This small village and parish is in the vale of the Eau rivulet, to which it contributes a small stream. It lies 4 miles north-west of Alford, nine miles north of Spilsby and eight miles south-east of Louth. The parish only covers about 700 acres.
Claythorpe is a hamlet and chapelry in Belleau parish. Although often called a parish, Claythorpe does not appear to have ever had a church of its own, or the church fell out of use in early Norman times. If you are planning a visit:
By automobile, Belleau lies east of the A16 trunk road between Louth and Spilsby. Turn east off of the A16 at Swaby and drive about one mile beyond Swaby on the back roads.
According to A. D. MILLS' book, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Belleau derives from the Old Scandanavian "Elgo+lo" where it means "meadow of a man named Helgi". He says, "The modern form, as if from a French name meaning 'beautiful water', is unhistorical.
In the 1086 Domesday Book the name is given as "Elgelo".
One of the "children" of Belleau was Sir Henry VANE, an English politician, statesman, and colonial governor. He served one term as the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and supported the creation of Roger WILLIAMS' Rhode Island Colony and Harvard College.