Archives & Libraries

The Spalding Library is part of the Lincolnshire County Library System. As such, it has an Ancstry subscription and computer stations to help with your search.

  • Spalding Library
  • Victoria Street
  • Spalding, Lincs, PE11 1EA
  • Tele: 01 522 782 010, Fax: 01 775 768931
  • Opening Hours 9.00 - 18.00 Mon - Fri
  • Early Closing Thurs 14.00 Sat 9.00 - 16.00
  • Late opening Wed to 19.00

Spalding Gentleman's Society:

  • Broad Street
  • Spalding, Lincs PE11 1TB
  • Web site

This was founded by Maurice JOHNSON of Ayscoughfee Hall in 1710 as a forum for local gentleman to discuss local antiquities and to read the newly published periodical "The Tatler". The study of scientific and literary subjects were encouraged. Two years later the Society was formally established and membership included some notable 18th-century figures including Sir Isaac NEWTON, Dr. William STUKELEY and later Alfred Lord Tennyson. The museum is the oldest in Britain with the exception of Oxford's Ashmolean. The museum moved to the present building in 1911 and, whilst not open to the public, viewings can be made by appointment. It does occasionally hold general open day's usually as part of National Heritage Events. (JB)

The Gentlemen's Society holds a copy of the Court Rolls (actually large books) for the manor of Spalding cum Membris, in Latin, with an imperfect index, but in perfect condition, as well as surveys and rentals. The records cover the surrounding parishes as well as Spalding itself. [Michael EDGOOSE]

Brian WILLIAMSON of Christchurch, New Zealand, tells us that: "The Harvard University Library has online (the following text exactly as stated):

  1. Spalding Gentlemen's Society: Minute Books of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society 1712-1755, Lincoln Record Society.
  2. Spalding Gentlemen's Society/BAILEY G. W./1937 bks
  3. Spalding Gentlemen's Society - Library-Catalogs catalog of the whole of the books together with th/spalding g/1808 bks.
  4. The correspondence of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1710-1761, by Diana HONEYBONE and Michael HONEYBONE
  5. Spalding, an industrial history, by Neil R. WRIGHT, 1975, Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, and
  6. Spalding with Holbeach, Moulton and Whaplode on old picture postcards, by Eric CROFT, 2011, ISBN 9781905408252 .

For item 1 above there is the note that the years covered are 1712 thru 1755 and that The Harvard Univ. cat record indicates that these were selected and introduced by Dorothy M. OWEN, with the help of S. W. WOODWARD and published by the Lincoln Record Society, 1981.

Bob HARVEY has a photograph of the Gentlemen's Society building on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2014.



  • Michael J. EMSDEN'S, "Seventy Years in Spalding," released Oct. 2011, publ. Birchgrove Garden Centre Ltd. ASIN: B005T24JZQ.
  • See also the History section, below.


  • The Monumental Inscription records of Spalding Cemetery, consecrated in November 1854, are held at Spalding Library. The list, produced during the 1970s, contains plot numbers. (JB)
  • The Cemetery was expanded by 2 acres in 1876.
  • The Cemetery has always been under the management of the Town Council.


  • The parish was in the Spalding sub-district of the Spalding Registration District.
  • Copies of all Census Returns for the town and surrounding villages are held on microfilm at Spalding Library along with indexes. (JB)
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
Piece Numbers
1841H.O. 107 / 606-612 & 650
1851H.O. 107 / 2096 (187-end) and 2097
1861R.G. 9 / 2320-2330
1871R.G. 10 / 3318 & 3321-3323
1881R.G. 11 / 3197-3211
1891R.G. 12 / 2559-2569
1901R.G. 13 / 3032

Church History


Church Records

  • Anglican parish registers exist from 1550 for marriages, 1538 for baptisms and burials.
  • We have a partial extract of the Parish Register for certain surnames.
  • Parish registers are now on file at the Society of Genealogists, covering 1550 - 1812.
  • Also check out the file of Spalding Phillimore Marriages.
  • Spalding marriages are in Boyd's Marriage Index, covering 1651 - 1812.
  • Spalding marriages are in Pallot's Marriage Index, covering 1790 - 1812.
  • The last marriage in the chapel of ease in Wickham (also spelled "Wykeham") hamlet was in 1783. Apparently the roof fell in the evening after the wedding party danced on the roof.
  • The LFHS has published several marriage and burial indexes for the West Elloe Deanery to make your search easier.
  • The Catholic church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and St. Norbert, is in Henrietta Street, built in 1876 and enlarged in 1879 was being restored in 2004 (JB). The church was consecrated in 1903. For information and assistance in researching this church, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • The Baptist Church, raised on Swan Street, was founded in 1646.
  • Over time the parish and town have hosted several other non-conformist chapels. The United Reformed Church on Pinchbeck Road built in 1827 and the Quakers on Westlode Street. The Wesleyan Methodist Church in Broad Street was built on the site of the old House of Correction in 1826. In 1886-7 a bigger Church was built which still stands, the United Methodist Free Church was built in Spring Gardens in on the site of a smaller Chapel in 1878-79 and stood until the reorganisation of Methodism in Spalding in 1955 when it was demolished. It was a majestic building and many influential Spalding people were members. For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page. (JB)
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the United Reformed Church and Independent Chapel in Pinchbeck Road on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

