Corby (Corby Glen)


Archives & Libraries

There is a Library in Corby Glen, but it is in the Willoughby Memorial Trust Library and Art Gallery and only open a few hours each week.  The subscription library was formed in 1898.

The Library at Bourne should prove useful in your research.



Arthur MEE;s "The King's England - Lincolnshire", tells us that this poem is inscribed on an auctioneer's gravestone:

Beneath this stone facetious wight
Lies all that's left of poor Joe Wright,
Few Hearts with greater kindness warmed
Few heads with knowledge more informed.
With brilliant wit and humour broad
He pleased the Peasant, Squire and Lord.
At length old death with visage queer
Assumed Joe's trade of auctioneer
Made him the lot to practice on
With going, going and anon
He knocked him down. So Poor Joe's gone.


  • The parish was in the Corby sub-district of the Bourne 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 / 616
1851 H.O. 107 / 2095
1861 R.G. 9 / 2315
1871 R.G. 10 / 3311
1881 R.G. 11 / 3195
1891 R.G. 12 / 2555

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist and is built in the "decorated" or Gothic style.
  • The church dates from the 12th century.
  • The church was restored in 1860-61.
  • The church was cleaned and restored in 1939 and extensive medieval mural paintings were discovered and restored.
  • The church seats 206.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of St. John's Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2006.
  • Here is a photo of St. John's church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish registers exist from 1561.
  • There are a few baptism entries in our Corby Register Extract page. It is not a complete transcription of the register.
  • The LFHS has published several indexes (marriage and burial) for the Beltisloe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • A small Wesleyan Methodist chapel was also built about that time, replaced with a new chapel in 1902.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2006.
  • For another view of the same building, see David HILLAS photograph of the Former Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2019. Services ceased at this building in November 2016.
  • A Roman Catholic Church was built here in 1855/56 and dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2006.
  • The Strict Baptists also had a small chapel in the late 1800's.
  • For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Corby is both a village and parish. It lies on the east side of the River Glen, 11 miles southeast of Grantham and 14 miles north of Stamford, and 8 miles northwest of Bourne on an old Roman road that led to Ancaster. The ancient parish covers a little over 2,700 acres. In older times, it was a site of several stone quarries and a flour mill. The parish includes the small hamlet of Birkholme.

The heart of Corby village is an ancient place, 97 miles north of London. The A151 trunk road (the Roman road to Ancaster) runs through the village. The village has grown in post-WWII years to be a commuters' community. If you are planning a visit:

  • The Woodhouse Inn at 2 Bourne Road, Lincs, NG33 4NS, welcomes travelers. Tele: 01476 550 316.
  • Stop by the Village Hall and get a schedule of current events. You can also buy stamps for that postcard you are going to send me. Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Village Hall and Post Office on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2010.
  • Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the Heart of Corby on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2021. That's the Mad March Hare at center right.
  • Visit our touring page for more sources.
  • Roger GEACH has a photograph of the village sign on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2008.
  • Watch for this sign! Photograph provided by patricia McRORY (who retains the copyright):
You can see pictures of Corby (Corby Glen) which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • In 1239 Henry II granted permission to hold weekly markets here, which continued to the end of the 1800s.
  • According to Pigot's 1841 directory, the village "is not otherwise noted for any event of historical importance, nor does it possess any attractive architectural feature. Its trade is so much decayed that the Market Day (Wednesday) is scarcely to be distinguised from ordinary days."
  • However, near the village is Cumberland field (about two miles east) where tradition holds that a battle was fought and weapons have been unearthed.
  • Corby used to celebrate a weekly market and three annual farm animal fairs, one on August 26th, one on the Monday before October 11th and on the Wednesday before Easter. This last one was established in 1855. The October fair was one of the largest in the county having more than 12,000 sheep in pens.
  • Robert HARVEY has a photograph proving that there are Sheep at the Fair on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2018. This was the 780th fair at Corby.
  • Corby held a hiring for servants in May and November.
  • Corby was a station on the main line of the Great Northern Railway in 1853. The misdelivery of luggage due to other Corby's in the midlands led the railway to call this station "Corby Glen."
  • Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the Fighting Cocks Public House on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2015.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Woodhouse Arms on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2013. This establishment was remodeled and re-opened around 2012.

