North Witham is both a village and parish on the River Witham 9 miles south of Grantham and 12 miles north-west of Stamford. The river flows north at this point, toward neighboring Colsterworth parish. Gunby parish lies to the west. The parish covers just over 2,430 acres and includes the hamlet of Lobthorpe. The parish includes a portion of Twyford Wood, a dense forested area that extends into Colsterworth parish.
The village lies about 1 mile west of the A1 Ermine Street (the old Great North Road). If you are planning a visit:
Tim HEATON has a photograph of North Witham on Geo-graph, taken in 2005.
The village had the Plough Inn as a popular place for good conversation. The Inn reportedly closed in the 20th century. Here are the names associated with the Inn in various directories:
Joseph MARSHALL, vict.
Joseph MARSHALL, vict.
Mrs. Mary Ann MUSSON
Joseph MARSHALL was born circa 1826 in Auborn, Lincolnshire.
The village had a large inn and posting house (Black Bull) on the Great North Road (Ermine Street, also Lobthorpe Lane locally). The Inn dates from the 1730s but was closed by 1900. The building is now a Grade II structure with British Heritage. Recent reports have it that the Black Bull has reopened, although its reputation was stained by a recent drug bust of a cannibis growing effort by two tenants in 2011.
Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Blcak Bull Inn on Geo-graph, taken in 2005.
In 1942 the dense woodland of Twyford Wood was surveyed for possible airfield use. The Air Ministry requisitioned the site from the Forestry Commission.
The airfield was laid out in the normal A pattern and sites for parking 50 bombers were laid out. Because of the growth of US involvement in the air war, the airfield was destined to have a long career with the USAAF. It became a USAAF active station in December 1943.
RAF North Witham became a Pathfinder School in March 1944 and stayed under that role until September 1944.
In June 1945 North WItham airfield was returned to the RAF, but the airfield was already in a "care and maintenance" status. It started a new life as an equipment spares depot in July.
RAF North Witham was finally closed in 1956 and then was sold off by February 1960. The forestry Commision regained the site and replanted it with trees. At last report the control tower and one hangar remained, as well as the old runways.
Witham is from the Celtic or pre-Celtic river name of uncertain origin, and the name appeared as Widme in the 1086 Domesday Book. [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]
A public elementary school was built here in 1872 to hold 41 children.
In 1941, at 3AM on Good Friday, a German bomb destroyed the old National School building, which was empty at the time. It is believed that the German pilot thought he was over Grantham when he released his bombs. No one was killed. The school was never rebuilt.
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