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

Correctional Institutions

  • The last House of Correction was built in 1826 and was enlarged in 1851-2. It closed down in 1884 and part of the site is now occupied by the Spalding Library. (JB)
  • For more information, including the 1881 census of prisoners, see our Correctional Institutions page.

Description & Travel

Spalding is both a market town and a parish 93 miles north of London, also 17 miles north of Peterborough and 14 miles south of Boston. Weston parish lies to the east and Pinchbeck parish to the northwest. The area is flat fenland, drained by many small canals. The parish once included the hamlets of Winsover, Fulney and Wickham, now all suburbs of Spalding. The parish covers over 12,000 acres.

The River Welland flows northeastward through the town, with the largest part of the town being on the north bank. The river embankments for two miles south of the town are of Roman origin. If you are planning a visit:

  • The A16 and A151 trunk roads bisect the town. The A1073 north from Crowland leads to Spalding, also.
  • If traveling by Rail, it is recommended that one heads to Peterborough as the service is more frequent. The town is on the branch railway line running from Peterborough to Lincoln. (JB)
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of Spalding railway station on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2011.
  • There are many fine Georgian buildings on either side of the River Welland built during times when the town thrived as an Inland Port. (JB)
  • Broad Street in Spalding has many attractions, including the Methodist Church, opened in 1887. On weekend afternoons, church members give tours.
  • The Spalding Gentlemen's Society has museum tours on Saturdays.
  • Also on Saturdays, at Sessions House at Sheep Market, mock trials are held where the public gets to participate in order to learn about the Magistrates Court.
  • Spalding is the home to many Food and Floral Goods Processing and Packaging firms, reflecting the agricultural heritage of the area. (JB)
  • Markets are held every Tuesday and Saturday. (JB)
  • Contact Fowlers of Spalding for information on bus service, Holbeach Drove, PE12 0SD, tele: 01406 330232.
  • See our touring page for visitor services.
You can see pictures of Spalding which are provided by:


Emigration & Immigration

Many families of Huegonot origin can be found in the area given the proximity to Thorney a major Huegonot centre just across the Cambridgeshire border to the South. More recently many Dutch immigrants have made an impact in the town including the Van GEEST family. (JB)





  • Spalding was fortified and held by the Romans.
  • Before the Norman Conquest, Spalding was the manor and one of the seats of the Earls of Mercia. It is believed to be older than Crowland. A castle from Mercian times was sited at the north entrance of the town.
  • After the Norman Conquest, William I gave Spalding to his nephew, Ivo TAILBOIS, Earl of Angiers. Ivo died in 1114 and is buried in Spalding.
  • The first drains around Spalding were built in the 1590s.
  • The High Bridge over the Welland River was rebuilt in 1838.
  • The Corn Exchange building was erected in 1855-6. The nearby Butter Market was opened in 1857.
  • The police station was built in 1858.
  • In 1860 an Act was passed for supplying the town with fresh water piped in from Bourne.
  • Spalding was a railway hub for the Great Eastern and Great Northern railways, with branch lines leading to Peterborough, Bourne, Stamford, Holbeach and Lynn, March and into East The railway first came into town in 1848.
  • In recent years the independent bookshop Bookmark of 20 The Crescent, Spalding, have published the "Aspects" series of Books by Michael J EMSDEN including: "Aspects of Spalding 1790 to 1930" in 1986, "Aspects of Spalding, People and Places" in 1989, "Aspects of Spalding Villages" in 2000, "More Aspects of Spalding" in 2001 and "More Aspects of Spalding Villages" in 2003. (JB)
  • Spalding is a "twin city" of Speyer in Germany since in 1956. She is also twinned with Sezanne in France since 1958.
  • Police Constable MEASURES had an interesting evening, according to the Spalding News of 6th February 1855 (a Portable Document File).
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Red Lion Hotel on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015. Richard notes that Jimi Hendrix once stayed in this same hotel.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the closed Anchor public house on Commercial Road on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of Ye Olde White Horse public house on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.
  • Mat FASCIONE also has a photograph of The Birds public house on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Sign for the Birds public house on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Lincolnshire Poacher on High Street on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2010.
  • Ian S. has a photograph of the Robin Hood public house on the Bourne Road on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2011.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Queensgate Hotel on Westside Street on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2012.


