Cherry Willingham



  • The parish was in the Burgh 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.
1851H.O. 107 / 2110
1861R.G. 9 / 2378
1871R.G. 10 / 3397
1891R.G. 12 / 2604

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Leonard.
  • The parish history is tied very closely to Mumby parish and Mumby Chapel as, at one time, they were all part of one large ecclesiastical entity. Mumby had developed into a parish of its own, partly due to the North Sea's occassional forays into the coast and the resultant destruction of St. Leonard's church.
  • St. Leonard's Church was erected in 1794 out of the material from a former church then standing, but in ruins.
  • The church is a small building of brick and stone.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1866 and restored in 1891.
  • The church seats 100.
  • Here is a photo of the church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):



Church Records

  • As it stands, the present Anglican parish church only has registers that date from 1665, although Bishop's transcripts go back as far as 1568. Researches should look at Mumby and Mumby Chapel records as well.
  • The LFHS has published several marriage indexes and a burial index for the Calcewaith and Candleshoe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • Would you like a picture of the chapel? Make your own! Visit the Lincolnshire Counted Cross Stitch Kit for a kit to create your own St. Leonard's Parish Church Chapel.
  • There is a Chapel St. Leonards Methodist Church, but it is technically in Skegness parish (on St. Leonards Drive). But if your ancestors were non-conformist, you will want to check it out. See our non-conformist religions page.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Chapel St. Leonards is both a village and a parish that lies on the North Sea about 7 miles north of Skegness, a mile north of Ingoldmells and two miles north of Addlethorpe parish off the A52 trunk road. Hogsthorpe parish is immediately to the west.

This is a holiday town, with all the good and bad that go with being a tourist attraction. The city sports miles of golden sand beaches and the businesses that cater to the summer visitor. In August, the village hosts a week-long carnaval festival. For folks on holiday, there are caravan parks, but no tent-camping facilities near the village. For more information, contact:

  • Chapel St Leonards Visitor Centre:
    The Village Centre
    Chapel St Leonards
    PE24 5SL
    Tel: 01754 872415
    Fax: 01754 872415
    E-Mail: East Lindsey Tourism.
  • For those who caravan, book ahead. Check the Skegness Caravan Site, which includes the Benvenute Caravan Park, Trunch Lane, Chapel St Leonards. Telephone 01754 873065.
  • For those who don't wish to haul their housing around with them, consider a stay at the Seayr Hotel, 25 South Road, Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire, PE24 5TL, Tel: 01754 872810.
  • Visit our Lincolnshire Touring page.

There is a Chapel Pit Nature Preserve of over 3 acres in the parish, maintained by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust:

Excavated for clay for the repair of the sea banks following the floods of 1953, the flooded pit has marginal reedbeds and aquatic plants, such as water-crowfoot and great reedmace. Fifteen species of ducks have been recorded, mainly in winter. Grebes, divers and wild swans are also often seen in winter. In summer breeding species include reed and sedge warblers, lesser whitethroat, and great crested and little grebes. In August and September thousands of migrating swallows and house martins roost in the reedbeds. Screens of willows around the banks of the pits have been planted in order to reduce disturbance to birds.
You can see pictures of Cherry Willingham which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The Vine Hotel has catered to many a visitor to this section of the coast.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of The Vine on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2013.
  • These are the names associated with the hotel in various directories:
1842-- not listed --
1872Joseph BEMROSE, vict.
1882Joel BEMROSE, vict.
1900William GASKELL & son
1913Mrs. Marie R. GASKELL
1930Joseph SIMPSON


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF031727 (Lat/Lon: 53.241324, -0.456548), Cherry Willingham which are provided by:


Military History

  • In the churchyard is a Cornish cross, originally erected in memory of the one man who fell in World War I.
  • Brian provides a photograph of the Chapel St. Leonard's War Memorial at Flickr.
  • You might enjoy reading "The Casualties Were Small - Wartime Poetry and Diaries of a Lincolnshire Seaside Villager May Hill," edited by Tom and Margaret Ambridge, publ. 2009. Available at www.ambridgebooks.co.uk.

Names, Geographical

  • An older name for the parish is "Mumby Chapel".
  • The name is a simple Modern English Chapel St. Leonards, naming the parish after the principal church. It did not appear in the 1086 Domesday Book. However, there are those who say the parish is as ancient as any other in Lincolnshire.
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]

Politics & Government

  • The parish was formally separated from Mumby Chapel in March 1896 by the county council.
  • The parish was in the ancient Calceworth Wapentake in the East Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • For today's governance, see the East Lindsey District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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




  • A Public Elementary School was built here in 1876 to hold 65 children.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.


  • Chapel St. Leonards sports an Action Group; local people who are interested in seeing that the youth of the village have a place to call their own, and it includes representatives from Lincolnshire County Council youth service, the community development officer; the community safety officer, the coastal youth council and local police. All are working to ensure that, eventually, a permanent building will be made available for youth for their own use.