Land & Property

  • William Harvey WOODHOUSE, Esq., was lord of the manor and held most of the parish property in 1853. The owner before him was Charles Thomas CLIFFORD.
  • Other landowners in the 1870's included the Baroness WILLOUGHBY de ERESBY, the HARDY brothers, S. WILKINSON and W. H. BRANSTON.
  • In 1913, Robert W. GORDON was lord of the manor.


  • Near the church is a moated mound, the former site of a castellated mansion. No trace of the building remains.
  • For over a hundred years the Manor House served as the Vicarage. The House is described as Jacobean with Elizabethan portions.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF001249 (Lat/Lon: 52.812363, -0.516299), Corby (Corby Glen) which are provided by:


Military History

  • A replica of St. Martin's Cross of Iona in Cornish Grey granite was erected on the green as a memorial to the men of the parish who perished in World War I. The cross was dedicated by the Earl of Ancaster on 13 December 1920.
  • Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the War Memorial on the green on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2017.

Military Records

The following names are listed by the Imperial War Museum for the WWI cross (first name, rank and unit from Commonwealth War Graves database):

  1. Abbott, Lionel Pinkington, Lieut., 7th Lincs. Regt.
  2. Adcock, F J, priv., 1st. Lincs. Yeomanry
  3. Burnett, Albert Ernest, priv., 15th Durham Light Inf.
  4. Clark, E
  5. Clark, E
  6. Cocks, F
  7. Cupit, William Warren, lcprl, 2nd Lincs. Regt.
  8. Dawson, L
  9. Hill, J
  10. Houghton, A. (possibly Albert, born Corby, 1894)
  11. Houghton, Frederick, priv. 1st Lincs. Regt.
  12. Linford, T
  13. Martin, G
  14. Matsell, Claude Albert, priv., 2nd Lincs Regt.
  15. Matsell, Urban Ernest, priv., 6th. Somerset Light Inf.
  16. Palmer, Cyril George, priv., Duke of Cornwall's Light Inf.
  17. Palmer, William Parker, priv., 1st Grenadier Guards
  18. Pinder, George, priv., 1/4th Lincs Regt.
  19. Stanton, T. (possibly Thomas, born Renvon, Cheshire, 1881)
  20. Taylor, A. J. (possibly Albert J., born Corby 1895)
  21. Townsend, C
  22. Townsend, T
  23. Wass, F. (possibly Frank, born Corby, 1883)
  24. Watson, A

There is one Commonwealth War Grave from World War II in St. John's churchyard:

  1. Eric G. GRIFFITHS, able seaman, Royal Navy (HMS Nelson), age 20, died 23 Mar. 1942. Son of Frederick T. and Dorothy G. GRIFFITHS.

Names, Geographical

  • It was for centuries simply known as Corby. But when the railways came there was confusion with other towns of the same name, so the railways decided to call the town "Corby Glen". The name means "wooded place".
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]
  • "Corby Glen" was officially accepted as an alternative name in 1956.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Lincolnshire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient Beltisloe Wapentake in the South Kesteven division of the county, in the parts of Kesteven.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history searches.
  • For today's district governance, contact the South Kesteven District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Care of the poor dates back to 1209 when part of the parish was enclosed. The rest of the enclosure came in 1767.
  • Bastardy cases were heard in the Bourne petty session hearings on Mondays.
  • DAY's charity of 1723 generated £8 yearly in 1919, was expended that year in scholarships to the grammar school.
  • After the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Bourne Poor Law Union.


Year Inhabitants
1086 270
1801 436
1831 654
1851 535
1861 818
1871 786
1891 745
1901 718
1911 710
1921 664
1931 650
1991 607


  • A Free School was founded here in 1669 by Charles READ, primarily for teaching boys reading, writing, arithmetic and Latin. He provided additional funds to bind out "said boys as apprentices, or otherwise promoting them." In 1880, the school was reconstituted, but it closed in the early 1900's.
  • Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the Charles Read Grammar School on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.
  • The Charles Read school building was built in 1669. It was converted to the Willoughby Gallery and Library some time in the 1900s. Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the 17th Century architecture on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2018.
  • In 1723, Richard DAY founded a spinning school for the education of ten poor girls.
  • In 1875, a School Board was formed.
  • In 1877, the Public Elementary school was built to house 150 children, with average attendance about 110.
  • In 1881, a Catholic school was built with a capacity for 120 children, but only about 40 ever attended.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.