  • Ayscoughfee Hall, on the banks of the Welland, is an ancient mansion with gardens, acquired by the Urban District Council for public use. Locals pronounce the name as "Ass-coff-ee". Some references call the manor "Ayscough Hall". The difference is not explained. The Hall recently underwent a £ One Million restoration. Archealogical Work has established that the Hall goes back to the medieval period, with "tree ring dating" establishing that the house was near completion in 1451. Throughout its 600 year history the hall has continued to grow and develop, with each owner changing the building to represent their needs and the fashions of the time. The Fens Tourism Group has an office in the building. Work is now underway to install a new museum interpreting the past of the Hall itself as well as the surrounding South Holland area. This will be open towards the end of the year 2005.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of Ayscoughfee Hall gardens on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2015.
  • Fulney House, one and half miles east of town, is a handsome brick mansion with gardens.


  • See our Maps page for resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF247228 (Lat/Lon: 52.788178, -0.15192), Spalding which are provided by:


Medical Records

  • The Johnson Hospital was on Priory Road. I could find no mention of it in 1871, but it was functioning by 1881. It is unknown what records may exist in the Archives office, but administrative and accounting records may exist. Patient records were normally not archived.
  • John M. has a photograph of the old Johnson Hospital on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2014.
  • In 1889, Miss Jane SPRAGUE was the matron.
  • In 1900, Miss A. T. WIGINTON was the matron.
  • The Johnson Hospital was used during and after WWI for recovering soldiers
  • The Johnson Hospital was replaced by the Johnson Community Hospital built off Pinchbeck Road in 2009.

Military History

  • In 1860, the Spalding Rifle Volunteers (13th Lincolnshire) formed a company here of about 85 members. They had a rifle range of 1,000 yards at Bourn Road. In 1871, Francis T. SELBY was captain commanding; Joseph H. BUGG, lieutenant; and Sergeant Patrick CALLAGHAN was the drill instructor.
  • We have a Lincolnshire Chronicle newspaper from 14 April 1871 about a military Rifle Match between officers and enlisted men.
  • In 1882 the Spalding Rifle Volunteers had Captain Thomas HILLIAM, commanding; Lieutenants J. H. BURG and Edward LEEDS, and Sergeant Patrick CALLAGHAN as drill instructor.
  • Joseph H. BURG, above, was a 47-year-old native of Spalding in 1881. Edwarde LEEDS was a 37-year-old bank manager, born in Huntingdonshire, in 1881. Patrick CALLAGHAN was a 53-year-old native of Ireland that same year.
  • In 1890 the Drill Hall for F Company of the Volunteer Rifles was erected in the Sheep Market.
  • In 1900 the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, F Company, was here. Captain E. A. ATKINS, commanding; Lieutenant G. J. BARRELL, and Colour-Sergeant John MARTIN as drill instructor.
  • F Company of the 4th Territorial Force Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, had a drill hall on Haverfield Road, erected in 1913. Major G. J. BARRELL, commanding; Color-Sergt. Thomas LORRAINE was the drill instructor.
  • John M. has a photograph of the Old Lighthouse drill hall on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2014. This is the drill hall mentioned above.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Great War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2008.
  • David HITCHBORNE has a photograph of the Sanctuary lamp in Church of St Mary and St Nicolas on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010. The Chapel of St. George was dedicated to the men who were killed in the two World Wars.
  • David HITCHBORNE also has a photograph of the Memorial to the men and women of Spalding who were killed in WWII. on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.
  • John Bland advises:

"A stray German bomber deposited it's cargo on Spalding in May 1941 destroying much of Hall Place. Businesses affected were Pennington & Son, Draper's at 10-13 Hall Place, International Tea Co Ltd at No 6, Home & Colonial Ltd, Grocer's at No 7, Freeman, Hardy & Willis, Shoe Dealers at No 8 and J C Harris & Son's Watchmakers at No 9. This is why visitors to Spalding will note a large line of 1950's/60's flat roofed monstrosities on one side of Hall Place. This was not a case of Town Planning gone mad; it was a case of having no choice but to rebuild using the latest styles of the day."


