Byard's Leap



  • The parish was in the Leadenham Sub-district of the Sleaford Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The Family History Library has census records for this parish. See the table below.
Piece no. Film / Fiche
1841H.O. 107 / 61x0438756
1851H.O. 107 / 21010087730
1861R.G. 9 / 23440542957
1871R.G. 10 / 33510839358
1881R.G. 11 / 322x1341769
1891R.G. 12 / 25806097690

Church Records

  • There was no known Anglican church here. The Family History Library has only census records for this parish (see above).
  • The LFHS has published several marriage indexes for the Lafford Deanery to make your search easier.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Byard's Leap is not an ancient parish of Lincolnshire, but its history goes back centuries. It was formed as a separate civil parish in 1858 under an act of Queen Victoria. The parish was six miles WNW of Sleaford and 12 miles north of Grantham on the Old Roman Road, just about where the A17 trunk road crosses it now. North Rauceby parish lies to the southeast and Cranwell parish to the Northeast.

It contained a farm of 250 acres, belonging in 1871 to Colonel John REEVE and occupied by Richard BESTALL, and a couple of cottages. In 1913, the farm was still in the REEVE family, but occupied by Thomas MAYFIELD. The parish has since been amalgamated with Cranwell parish.

There is no village here, but the RAF College is nearby. If you are planning a visit:

  • Take the A17 trunk road between Newark-on-Trent and Sleaford.
  • Note that there are two protected roadside verges in Byards Leap under the protection of the Lincolnshire Trust.
  • Visit our touring page for more sources.
You can see pictures of Byard's Leap which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The area of Byards Leap was once a possession of the Knights Templer. Their records tell us that they held tournaments here. The tournaments of their time were not jousts, but giant mock battles between large bodies of men.
  • There are many versions of the legend of Byard, the horse that gave the area its name. Some claim that it jumped 500 feet in only three strides when attacked by a local witch. The witch had jumped on Byard's back to escape and sunk her long nails into the horse, causing his prodigious leaps. Other versions tell us that Bayard was the knight who owned the horse and the horse was frightened by the witch. Huge horseshoes once marked the spot until the 1960s when the A17 roadway was widened and straightened.
  • And check the Loveden Org website for local history.


  • The national grid reference is SK 9849.
  • You'll want an Ordnance Survey Explorer map, which has 2.5 inches to the mile scale.
  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK990492 (Lat/Lon: 53.031201, -0.52494), Byard's Leap which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Byard is derived from the name of a knight's horse. The horse was reputed to be bay-coloured, and his name Byard or Bayard. It is also possible that the horse's name derives from the Old English Bere or "barley". In many older records the name is recorded as Bayard and that's how you will find it listed in many Directories of the 19th and 20th centuries. The name, today, is rendered without the apostrophy, as in Byards Leap.


Politics & Government

  • Byard's Leap was, for centuries, an Extra Parochial area, but became a modern Civil Parish in 1858.
  • The parish was in the ancient Loveden Wapentake in the North Kesteven division of the county, parts of Kesteven.
  • On April 1st, 1931, Byard's Leap Civil Parish was abolished and merged into Cranwell Civil Parish.
  • For today's district governance, see the North Kesteven District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Sleaford petty session hearings every Monday.
  • After the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, the parish became part of the Sleaford Poor Law Union.




  • An Elementary School was erected here in 1890.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.