Archives & Libraries

Jo TURNER has a photograph of the old Reading Room and Library on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2011.

The Louth Library is normally open six days per week. It has computers, access to Ancestry, and friendy staff. It is near the Louth Post Office.

And don't overlook the collections at the Louth Museum at #4 Broadbank.

And check out the Louth Navigation Trust for books and history of the area.



  • David CUPPLEDITCH's "Around Louth, Second Edition", circa 1924, ISBN: 0 86299 02X.
  • David N. ROBINSON's "The Book of Louth: The Story of a Market Town", Second Edition 1992, Barracuda Books, ISBN 0 86023 094 5.
  • David N. ROBINSON's "The Louth Flood 29th May 1920", Louth Naturalists', Antiquarian and Literary Society, ISBN 0 9520117 2 7.
  • David N. ROBINSON's "Lindsey - Louth and District: One Inch Sheet 103 (Old Ordnance Survey Maps - Inch to the Mile)", Alan Godfrey Maps, 1999, ISBN 13: 97818415111.


  • Derek VOLLER has a photograph of an old graveyard on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2015. It is now a lovely and quiet parkland.
  • A new ten-acre cemetery was formed in 1854 on the London Road. The following year, two mortuary chapels were erected and the Louth Burial Board established. A portion was set aside for dissenters (Non-conformists).
  • In 1884 an additional four acres was added on the west side.
  • The cemetery was under the administration of the Burial Board of the town corporation. They will search for individual burials, but not everyone of a given surname.
  • There are over 29,000 burials at the Cemetery which was first opened in 1855.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of a burial chapel on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2008.


  • The civil parish was in the Louth sub-district of the Louth Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The North Lincolnshire Library holds copies of the census returns for 1841 and 1881.
  • For the 1901 census, check our Census Surname Extract page for your kin.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 639
1851H.O. 107 / 2111 & 2112
1861R.G. 9 / 2381
1871R.G. 10 / 3400 thru 3404
1881R.G. 11 / 3261 & 3262
1891R.G. 12 / 2607
1901R.G. 13 / 3084

Church History

  • Christianity came to Louth in the early eighth century as a result of the missionary work of St. Paulinus.
  • The civil parish also includes the ecclesiastical parishes of St. James, St. Michael (east side of town), and Holy Trinity, which includes Louth Park. Louth Park is a former extra-parochial liberty, now part of Holy Trinity parish, but not part of the municipal borough of Louth. There will be a test later! In 1139, "de parco Ludo" or Louth Park was established as a Cistercian abbey, which accounts for its status as a liberty. As a result of the Dissolution in 1535, the abbey was demolished (in 1545). In 1867, the liberty of Louth Park became part of Holy Trinity parish.
  • There have been two parish churches, the first now demolished. It was built around 1170 during the Norman frenzy of church and castle building and was dedicated to St. Mary. It was rebuilt in the 13th century using Yorkshire and Ancaster Stone, and rebuilt again in the 15th century. By about 1650, the old church was deserted and few traces of it remained. St. Mary's graveyard was used for many years after the new church was built. It is believed that the new church, St. James, was built around 1380 or earlier.
  • The present St. James is in Westgate.
  • Chris ECCLESTON has a photograph of St. James' Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2005.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the lofty St. James' tower on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2005.
  • Here is a photo of St. James Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):
  • A second ecclesiastical parish, St. Michael's, was formed from a portion of St. James parish on 28 July 1863.
  • The church was built in 1863 and is on Church Street.
  • A third ecclesiastical parish, Holy Trinity, was formed from a portion of St. James parish on 1 Jan 1867. Louth Park liberty was included as part of the new parish.
  • Holy Trinity church is located in Eastgate.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1866.
  • Wendy PARKINSON has a photograph of Holy Trinity Church on the Church Photo web site.

