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Help and advice for South Witham

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South Witham


  • The parish has a public cemetery on the northeast side of the village. The webpage author has been unable to find out details on this cemetery.


  • The parish was in the Colsterworth sub-district of the Grantham Registration District.
  • In 1891, the parish was in the new "Grantham South" sub-district of the Grantham Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 624
1861 R.G. 9 / 2347
1871 R.G. 10 / 3355
1891 R.G. 12 / 2582


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the South Witham area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • The Knights Templar founded a preceptory here in 1164 on what is now known as Temple Hill. The Knights were disbanded in 1312. Archaeologists still visit the site.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The church was originally built in a cruciform layout, but parts were allowed to go to ruin and were removed.
  • The church was restored in 1900.
  • The church seats 250.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of St. John's Church on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2005.
  • Here is a photo of St. John's Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):

St. John's Church

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish registers exist from 1686.
  • The Anglican churchyard was closed to further burials in April, 1893.
  • Boyd's marriage index covers the period from 1688 - 1837.
  • The LDS Church's Family History Library has a printout of baptisms from 1813-1851.
  • We have a handful of entries from the Parish register in a text file. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has published several marriage and burial indexes for the Beltisloe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists and Congregationalists each built a chapel in the parish. For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Colsterworth sub-district of the Grantham Registration District.
  • In 1891, the parish was in the new "Grantham South" sub-district of the Grantham Registration District.
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.

Description and Travel

South Witham is both a village and parish on the River Witham 11 miles south of Grantham, less than a mile off the A1 trunk road to the west. The river flows north at this point, toward neighboring North Witham parish. The parish is bordered by Leicester and Rutland counties on the west and south. The parish covers about 1,770 acres and includes the Forty Acre Wood.

If you are planning a visit:

  • "Ermine Street," the old Roman "North Road" to Lincoln, crosses this parish.
  • There used to be train service to Bourne and Spalding in the later half of the 1800s and the early 1900s. That service ceased around 1960.
  • You can visit the village website to familiarize youself with the place.
  • Markery Wood has a car park near the village. The wood is part of the Kesteven Forest.
  • See our touring page for visitor services.
You can see pictures of South Witham which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which South Witham has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


  • In 1842, there are three Pubs in the village; the Angel, The Blue Bell and the Blue Cow.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Angel Inn on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2005.
  • These are the names associated with the Angel Inn in various directories:
Year  Person
1842 Wm. FOWLES, vict.
1868 George C. HEALEY, farmer
1872 George Cocks HEALEY, farmer & victualler
1882 Jonathan BATTY, vict. & farmer
1900 Jonathan BATTY
1913 Jonathan BATTY
1930 Jonathan BATTY
  • The Blue Bell Inn was around in the 1800s, but I could not find a photograph of it.
  • These are the names associated with the Blue Bell Inn in various directories:
Year  Person
1842 William MERRY, vict.
1868 -- not listed --
1872 William PEARSON, farmer & victualler
1882 -- not listed --
1900 -- not listed --
  • Eugene BIRCHALL has a photograph of the Blue Cow Inn on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2002.
  • These are the names associated with the Blue Cow Inn in various directories:
Year  Person
1842 Naaman BEESON, vict. & bricklayer
1868 Naaman BEESON, builder
1872 Naaman BEESON, vict. & stonemason
1882 George Kelley HUDSON, vict., farmer & blacksmith
1900 George Kelly HUDSON, farmer & blacksmith
1913 Robert CORNER
1930 Robert CORNER

There was a Fox Inn on the Common in 1882. It may have replaced the Blue Bell. The Fox is not listed in 1900.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK926192 (Lat/Lon: 52.762450, -0.629130), South Witham which are provided by:

Military History

  • During World War II, the RAF maintained a storage depot in Morkery Wood for bombs, ammunition and oxygen tanks for aircraft. The unit was designated as RAF South Witham.
  • In 1966, the RAF built a large housing estate here for the servicemen stationed at RAF Cottesmore. The village population trebled in size and the school had to be enlarged as well.
  • On August 2nd, 1973, a Canberra bomber crashed in a field east of "The Fox" pub (the crash site is actually in North Witham).

Military Records

There are two Commonwealth War Graves in St. John's churchyard, one from each World War:

  1. Edward BEAN, corp., Lincs Regt., age 32, died 8 Nov. 1918. Husband of H. Bean of South Witham.
  2. Norman W. WING, gunner, 2nd Searchlight Regt. of Royal Artillery, age 21, died 15 Oct. 1943. Son of Robert Henry and Hilda Wing of South Witham.

Names, Geographical

  • 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]
  • The village name has also often appeared spelled as South Wytham

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Lincoln county and it became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient Beltisloe Wapentake in the South Kesteven district and parts of Kesteven.
  • You can contact the Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT staffed to assist with family history searches.
  • For today's district governance, contact the South Kesteven District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1796.
  • There was a charity of £30 left by Richard HALFORD. The interest from this was distributed on St. Thomas day to poor parishoners who had been attending church services.
  • As a result of the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, the parish became part of the Grantham Poor Law Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Spittlegate (Grantham) petty session hearings.


Year  Inhabitants
1801 343
1831 410
1841 506
1851 544
1861 531
1871 488
1881 410
1891 575
1911 410
1921 446
1931 427


  • The parish established a School Board in January, 1877.
  • A Board School (Public Elementary School) was erected in 1879, funded primarily by Ralph TOLLEMACHE, and enlarged in 1899. The facility is on Water Lane and the school is now known as the South Witham Community Primary School.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.