• 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 / 627
1851 H.O. 107 / 2111
1861 R.G. 9 / 2379
1871 R.G. 10 / 3398
1891 R.G. 12 / 2606

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The church is a sturdy stone building. It was rebuilt in the reign of Edward II.
  • The church was restored and almost totally rebuilt in 1862.
  • The ecclesiastical parish included Aby, Greenfield and Claythorpe.
  • The church seats about 250.
  • The church is a Grade II listed building with British Heritage.
  • There is a photograph of St. John's Church on the Wendy PARKINSON Church Photos web site.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. John the Baptist's Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2006.
  • Here is a photograph of St. John the Baptist Church supplied by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1640 and includes Aby and Claythorpe entries.
  • The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has the Bishop's Transcripts for 1561 thru 1833.
  • We have a handful of entries in our parish register extract. Your additions to this are welcome.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has published several marriage indexes and a burial index for the Calcewaith and Candleshoe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • 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 & Travel

This small village and parish is in the vale of the Eau rivulet, to which it contributes a small stream. It lies 4 miles north-west of Alford, nine miles north of Spilsby and eight miles south-east of Louth. The parish only covers about 700 acres.

Claythorpe is a hamlet and chapelry in Belleau parish. Although often called a parish, Claythorpe does not appear to have ever had a church of its own, or the church fell out of use in early Norman times. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, Belleau lies east of the A16 trunk road between Louth and Spilsby. Turn east off of the A16 at Swaby and drive about one mile beyond Swaby on the back roads.
  • See our touring page for visitor services.
You can see pictures of Belleau which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The Great Northern railway had a station at Claythorpe (called "Aby" by the railway).
  • Jon HOLLAND has a photograph of the Railway Tavern on Geo-graph, taken in 2008. The tavern appears to be a post-World War II establishement.


  • Near the church are the remains of a large mansion, formerly the seat of the Lords Willoughby de Eresby. The manor was surrounded by a moat. Fragments of a gate house stood to the north.
  • The HUSSEY family had a manor at Claythorpe. One of them was created a baronet in 1661.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF401785 (Lat/Lon: 53.284961, 0.100079), Belleau which are provided by:


Military History

John FIRTH has a photograph of the War Memorial inside the parish church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.


Military Records

For a photograph of the Belleau War Memorial and the list of names on the monument, see the Roll of Honour site.


Names, Geographical

  • According to A. D. MILLS' book, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Belleau derives from the Old Scandanavian "Elgo+lo" where it means "meadow of a man named Helgi". He says, "The modern form, as if from a French name meaning 'beautiful water', is unhistorical.
  • In the 1086 Domesday Book the name is given as "Elgelo".
  • Locals pronounce the name as "Bellow".

Names, Personal

  • One of the "children" of Belleau was Sir Henry VANE, an English politician, statesman, and colonial governor. He served one term as the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and supported the creation of Roger WILLIAMS' Rhode Island Colony and Harvard College.

Politics & 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 Marsh division of the ancient Calceworth Wapentake in the East Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • You can contact the Parish Council regarding civic or politiacal issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history searches.
  • For today's district governance, see the East Lindsey District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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


Year Belleau Claythorpe
1801 113 54
1831 107 61
1871 95 93
1881 154 89
1891 155 ?
1911 60 ?


  • The children of this parish attended the school at Aby.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.