Church Records

  • In Feb. 2008, Anne COLE reported the discovery of some Bishop's Transcripts for 1782-1805, 1807-1810 which turned up recently in a solicitor's deposit. These were never filmed by the LDS and are not on the I.G.I. To see them, one must go to the Lincoln Archives.
  • St. James registers of baptisms date from 1685, marriages from 1538 and burials 1557.
  • St. Michael's registers date from 1863.
  • Holy Trinity register entries, from when the church was a chapel of ease for St. James, date back to 1841.
  • We have a handful of parish register entries from all three parishes on our Church Register text file. Your additions and corrections can be sent to the site co-oridnator (below).
  • The LFHS has published several indexes for the Louthesk Deanery to make your search easier.
  • The Lincoln City Central Reference Library holds a copy of "A List of Voters on the Question of a Church Rate, at Louth, taken on the 3rd, 4th, & 6th of October 1834".
  • There were chapels here prior to 1841 for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, Reformed Methodists and even the Roman Catholics. For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page. Non-conformist records for Louth can also be found at the Public Record Office for 1801 - 1837.
  • St. Mary's Catholic Church is in Upgate. Originally built in 1833, it was enlarged in 1845.
  • The Baptist chapel was in Northgate (built in 1802), with a scond in Eastgate (1849).
  • The Congregationalists met each week on Cannon Street in a chapel built in 1820.
  • The Primitive Methodist chapel was in Northgate, built in 1826 and rebuilt in 1850.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists met in Eastgate (1808) and had a Mission Hall at Riverhead.
  • 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 civil parish was in the Louth sub-district of the Louth Registration District.
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.

Correctional Institutions

  • The was a prison here prior to 1826.
  • A new Gaol and House of Correction were built here in 1826-7 for the East Lindsey division of the county. It was built near the site of the old prison, but was discontinued in April, 1872, when a new prison was built at Lincoln.
  • Chris has a photograph of the old prison sign on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2012.
  • A good book on Louth's gaol is "The Story of Louth House of Correction 1671-1872," by Bill PAINTER, ISBN 0-953-95332-7.
  • A Police Station was built in Eastgate near the prison in 1866. Mr. John FULLER was the inspector in 1872.

Description & Travel

Louth is a civil parish, a municipal borough, the head of a union, a court district and a market town. The parish covers a fertile vale on the eastern side of the Wolds, with the land sloping slowly down eastward to the North Sea some ten miles distant. Keddington parish lies to the north-east, Stewton parish to the east and Raithby parish to the south-west. The civil parish covers about 2,750 acres, all within the borough of Louth.

The borough of Louth started out as a village named Luda, became a market town, and was nearly abandoned (see History). It has an ideal location 148 miles north of London, 13 miles north-east of Horncastle, 33 north of Boston and 15 miles south of Grimsby.

It is said that there is nothing spectacular in Louth - only mellow Georgian houses of red brick and pantile, but you must make your own choices. Many have found the parish church, St. James, to be quite spectacular, with its 295 foot spire. Louth currently basks in being the artistic and musical spot in north England. If you are planning a visit:

  • Take the A16 trunk road that runs south out of Grimsby. Alternatively, you could take the A631 east out of Gainsborough all the way to Louth.
  • The last Railway passenger train left Louth station in 1970. Goods trains still ran for a few years afterwards.
  • The Civic Trust of Lincolnshire offers tours of several Louth sites, like Espin's Mausoleum in Eastgate, or Brackenborough Hall (Sunday afternoons only), and compare a computer recreation of Brown's Panorama of Louth from the 1850's with one of the modern day town.
  • The Greenwich Meridian runs through Louth. And, Yes, it's true that it should be about 4 meters to the left, but you can see a marker sign by Jo TURNER on Geo-graph, taken in ay, 2011.
  • Visit our touring page for more sources.
  • Here are three photographs of the village sign, taken by Patricia McCRORY (who retains the copyright):




You can see pictures of Louth which are provided by:





