Swinderby parish is approximately 9 miles SW of Lincoln and 7 miles NE of Newark on Trent. The parish borders on Nottinghamshire to the west, Norton Disney parish to the south and Thurlby (by Lincoln) parish to the east. The ancient Foss Way, now the A46 trunk road, cuts through the southeast corner of the parish. The Trent River is about three miles to the west. The parish covers about 2,200 acres, including the ancient hamlet of Bracken.
The village of Swinderby sits on a rise above the Trent. The parish sports a new hamlet called Witham St. Hugh's. Morton Hall is a hamlet along Morton Road which has grown in the 1900s on the eastern side of Swinderby village. Morton is a separate hamlet a half a mile to the east. If you are planning a visit:
By automobile, take the A46 southwesterly out of Lincoln.
There is passenger rail service from Lincoln to the station, which is about a mile north of the village.
The village hosts an annual antiques and collectors fair, RAF Swinderby, usually in early June. The fair has been featured on the BBC's Bargain Hunt.
Caravan and camping sites are available at Oakhill Leisure Park, telephone: 01522 868771.
There were, in effect, two RAF stations in Swinderby parish.
The RAF was expanding its facilities just prior to World War II, but RAF Swinderby wasn't yet completed when war broke out. The airfield was just east of the present-day A46 (Fosse Way) road, with the baracks and administrative buildings. The base was allocated to the No. 1 Group of Bomber Command in late August 1940.
The RAF Swinderby was muddy and waterlogged. A dangerous place for heavy aircraft. Swinderby became a priority site for the installation of hard runways. Construction of these started in late 1941.
By April 1942, construction was complete, but then the runways had to be lengthened and one crossed Norton Disney Road, which was then closed to traffic.
On 10 November 1943, a Lancaster III bomber from Swinderby fell from the sky and crashed near Dunholm Lodge killing all on board.
RAF Swinderby remained in active service after the war, up until March, 1964. Flight operations ceased then, but the facility remained in use as a flying training establishment.
The RAF closed the airfield in 1994 and it was sold off in 1996. A portion of it is used for the antiques fair, but the technical site was given over to industrial use. But all of the old buildings were demolished in 2003 or 2004. Following that, the site was given over to the "new village" of Witham St. Hugh's.
The air traffic control tower was taken down in 2010.
The headquarters of 5 Group RAF (part of Bomber Command) moved to Morton Hall in the hamlet of Morton near Swinderby village in November, 1943.
5 Group RAF disbanded in March, 1955. 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron stayed on at Morton Hall.
The RAF closed the base at Morton Hall in 1958.
The site was converted to a prison for female offenders: HMP Morton Hall, in 1985. In 2011, funding caused the temporary closure of Morton Hall prison and it was converted to an "Immigration Removal Centre."
The name Swinderby is Old Scandinavian origin, either from sundri + by, for "southern farmstead or village", or from svin + djur + by, for "farmstead where pigs are kept". In the 1086 Domesday Book it appears as Suindrebi. [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]
The first school was erected here in 1822. In 1849 a new public elementary school was built to replace the older building. The current school is on the High Street and has about 77 students.
The Kisimul Independent School operates in the parish today at the old vicarage, opened some time prior to 1996. It is a residential special school for children ages 10 to 19 with complex and sever learning disorders, autism and challenging behavior. It currently enrolls about 28 students. I have no further history on this school.
The parish school has its own website at Swinderby Lincs School (The web author found it slow to load) There is not much school history on the site.