The Anglican Church is dedicated to Saint Swithin.
The Anglican parish church is named after Swithin (sometimes spelled "Swithun"), Bishop of Winchester, (838-862) who was buried, by his own desire, outside of Winchester Cathedral where men might walk over his grave. After canonization in 912, his remains were moved to a shrine in the Cathedral. According to legend, the saint showed his anger at being disturbed by a rain which stopped the work for 40 days. Hence the common belief that rain on St. Swithin's day, July 15th, presages a continued rain of 40 days.
The 1086 Domesday book tells us that there was a church at Leadenham, with its own priest, at the time of the Conquest. No trace of it remains and it was likely a Saxon log on stone base structure, built after the Danes left Lincolnshire. That old structure lasted until about 1320 when it was replaced by an all-stone church.
Henry BURGHERSH was Bishop of Lincoln from 1320 to 1340 and he wanted to see this church completed. In his Memoranda there is a promise of six weeks indulgence for anyone who will visit Leadenham, say a prayer to St. Swithun, and leave a subscription to the building fund! Burghersh was no saint and he hated the king. The downfall of Edward II occurred while this church was being built; so the Bishop put the king's effigy in the north aisle (facing the devil's domain) and placed the devil's mask on a bracket above him. But when the king was murdered in 1327 there was a revulsion of public feeling, the Bishop was in disgrace, and someone broke the devil's mask from its bracket and moved it to its present position over King Edward III.
The website at Watsonweb tells us that Dr. John DEE, born in London, 13 July 1527, and died at Mortlake, Surrey, Dec. 1608, had the Rectorship of Long Leadenham in Lincolnshire from 1566 to the end of his life. He was an advisor to the crown on calendar reform and astrological events. He wrote The Perfect Arte of Navigation, and was one of the founders of scientific cartography in England.
The church was thoroughly repaired in 1830 and reseated in 1861.
The village and parish of Leadenham lies 118 miles north of London, 13 miles south of Lincoln, 10 miles east of Newark-on-Trent and 8 miles west-north-west of Sleaford. Welbourn parish lies to the north and Fulbeck to the south. The parish contains about 3,625 acres of land. Lowfield, on the Brant River, is part of this parish. Bayard's Leap, southeast of Leadenham village (where the RAF college now resides) was an extra-parochial part of the parish until Victorian times, when it was split off into it's own parish in 1854.
The village of Leadenham (sometimes called Long Leadenham) lies on the side of a gentle escarpment. This was known in the nineteenth century as the Cliff Range and marks the edge of the Vale of Trent. Near the village is the ancient spring called "St. Anne's Well". If you are planning a visit:
The village is at the crossroads of the road between Lincoln and Grantham, which follows the escarpment and is now the A607 trunk road, and that between Sleaford and Newark, which is now the A17 Sleaford Road. A bypass of the A17 swings south around the village.
Leadenham House was a large stone structure, built between 1790 and 1796 for William REEVE. It was the seat of Lieut.-Col. John REEVE, lord of the manor and owner of most of the land in the parish in 1871.
The origin of the name is uncertain, but probably comes from the Old English Leodan+ham for "homestead or village of a man called Leoda." It appeared in the 1086 Domesday Book as Ledenham. [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]
Here's a newspaper clipping mentioning the village. Unfortunately, the newspaper's name is lost, but the date is 27 Oct. 1917. Right-hand columns are incomplete but I think it's possible to work out most of the context. I've used * to indicate gaps of lengths I could only guess at.: Diane Maltby
FIRE.- On Monday, a h* ham was discovered to b* Mrs. Hall, who sent for* he forced open the door, * that the fire had broken ou* but a few pails of water s* it. The tenant, a man * Clark Exton, had left t* that morning, when all * safe. The damage done w*