  • King John visited Louth in 1210.
  • Any center of trade is a potential site for plague. Plague came to Louth in 1515, 1538, 1543 and 1587. In April of 1631, the village was ravaged by plague. By November, the disease had taken more than 750 lives, leaving many houses and shops empty. All trade was suspended and the markets abandoned. Survivors talked about abandoning the village, but decided to stay.
  • In 1536, the town was the origin of the Lincolnshire Rising, which started on 1 October 1536 in St James Church. The rising began after Rev. Thomas KENDALL, the incumbent, gave an 'emotive sermon', the evening before the King's Commissioners were due to arrive and assess the church's wealth. Eventually, 30,000 supporters were said to have marched to Lincoln to confront the King's Commissioners. Michael GARLICK has a photograph of the Memorial Plaque on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2016. The event caused King Henry VIII to write that Lincolnshire was, "The most brute and beastly shire of the whole realm."
  • In the 1600s, the King's Head Hotel opened. Jo TURNER has a photograph of the King's Head Hotel on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2011.
  • In 1761, construction started on the Louth Canal project, allowing the village access to the North Sea via Tetney Lock. (Some sources give a date of 1763, which is the date Parliament passed the "Louth Canal Act". The canal travels about four miles easterly from the village, then swings to the north toward Tetney Lock.
  • A 1797 report tells us that the town was without manufacturers, but we suspect that boatbuilding, brewing and tanning were overlooked. In 1840, the chief manufacturer made carpets and blankets (established in 1787!). A second was a paper manufacturer. And, as usual, much of the town depended on tanneries, soaperies, boatbuilding, breweries, etc.
  • In 1802, a sheep market was established every Friday during spring and autumn.
  • In 1822, we have this report of emigrants from Louth in the Strabane Morning Post (a Portable Document File).
  • In 1826, in April, the Gas Works opened to provide lighting for the town.
  • The Municipal Reform Act of 1835 split Louth into two wards - north and south.
  • In 1848, the Great Northern Railway established the first rail link with another town - Grimsby.
  • The Louth Water Works Company was formed by an act of Parliament in 1871. The water source for the town was a spring called "Silver Spring" in the valley adjoining Hubbard's hills.
  • Date unknown: Mr. Tommy AYSCOUGH, a dairy farmer from Immingham, set up a trust fund and built AYSCOUGH HALL on Lee Street.
  • In May, 1920, parts of Louth were flooded, killing 23 people. There is a memorial in the cemetery.
  • Check out #069, An Old-Fashioned Winter, 1938, a black and white 16mm film clip, 14 min., with sound, from Lincs Film.
  • Richard CROFT provides a photograph of the Chalybeate spring head near the river on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2015.
  • Dennis WETHERLEY provides this family story:
There was a story in the Louth Standard on October 19th 1935 about the house known as "Eau Meets". The postal address of the house was Conisholme although it was much closer to Alvingham and seems to have no connection to Conisholme. The story is about the terrible state of the house which was literally falling down around John (b 1876) and Elizabeth SPENDLOW nee SMITH (b 1878 in Skendleby).

The house had been in the family for at least 3 generations and as far as I can find out was first occupied by Richard SPENDLOW (b 1774 in Saltfleetby All Saints) and his wife Elizabeth (b 1767). The house was situated at the point where the river Lud split into the North and South Eau, hence the name Eau Meets. Incidentally the locals pronounce Eau as "ee" as in "see" and not the French pronunciation.

Family stories say that one of the duties of the occupiers was to regulate the flow of water along the river using sluice gates next to the house. These waterways are now but a shadow of what they must have been and are mostly dry.

After Richard SPENDLOW the house was occupied by his son Richard (b 1831) and his wife Mildred nee BURKITT (b 1831 in Mablethorpe) and in turn by Isaac SPENDLOW (b 1841 in North Cockerington) and his wife Sarah nee LANCASTER (b 1837 in Grimoldby). Why Isaac was born in North Cockerington I don't know. Isaac's sisters were all born at Eau Meets.

In the Louth museum there is a photograph of Isaac riding his tricycle in Louth. He looks quite a character. According to the 1881 census the house was divided into two with Richard and his wife and granddaughter in one house and his son Isaac and his family in the other, 8 altogether. According to the story in the Standard the house was built from mud and straw bricks which had been made in a "sod clamp" and were not equal in size which must have made them difficult to lay.

Originally there was no chimney, just a hole in the roof over the fire. The chimney was not built until around 1860. In 1935 a new house was built next to the now decrepit old house and John and Elizabeth moved a few yards to the new one. The old house was demolished. The new house is still there and is still "Eau Meets".
  • In June, 2007, parts of Louth were flooded again. Chris has a series of photographs starting at on Geo-graph to document the flooding.
  • Louth is situated on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds and is commonly referred to as the ‘Capital of the Wolds’. It is the largest market town in the District of East Lindsey.


