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Help and advice for Tothill

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  • The parish was in the Withern sub-district of the Louth 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 / 647
1851 H.O. 107 / 2111
1861 R.G. 9 / 2379
1871 R.G. 10 / 3398
1881 R.G. 11 / 3260
1891 R.G. 12 / 2606
1901 R.G. 13 / 3082


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Tothill 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 Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Mary.
  • The church stood on a small hill.
  • The church only seats 60.
  • The medieval church of St Mary was demolished in 1778; a new building was erected on the old stone foundations, using chalk and red brick (some from the old church) in 1871. In form it was a simple rectangle, with three windows in each side wall, and consisted of chancel, nave, north aisle and a western turret containing one bell. It was restored in 1893-4 when a new west bellcote and porch were added and a new east apse provided; the windows of the nave were re-formed into lancets filled with diamond panes of tinted glass.
  • This church was declared redundant in September, 1973 and demolished in 1976. Although the land was retained as a buriual ground, the graveyard has effectively disappeared. A recent visitor reports that the most recent graveyard burial appears to be from 1945.
  • Peter DESFORGES, a Huguenot refugee, was resident rector of Tothill from 1681 to 1725 and was buried at Tothill. His descendants are now found in many parts of England.

Church Records

  • Anglican parish registers exist from 1608. Bishop's Transcripts from 1565.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has published several marriage indexes and a burial index for the Calcewaith and Candleshoe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • William NORTH's house in Tothill was licenced in February 1791 as "a place of Religious worship for the use of His Majesty's Protestant subjects Desenting from the Church of England [now commonly called Methodists]". There was no chapel. For information and assistance in researching these places of worship, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Withern sub-district of the Louth Registration District.
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.

Description and Travel

This small village and parish is in the north-east of Lincolnshire about 5 miles south-east of Louth and 4 miles east of the A16 trunk road, bordered on the north by South Reston parish, in the east by Gayton-le-Marsh parish, and to the south by Withern parish. The parish covers about 850 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A157 arterial road between Louth and Mablethorpe. The parish is 5 miles outside of Louth.
  • See our touring page for visitor services.
You can see pictures of Tothill which are provided by:

Historical Geography

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


  • The only building of historic interest in the parish is Tothill Manor, the present seven-bay brick house having been built in the 17th century and refronted early in the 18th century.
  • Tothill Manor is a Grade II listed building with British Heritage.
  • The mound alongside Tothill Manor is said to be the surviving motte of a motte and bailey castle. In the 13th century Tothill and Gayton-le-Marsh formed one manor, belonging to Lord Willoughby de Broke, the earliest references to Gayton being in 1202 and 1206. Lord Willoughby de Broke was lord of the manor and chief landowner from medieval times until c1910.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF410810 (Lat/Lon: 53.307162, 0.114715), Tothill which are provided by:

Military History

  • In 1930, retired Major Walter Hugh RAWNSLEY lived in this parish, where he is listed as a farmer. He is also listed as a resident of Alford. He was High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1921. He died in 1936.

Names, Geographical

  • According to the late Kenneth Cameron's Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-names [The English Place-Name Society 1998] the name Tothill is derived from the Old English personal name 'Tota' and Old English 'leah' [Tota's wood, glade or clearing]. The Domesday Survey of 1086 recorded it as Totele.
  • Some folks believe the name derives from "twt hill" or Old English for "lookout hill". [Liz Davies]
  • Locals pronounce the name as "Tot-hill", although some will drop the "h". [Liz Davies]

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Lincolnshire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the Marsh division of the ancient Calceworth Wapentake in the East Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • Kelly's 1913 Directory of Lincolnshire places the parish, perhaps erroneously, in the South Lindsey division of the county.
  • For today's district governance, see the East Lindsey District Council.
  • It is now administered as part of the civil parish of Withern-with-Stain.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Alford petty sessional hearings on alternate Tuesdays.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, this parish became part of the Louth Poor Law Union.


Year  Inhabitants
1801 72
1831 67
1841 73
1851 59
1871 60
1881 47
1891 59
1901 45
1911 44


  • The parish has no school. The children of the parish attended school in Gayton-le-Marsh, Withern and South Reston.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.