Folkingham, "a small but ancient and well-built market town, is pleasantly situated on the Lincoln and London road, on the southern acclivity of a picturesque valley, 3 miles W. of Billingborough Railway station, on the Bourn and Sleaford branch of the Great Northern system, 9 miles N. of Bourn and S. of Sleaford, and 12 miles E. by S. of Grantham."
WHITE's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire, 1872"

Archives & Libraries

The Library at Bourne will prove useful in your research.



Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of some of the Slate Headstones in the churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2019.



  • The parish was in the Aslackby 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 / 618
1851 H.O. 107 / 2095
1861 R.G. 9 / 2316
1871 R.G. 10 / 3313
1891 R.G. 12 / 2556

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Andrew.
  • Portions of the church building are of the Norman era.
  • The church underwent extensive alterations and repairs in 1857.
  • Further repairs followed in 1859.
  • The church is a Grade I listed building with British Heritage.
  • The church seats 308.
  • The church is currently part of The Barkwith Group of the West Wold Deanery.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the St. Andrew's tower on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2007.
  • Here is a photo of St. Andrew's Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):

Church Records

  • Anglican parish registers exist from 1583.
  • Check our Parish Register Extract text file. Your additions will be welcome.
  • Gordon Warrington has captured Baptisms, Marriages and Burials from 1709 - 1837 at Rootsweb.
  • The LFHS has published several marriage and burial indexes for the Lafford Deanery to make your search easier.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has a Loan Library service which has the parish registers on microfiche for Baptisms from 1584 to 1812 and Marriages from 1584 to 1812.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel in Folkingham in the 19th Century.
  • 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 Aslackby sub-district of the Bourne Registration District.
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.

Correctional Institutions

  • The House of Correction (Gaol) was originally built in 1808 for all of the Kesteven district. It was redesigned and rebuilt on the site of Folkingham Castle (see History) in 1825 and extended in 1849 and 1858. The surviving part is the former gate and governor's house. The Gaol could accommodate 70 prisoners in solitary cells until closure in 1877. Now the property is in the Landmark Trust who maintain it for holiday lets.
  • It was in this village that Quarter Sessions were held, thus the need for the prison.
  • In 1841, census records tell us that the Gaol held 49 prisoners. Mr. Matthew Edis MAILE was the gaoler then.
  • Ian PATERSON has a photograph of the House of Correction on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2008.
  • Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the "former" Village Stocks on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2016.

Description & Travel

This village and parish is bisected by the A15 trunk road as it travels north from Bourne to Sleaford. The parish lies just about midway between the two, some 26 miles southeast of Lincoln. Laughton parish lies to the south and Wolcot parish to the north. A small stream runs past the northeast side of the village, enventually joining the South Forty Foot Drain on the other side of Billingborough. The parish covers slightly more than 1,861 acres.

Folkingham is a large village with an attractive square, dominated by the Greyhound Inn, a tall three-storey building from the 17th century. It offered hotel accommodations, meals and liquid refreshments, but closed several years ago and is falling into decline (JB). The town was a popular stop for coaches in the 19th Century.

If you are planning a visit:

You can see pictures of Folkingham which are provided by:





In 1917, Ethel HUTCHINSON married George RUDKIN from Folkingham. Tragically, he died in 1918 from the Flu Epidemic. RUDKIN was interested in the traditions and folklore of Lincolnshire. RUDKIN's papers and archives are held by Lincolnshire Archives.


Historical Geography

The parish contains a Chalybeate Spring (iron-rich water).  There are several other natural springs in the parish.