  • The national grid reference is TF 3387.
  • An Ordnance Survey "Explorer 283" map will show detail of 2.5 inches to 1 mile scale.
  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF328870 (Lat/Lon: 53.363196, -0.00579), Louth which are provided by:


Medical Records

The Hospital and Dispensary in Crow Tree Lane was established in 1803. The new hospital building was opened in May, 1883. It had beds for 20 patients.

Hospitals were not required to archive patient records but photographs and accounting records may be in the archives.

The Louth County Hospital, is in High Holme Road near Union Street, just off the B1520 arterial road.


Military History

In 1795 there is a record of a "Colonel John Henry Loft's Regiment" stationed here at Louth as a training unit. Some men from this unit saw service in Newfoundland, Canada, that year.

The Louth Rifle Volunteers, of the 2nd Lincolnshire, formed in 1859 and consisted of one company of about 80 members. In 1872, they drilled at the Corn Exchange. Officers in 1872 were: J. G. P. ISLES, Captain; William E. DITCHETT, Lieutenant; Lionel R. LUCAS, jnr., Ensign; Mr. Thomas W. WALLIS, Quartermaster Sergeant; and John FACER, Drill Instructor. They had a rifle range on the south side of town.

The Louth Artillery Volunteers, of the 3rd Lincolnshire, formed in 1860 and consisted of one battery of about 80 members. They formed part of the brigade whose head quarters were at Grimsby. Officers in 1872 were: Robert RANSHAW, Second Lieutenant; Sergeant George WEAVER, Drill Instructor.

A Territorial Force of the Army was stationed at Louth just prior to World War I. In addition to the 2nd Division Officers' Training Corps facility, the following were there in 1900:

  • 4th Lincolnshire Battery, 1st Volunteer (Lincolnshire) Artillery, Western Division Royal Artillery.
  • 3rd Volunteer Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, D Company.

Here is the Territorial Force in Louth in 1913:

  • Lincolnshire Yeomanry, B Squadron.
  • 3rd Lincolnshire Battery, 1st North Midland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
  • 5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, D Company.

In 1919, Louth also hosted the Louth (School Contingent) Officers' Training Corps., Lieut. E. A. GARDINER, Commanding.

Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Louth War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2007.

To see the names from the Louth War memorial, click on the appropriate link below:

Louth was bombed in 1941. To see the details of the story, click on Louth, Feb. 1941.


Military Records

This section has been moved to another page because of its size (just under 1Mb). Select Military Records.


Names, Geographical

  • The name Louth is Old English hlude or "loud". Named after what is now called the River Lud (or Ludd), "the noisy stream" gave its name to the village. The village is listed in the 1086 Domesday Book as Lude.
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]
  • Variations on the ancient name are Ludes and Luda.
  • The Danes, who invaded during the 8th and 9th centuries, influenced the name. The Scandinavian pronunciation of the 'd' is 'th', giving us Louth instead of Loud.
  • Locals pronounce the name as if it were Lowath or Loww-ath.
  • The BBC has been known to pronounce the name as Looth.

Names, Personal

  • The first Baron de Louth was given Louth by William I along with lands in Cambridgeshire, Ely, South Lincs. and in Ireland, co Louth.
  • Louth is the birthplace of Dr. Michael FOALE, NASA Astronaut, born 6 Jan 1957. Foale was invested as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the diplomatic list of the New Year Honours in December 2004.


  • A weekly newspaper, called the Louth and North Lincoln Advertiser, was established here in 1859. It was published every Saturday. In 1872, W. A. LARDER was the publisher.
  • The town and the area around it are served by the LincolnshireLive news service.
  • The Louth Leader has a Facebook presence. The news magazine has local obituaries. It appears that the name is now "Lincolnshire World".
  • For more information on local Newspapers, see our Lincolnshire Newspapers page.

