South Kelsey



  • The parish was in the Caistor sub-district of the Caistor Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 638
1851H.O. 107 / 2114
1861R.G. 9 / 2393
1871R.G. 10 / 3421
1881R.G. 11 / 3280
1891R.G. 12 / 2622
1901R.G. 13 / 3098

Church History

  • In 1083, Roger POICTEVIN founded a priory here in a place called Wenghale, as a cell to the abbey of Seez in Normandy. It was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • South Kelsey was originally two ecclesiastical parishes; Saint Mary and Saint Nicholas. St. Nicholos church fell into disuse, apparently around 1800.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to St. Mary.
  • Portions of St. Mary's Church have been dated to 1250.
  • The church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1795. Many of the stones were from the church of St. Nicholas, then removed.
  • The church was renovated in 1854.
  • The church was restored in 1889.
  • The church seats 300.
  • A photograph of St. Mary's church is at the Wendy PARKINSON English Church Photographs site.
  • David WRIGHT has a photograph of the Church of St. Mary on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2005.
  • Here is a photo of St. Mary's Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):


  • The Diocese of Lincoln declared St. Nicholas redundant. In 1982 the building was demolished and the site added to the churchyard.
  • The churchyard of St. Nicholas is still used as a burial ground. A mortuary chapel exists on the grounds.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register, including entries from St. Nicholas church, dates from 1559.
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has published several marriage indexes and a burial index for the Westwold Deanery to make your search easier.
  • In the 1800's the Wesleyan Methodists, free Methodists and Primitive Methodists all had chapels. For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • Bill HENDERSON has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2009.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

This village and parish are 5.5 miles south-west of Caistor and 8 miles south-east of Brigg. North Kesley parish sits to the north and Waddingham parish to the west. The parish covers more than 4,100 acres and includes the hamlets of Moortown and North End.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the B1205 west out of Caistor. This road bisects the village.
  • There is weekday bus service to Brigg and Scunthorpe.
  • Visit our touring page for visitor services.
You can see pictures of South Kelsey which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Jean COLLINS, "South Kelsey : The history of a North Lincolnshire village," Pub. 2009, U P Publications 142 pp., ISBN: 97-80955744730
  • Kate NICOL has a photograph of the Bull Inn on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2009.
  • The Skipworth Arms Public House in the hamlet of Moortown has a long history in the parish. These are the names associated with the place in various directories:
1842-- not listed --
1868Weldon TAYLOR
1872Wm. Geo. CODD, vict.
1882Thos. SCOTT, vict.
1900Thomas SCOTT, farmer
1913Thomas ALLBONES
1919William GREYSON
1930Jas. H. MYERS

There was one lodger and one servant at the Skipworth Arms in 1881. Here is the census entry (RG 11/3280 folio 9):

RelationshipNameSexAgeWhere born
HeadThomas SCOTTM40South Kelsey, Lincolnshire
wifeMary SCOTTF29Sheffield, Yorkshire
sonSamuel SCOTTM13Caistor, Lincolnshire
daugh.Elizth SCOTTF11Caistor, Lincolnshire
sonWalter SCOTTM0Moortown, Lincolnshire
servantMary A. GLEWF17Caistor, Lincolnshire
lodgerGeorge HEALEYM18Caistor, Lincolnshire


  • The old manor house here was gone by 1900, leaving just traces of the moat.
  • For centuries the manor here belonged to the ancient family of HANSARD of Walworth, but in the 16th century it passed into the posession of Sir Francis AYSCOUGH through marriage.
  • Moortown House was the residence of the SKIPWORTH family about a century ago. It then passed to the BOYNTON family.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF042982 (Lat/Lon: 53.47027, -0.431385), South Kelsey which are provided by:


Military History

  • On the north side of the parish church is a Sicilian marble slab with the names of the men of the parish who fell in World War I.

Politics & Government

  • South Kelsey has existed as a parish in Lincoln county since at least 1795.
  • The parish was in the north division of the ancient Walshcroft Wapentake in the West Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • Both Kelly's 1900 and 1913 Directories of Lincolnshire place the parish, perhaps erroneously, in the East Lindsey division of the county.
  • Today's district governance is provided by the West Lindsey District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • The Common Land was enclosed here in 1797.
  • After the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, the parish became part of the Caistor Poor Law Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Caistor petty session hearings.




  • The Free School was erected by Lady Mary Ayscough in 1712 and rebuilt in 1812. It was later restored in 1879 and converted to a National School.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.