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



  • Folkingham was probably already a small hamlet when the Romans came and built the Roman Road that runs a few miles west of the village. It is part of the old Kingdom of Lindsey that existed in King Arthur's time, although considered part of Kesteven now. The village is best known after the battle of Hastings in 1066 when William the Conqueror gave vast estates in the counties of Lincoln and York to (Baron) Gilbert de Gant (or Gaunt), his nephew and a General in the Norman army, in return for service rendered. Folkingham was the seat of his estate. Gilbert's son Walter married Maud, daughter of Stephen, Earl of Richmond.
  • Henry de Beaumont built a castle at Folkingham, but little remains of this medieval moated castle, although the earthworks can still be traced. Beaumont was created a Baron in 1309. The earthen banks to either side are part of the old castle bailey which occupied the site until the mid 16th century. The castle prison is now known as the House of Correction.
  • Timothy HEATON has a photograph of the Castle Moat on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2021.
  • A Savings Bank was established in 1818.
  • The Falkingham Gas Light Company was erected in 1863.
  • The Greyhound Inn dates back to 1650 and was popular with travellers because it was just off the main Roman Road, Ermine Street (now the A15). At last report (2008), it was being converted into flats.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Greyhound Inn on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2006.
  • These are the names associated with the Greyhound Inn in various directories:
Year Person
1842 Thomas CASSWELL
1868 Edward J. GRUMMITT, brewer and farmer
1872 Edward John GRUMMITT, farmer, brewer and vict.
1881 Edward Jno. GRUMMITT, vict.
1900 James Wm. YARNOLD
1913 James Wm. YARNOLD
1919 James Wm. YARNOLD
1930 No proprietor listed

The parish has an "Orchard 2000" greenspace that is part of the Millennium Greens project, which created 250 new public green spaces for the benefit of local communities. Robert HARVEY has a photograph of the Entry Gate to Orchard 2000 on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2020.

Jim HANSEN opened his Hansen's Chocolate House here on the Market Place in 2006.



  • Folkingham Manor House is architecturally interesting and was built for Lord Clinton in the 17th century. It was constructed of stone taken from the castle.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of Folkingham Manor House on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2006.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF071337 (Lat/Lon: 52.890096, -0.409597), Folkingham which are provided by:


Military History

  • The RAF opened a dummy airfield here early in World War II (1940).
  • The airfield was equiped with dummy planes and lots of activity in order to lure Luftwaffe pilots away from the real airfield at Grantham (RAF Spitalgate). It even had landing lights to draw attention at night.
  • The RAF closed the field after the war, using it for a Regimental depot for a while.
  • The runways were used in the 1950s by BRM racing motors to test their cars.
  • The field was re-opened in 1959 as a Thor missile base.
  • The site closed as a missile base in late 1963 and fell into decay and disuse.
  • For an aerial view, click on Airfields of Britain, the Conservation Trust which keeps an eye on such things.

Military Records

For a photograph of the Folkingham War Memorial in St. Andrew's Church and the names on it, see the Roll of Honour site.


Names, Geographical

  • Locals usually pronounce the name as "Fockingham" or "Fokkinham". John Bland tells us in 2004 that he hears it as "Fok-ing-hum".
  • The parish name is often spelled "Falkingham" in old records.
  • In the 1086 Domesday Book, the village name is rendered as Folchingeham, from the Old English Folca+inga+ham meaning "Homestead of a man called Folc(a)".
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in county Lincoln and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient Aveland Wapentake in the South Kesteven district in the parts of Kesteven in the 19th century.
  • Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of the Village Hall on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2019. Stop in when they are open and ask to see the Schdule of Forthcoming events.
  • You may contact the local Folkingham Parish Council regarding divic or political issues, but they are NOT tasked with assisting you with family history searches.
  • For today's district governance, contact the South Kesteven District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases were heard in the Bourne petty session hearings every Monday.
  • Thomas ARPE's Charity used the rent from 14 acres of land in Osbournby to give to the poor on St. Thomas Day.
  • Richard BROCKLESBY's Charity was the income from land at Pidley, Hunt's, left for teaching the Catechism and Holy Bible to children of this parish and the parish of Pidley.
  • HYDE's Blue Coat Charity used the interest from £50 to provide coats for boys at Folkingham School.
  • TORRINGTON's Charity was the interest from £100 distributed to six poor widows and six poor men on St. Thomas Day (Dec. 21st, the Winter Solstice).
  • The parish built its own workhouse in 1813 to shelter the poor. This was no longer needed after the 1834 Poor Law reforms and was eventually converted to a private residence.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, the parish became part of the Bourne Poor Law Union.


Year Inhabitants
1801 531
1831 744
1841 781
1871 696
1891 502
1911 479

Probate Records

Ros DUNNING provides a transcript of the will of BROOKE, John Moore of Folkingham.



  • A Free School was established in the town prior to 1710.
  • RICHIER's Charity was a fixed charge of £10 per year on land at Pointon. The money went to school costs.
  • The old School House is a grade II listed building with British Heritage.
  • A National School was built here in 1875 to hold up to 130 children.
  • The school, above, was closed in 1976.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.