Politics & 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 Louth Eske Wapentake in the East Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • You may contact the Louth Town Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to help you with family history searches.
  • For today's district governance, see the East Lindsey District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Louth petty session hearings in the Courthouse every other Wednesday.
  • In 1550, Thomas SPENCER left money to provide coals for the poor, and his son added a house's income.
  • In 1551, Bedehouses were built in Gospelgate. Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Bedehouses on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2015. The description provides a little history.
  • In 1573, Richard WRIGHT established a charity to provide coals for the poor.
  • In 1586, Jarratt ALLANDALE established a charity to provide cloth for the poor.
  • In 1603, Oliver KENNITHORPE left the income from property at Brackenborough for the poor.
  • In 1638, Anthony ACHAM left the income from property at Asterby, Stenigot and Ramby to be distributed to the poor in bread.
  • In 1678, John SKIPWORTH gave six acres of land to provide clothing for 10 poor persons.
  • In 1767, Ann WADESON bequeathed £200 for the benefit of poor housekeepers.
  • In 1801, Isabella PHILLIPSON bequeathed £200 for the same.
  • In 1801, the open fields and common were enclosed (1,850 acres).
  • CODD's charity of £100 generates interest given to the poor.
  • The parish owns land in other parishes in order to generate income for the poor.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, the parish became part of the Louth Poor Law Union.
  • In 1874 the Petty Sessions Courthouse was erected in Eastgate. It included offices for the County Constabulary.
  • In 1885, the Reverend Frederick ORME, rector of Lyndon, Rutland, erected 10 almshouses with a porter's lodge on the site of the old prison.
  • Chris ? has a photograph of the Orme Almshouses on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2012.
  • The Salvation Army had barracks in Northgate.
  • The Church of England Home for Waifs and Strays, in Victoria Road, was opened in 1912.


In White's 1842 Directory, he states that "Louth ranks next to Lincoln and Boston, among the most populous towns of Lincolnshire, being somewhat larger than Gainsboro', Grantham, Stamford or Spalding."



  • There are records indicating that schooling was taking place in the town in the eighth century. Simon de Luda is recorded as a schoolmaster in 1276.
  • On 21 September 1551, King Edward VI founded the first grammar school in Louth, funding it with a plot of land and the revenue from three fairs. In 1564, Elizabeth I granted the manor of Louth and some additional property to support the school. It was built anew in 1869 with renovations and additions since then. It bills itself today as "King Edward VI Grammar School, a Specialist Science College." It is on Edward Street, Louth, LN11 9LL, phone: 01507 600-456. School graduates include Captain John SMITH (1592-95), who went on to be the first elected president of Virginia; Sir John FRANKLIN (1797-1800) and Alfred, Lord TENNYSON (1816-1820).
  • Alfred Lord TENNYSON did not enjoy his time here as a student. Richard CROFT has captured one of his comments in this Schoolhouse Lane plaque photograph on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2015.
  • M. J. ROSCOE has a photograph of the King Edward VI Grammar School on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2019.
  • Hardie's Free School was founded by Richard HARDIE in 1562 for the free instruction of poor boys of the parish in reading, writing and arithmetic.
  • The St. James' School, Westgate, for boys was built in 1811 (or 1818).
  • The Kidgate Primary School was built in 1840. It has been renovated recently and is still standing on Cinder Lane, postcode LN11 9BX, phone 01507 603-636.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists' School, New Market, was built in 1858, but was immediately enlarged to admit 75 students.
  • The Eastfield Road school (Trinity Schools), built in 1866, has an average attendance of 137 in 1913.
  • The Church Street school, built in 1875 for up to 370 children, had an average attendance of 208 in 1913.
  • The Girls' Grammar School in Westgate was opened by Lord HENEAGE on 23 Sept. 1904.
  • The Enginegate School (for girls and infants) was built prior to 1913.
  • A Municipal Technical School was sited on James Street, opened prior to 1913.
  • Cordeaux School is a "specialist engineering college" on North Holme Street, Louth, LN11 OHG, phone 01507 606-555. No history is available.
  • St. Michael's Church of England School is on Monks Dyke Road, Louth, LN11 9AR, phone: 01507 603-867. I have no history on this school.
  • Monks' Dyke Technical College is a Sixth Form school in Louth, LN11 9AW, phone: 01507 606-349.
  • The Deighton Close School was a special boys school, for boys 6 to 16 who had mental or emotional problems. It closed in 2018.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.