Normanby-by-Spital is both a village and a parish 11 miles north of the city of Lincoln, near the crossroads known as "Spital" for the hospital that used to be there (see Hemswell). Caenby parish lies to the north and Glentworth parish to the west. The parish and village are centered about 7 miles west of Market Rasen. The parish covers about 1,750 acres.
Normanby-by-Spital (often, just "Normanby") village is just east of the Roman Road known as Ermine Street. If you are planning a visit:
Take the A15 north out of Lincoln for about eight miles. Just before you get to the to the A631, turn right to Normanby.
The Bottle and Glass pub was open for duration of the war (WW2), as it was a frequent rest-stop for local airmen. Residents of the village remember the Dambusters raid, hearing the Lancasters going overhead and being concerned that they were "struggling" to keep in the air. [Jean Pryde]
RAF Normanby opened in June 1940 as a "Wireless Telegraphy Transmitting Station," which means it sent out Direction Finding signals for Allied planes returning to bases in Lincolnshire. It was administered, at first, by RAF Hemswell.
After hostilities ended, the site was home to a Signals Unit. In the 1950s, stations like RAF Normanby were used to stay in constant communication with airborne RAF units in case the Cold War turned hot.
Around 1960, control of the unit was transfered to RAF Scampton.
The unit was shut down in April 1985 (sources are vague on this date).
Shortly after 1996 the old transmission towers were taken down.
The MOD returned the site to the land owner between 1994 and 1996.
The name Normanby is from the Old English and Old Scandinavian Northman+by, or "Northman village". In the 1086 Domesday Book, the village is given as Normanebi. [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991].
Jean Pryde tells us that the name is pronounced by locals as "NOR-rum-bi". Lynda Gurr insists that it's more like "Noh-ram-bee".