatisfied with conditions at their university, left Oxford to establish a [ rival college] at Stamford. Oxford and Cambridge universities petitioned the King, and Edward III ordered their return to Oxford. Oxford MA students were obliged to swear the following: "You shall also swear that you will not read lectures, or hear them read, at Stamford, as in a University study, or college general". Students in Stamford can now study at New College Stamford on "Drift Road" for BA degrees in Art and Design, awarded by the University of Lincoln.Fact|date=September 2008

Historic houses

Also lying near Stamford (actually in the Soke of Peterborough) is Burghley House, an Elizabethan mansion, vast and ornate, built by the First Minister of Elizabeth I, Sir William Cecil, later Lord Burghley. Also inside the district of Peterborough is the village of Wothorpe.

Another historic country house near Stamford is Tolethorpe Hall, now host to theatre productions by the Stamford Shakespeare Company. [web cite|url= |title=Tolethorpe Hall |publisher=Stamford Shakespeare Company]


In June 1968, a specimen of the "Cetiosaurus oxoniensis" sauropod dinosaur was found by Bill Boddington in the Williamson Cliffe quarry, close to Great Casterton. It was calculated to be around 170 million years old, from the Aalenian or Bajocian part of the Jurassic era. [web cite|url= |title=1968 Williamson Cliffe brick-pit, Rutland: Late/Upper Bajocian, United Kingdom |publisher=The Paleobiology Database] It is one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons found in the UK, being fifteen metres long, and is now in the New Walk Museum in Leicester, being on display since 1975. It is known as the Rutland Dinosaur. The Jurassic Way runs from Banbury to Stamford. The Hereward Way runs through the town from Rutland to the Peddars Way in Norfolk. The Macmillan Way heads through the town, finishing at Boston and there is also the Torpel Way from the town to Peterborough, which follows much of the Hereward Way.


Stamford is known for its many churches. [ All Saint's] in "39 Red Lion Square", with its wooden war memorial, St Mary's on "St Mary's Street", St John the Baptist, St George's [ [ St George's Church, Stamford] ] in "St George's Square", and St Martin's on the "High Street St Martins". St Michael's, at the bottom of "Ironmonger Street", is now a parade of shops.Stamford has 14 churches.

Architectural style

The industrial revolution largely left Stamford untouched. Much of town centre was built centuries ago, and the older streets have been a set for television "period" dramas. Stamford is characterized by street after street of timber-framed and stone buildings (using the local limestone that Lincoln Cathedral is built from), little shops tucked down back alleys such as Olde Barn Passage and Bath Row. The "Meadows", next to the Welland is a popular place to relax in the summer for daytrippers. The main shopping area was pedestrianized in the 1980s.


Lying as it does on the main north-south route (Ermine Street and the A1) from London, several Parliaments were held in Stamford in the Middle Ages. The "George", the "Bull and Swan", the "Crown" and the "London Inn" were well-known coaching inns. The town had to manage with Britain's north-south traffic through its narrow roads until 1960, when the bypass was built, only a few months after the M1 opened. The old route is now the B1081. There is only one bridge over the Welland (excluding the A1): a local transport anxiety. Until 1996, there were firm plans for the bypass to be upgraded to motorway standard; though these have been shelved. The "Carpenter's Lodge" roundabout south of the town is being upgraded to a grade-separated junction [cite web|url= |title=Proposal for Carpenters Lodge |publisher=Highways Agency] . The A16 ("Uffington Road"), which heads to Market Deeping, meets the north end of the A43 ("Wothorpe Road") in the south of the town and threads its way through narrow streets.

The railway station, hidden away between "Wothorpe Road" and the Welland, has direct services to Leicester, Birmingham and Stansted Airport (via Cambridge) on the Birmingham to Peterborough Line. It passes next to the Girls' School.

The main bus routes are to Peterborough via Helpston or Wansford and to Oakham, Grantham and Uppingham. There are also less frequent services to Peterborough by other routes.

On Sundays, the only service is to Peterborough via Wansford.

There is also a National Express coach service between London and Nottingham each day including Sundays.

Local economy

The "Stamford Mercury" claims to have been published since 1695 and to be "Britain's oldest newspaper". [cite web|url= |title=The Rutland & Stamford Mercury] The Newcastle Journal and London Gazette also claim this honour. "Walkers" is a well-known bookshop.

Local radio choice is shared between Peterborough's Hereward FM (102.7) and the smaller Rutland Radio (the 97.4 transmitter is on "Little Casterton Road") from Oakham. Then there are the BBC's Radio Cambridgeshire (95.7 from Peterborough), Radio Northampton (103.6 from Corby) and Radio Lincolnshire (94.9). NOW Digital broadcasts from the East Casterton transmitter covering the town and Spalding, which provides the Peterborough 12D multiplex (BBC Radio Cambridgeshire & Hereward FM).

South of the town is RAF Wittering, a main employer, and the "Home of the Harrier". It originally opened in 1916 as RFC Stamford, which closed then re-opened in 1924 under its present title. The engineering company Cummins Generator Technologies (formerly Newage International), a maker of electrical generators, is based on "Barnack Road". National jeweller F. Hinds can trace their history back to the clockmaker Joseph Hinds, who worked in Stamford in the first half of the nineteenth century and they also have a branch in the town. Nearby to the west, along the A6121, is the Castle Cement works at Ketton were they have cement manufacturing Kilns which uses limestone quarried on site.

Filming location

Television shows

* "Middlemarch" (1994)
* "Top Gear" (2004)
* "Fifth Gear"


* "Pride and Prejudice" (2004) - used as the village of "Meryton".
* "The Da Vinci Code" (2006)
* "The Golden Bowl" (2000)

Famous Stamfordians

* Torben Betts, playwright
* David Cecil, 6th Marquess of Exeter, as Lord Burghley, gold medal-winning Olympic Hurdler
* William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
* Malcolm Christie, professional footballer
* Rae Earl Johnson, Author and broadcaster
* Colin Dexter
* Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe
* General Sir Mike Jackson
* Francis Peck
* Robert of Ketton, Medieval theologian, first translator of the Qu'ran
* Sir Malcolm Sargent
* Nigel Sixsmith, Founder member of The Art Of Sound, well known Keytar player
* Sir Michael Tippett
* Tom Ford Presenter 5th Gear (Broadcaster)
* James Mayhew, writer and illustrator of children's books

ee also

* Stamford railway station
* Stamford School
* Stamford F.C.
* Stamford (UK Parliament constituency)
* Blackstones F.C.
* Stamford Blues Festival


External links

* [ Burghley House official site]
* [ The Churches of Stamford]
* [ Stamford Museum - a friendly local history museum for locals and visitors]
* [ Stamford - finest stone town in England]
* [ Stamford Arts Centre]
* [ Stamford Chamber of Commerce]
* [ Burghley House Heritage site]
* [ History of Blackstones]
* [ Mirrlees Blackstone history]
* [ Stamford historical summary (UK & Ireland Genealogy site)]

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