• The parish was in the Alford sub-district of the Spilsby 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 / 2110
1861 R.G. 9 / 2378
1871 R.G. 10 / 3397
1891 R.G. 12 / 2605

Church History

  • The ancient parish church at Thurlby was dedicated to Saint Mary, but no trace of it remained in 1882.
  • The present Anglican church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
  • The church is built of stone covered with stucco.
  • The church was thoroughly repaired in 1841-44.
  • The church was restored in 1918.
  • The church seats 200.
  • There is a photograph of Holy Trinity Church on the Wendy PARKINSON Church Photos web site.
  • Ian METCALF has a photograph of Holy Trinity Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2009.
  • Here are two photos of Holy Trinity Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):




Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1679.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has published several marriage indexes and a burial index for the Calcewaith and Candleshoe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • We have a handful of entries extracted from the Holy Trinity church register. Your additions and corrections are welcomed.
  • 917 parish burials are listed in the National Burial Index (NBI) for the years 1813-1900.
  • The Society of Genealogists has parish register entries onfile for baptisms 1669-1979, marriages 1669-1981, and burials 1669-1964.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here built in 1835. This chapel is now in private use. For information and assistance in researching this chapel, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • Michael PATTERSON has a photograph of the former Wesleyan chapel on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2006.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

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

Description and Travel

Bilsby is both a village and a parish only about 5 miles from the North Sea. Alford parish and town lies to the west, Huttoft parish to the east and Farlesthorpe to the south. The parish covers about 2,950 acres and includes the hamlets of Thurlby, which was a separate parish in ancient times, and Asserby.

The village is on rising ground, but a large part of the parish is Fenland. If you plan to visit:

  • By automobile, take the A1111 trunk road east out of Alford for just under one mile. The road passes through the north end of the village.
  • See the Lincolnshire Touring and Holidays page on this site.
You can see pictures of Bilsby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Bilsby House was built around 1740 and was considerably enlarged in 1904.
  • Bilsby Hall stood within a moated area. The site was once occupied by a castellated mansion reputed to be the site of the knightly family of BILSBY. Bilsby Hall still stands.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF466767 (Lat/Lon: 53.267037, 0.196675), Bilsby which are provided by:


Military History

  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the War Memorial outside the church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2008.

Military Records

For another photograph of the Bilsby War Memorial and the list of names on it, see the Roll of Honour site.

There are two Commonwealth War Graves in Holy Trinity churchyard, one from each World War:

  1. Walter CLARK, priv., 1st Btn. Training Reserve, age 26, died 23 Feb. 1917. Son of George and Frances Elizabeth CLARK, of Thurlby, Bilsby.
  2. Charles Henry DAWSON, priv., 70th Btn. Royal Norfolk Regt., age 22, died 17 June 1942. Son of Sarah Alice DAWSON, of Thurlby, Alford.

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Lincoln county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the Wold division of the ancient Calceworth Wapentake in the East Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • Kelly's 1900 Directory of Lincolnshire places this parish, perhaps erroneously, in the South Lindsey division of the county.
  • For today's district governance, see the East Lindsey District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law, etc.

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, the parish parish was amalgamated into the Spilsby Poor Law Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Alford petty session hearings.
  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1838.
  • In 1871, the parish had ten cottages set aside for poor families at small rents, which were appropriated for the repairs of the cottages.


Year Inhabitants
1801 337
1831 453
1871 530
1881 512
1891 450
1911 377


  • The children of this parish attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in the town of Alford until 1860.
  • In 1860, a school was built by subscription. After the new school was built (below), this became a Sunday School.
  • A School Board for the united district of Bilsby and Farlesthorpe was formed in 1876.
  • In 1877, a new school was built, having accomodation for 104 children.
  • See our Schools page for more information on researching school records.