Names, Geographical

  • The name Spalding is from the Old English spald+ingas, meaning "ditch or trench settlement". In the 1086 Domesday book, the village is given as Spallinge and in 1115 as Spaldingis. Some sources derive the name from the word "Spa" from a spring in the market place, but that origin is disputed by experts.
    A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • The name is pronounced "SPOL-ding".
  • On 17 February 1871 the Spalding Improvement Commissioners renamed several of the town's streets and also named streets hitherto not named. (JB)
  • "Spalding Common" is separated from Spalding Town by a few hundred yards. It is small, only a few houses on the road which enters Spalding from the south west. The nearby church is St Johns. [Keith Bean]

Names, Personal

  • William BOOTH (1829 - 1912) Salvation Army founder, born in Nottingham, preached at Methodists Chapels in Spalding in 1852 and met his wife Catherine MUMFORD in the Town.
  • Sir Halley STEWART (1838 - 1937) Liberal MP for Spalding 1888 - 1895. The Football field bears his name. (JB) He established the Halley Stewart Trust, a charitable organisation.
  • Sir Robert Woolley WALDEN (1851 - 1929) born Spalding; Chemist, Mayor of the City of Westminster 1908. (JB)
  • Click to see the text file: Bailey's British Directory for 1784 list of names. [Mark in Barcelona]
  • You might be interested in this Obituary from the Spalding Guardian, 1895.


  • The main present day newspapers are the Spalding Guardian and The South Lincolnshire Free Press (for 1900-1913, it was the Lincolnshire, Boston and Spalding Free Press, published weekly). By 1900, publishing of the Spalding Free Press had shifted to every Tuesday. The combined website for these two papers is at the Spalding Today site. (JB)
  • Jenny from Australia claims Henry WATKINSON as her ancestor and the founder of the Lincolnshire, Boston and Spalding Free Press newspaper in 1847. This was originally a weekly, published every Tuesday.
  • Older editions of the Spalding Guardian from 1881 are held on microfilm at the Newspaper Library at Colindale and also at Spalding Library. Editions of the Stamford and Rutland Mercury covering 1793 to 1892 are also held on Microfilm. The Peterborough Citizen and Advertiser and The Peterborough Standard should also not be overlooked. These are held on Microfilm at Peterborough Central Library as well as at Colindale. (JB)
  • John Bland advises: The offices of The Lincs Free Press were affected by an incendiary device in the War (WW2) which is why there are some years missing in the Archives. The Newspapers were stored in bound volumes and the staff did try to retrieve what they could from the flames, but a couple of volumes right in the corner of the Storeroom could not be saved.
  • For a flavour of Spalding in 1906, check out these articles in the Spalding Guardian, 1906.

Politics & Government

  • This place is an ancient parish of Lincolnshire and became a modern CIvil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient Elloe Wapentake in the South Holland district and parts of Holland.
  • In August, 1882, Spalding Civil Parish gained the "Cradge Bank" portion of Cowbit Civil Parish.
  • In March, 1887, Spalding Civil Parish gained the "Deeping Road" portion of Cowbit Civil Parish, but gave up the "Forty Foot Bank" to Pinchbeck Civil Parish in order to get the "Deeping Road" portion of that parish.
  • In April, 1932, Spalding Civil Parish surrendered 278 acres to Cowbit Civil Parish and 1.478 acres to Deeping St. Nicholas Civil Parish, but gained 536 acres from Pinchbeck and 1,688 acres from Weston Civil Parishes.
  • Spalding is the administrative town for the South Holland District of Lincolnshire.
  • For today's district governance, visit the South Holland District Council site.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Elloe (Spalding) petty session hearings held at the Sessions House every first, third and fifth Tuesday.
  • Sir John GAMLYN founded almshouses in Spalding in 1650. These were rebuilt in 1844 for 34 men and women. Each inmate received 3s. 6d. weekly in 1900, along with one ton of coal each year.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the GAMLYN Almshouses on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.
  • William WILLESBY had almshouses in Spalding, but these were taken down before 1900.
  • Mrs. E. SPARKE had almshouses in Spalding for six widows, and these were rebuilt in 1812.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Spalding Poor Law Union.
  • Alas, for the parish itself, there are no Poor Law documents on file at the Lincoln Archives.


Population figures typically include staff and inmates at the workhouse.


Postal & Shipping Guides

As Spalding was an Inland Port being a member of The Port of Boston, details of shipping movements published in contemporary Newspapers of the day should not be overlooked if your ancestor was a seaman. (JB)



  • The Spalding Grammar School was founded in 1588 and was originally located within the Church. In 1881 the present site on Priory Road was erected. Originally a boys' school, it has been, since at least 1911, for both sexes. (JB)
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Grammar School on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
  • The Spalding High School for Girls was on the London Road.
  • Spalding also had a Blue Coat School (founded in 1710), Spalding Marsh School, Church Street (National) School (1845), the Westlode Street School (1879), St. John the Baptist (1875), St. Norbert's Catholic School (1876) and Willesby's Winsover Boys School (1682).
  • The Gleed School is a more modern, post-war invention. (JB)
  • Goodfellows National School was opened in 1870 with the assistance of the Rev. Edward MOORE. The first classrooms built to the south of town in Spalding Commons in 1872. It still survives. John R. G. Bland provides a little light reading from the Spalding Guardian. Goodfellows School has deposited some school records with the Lincolnshire Archives.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.


Please check these addresses for accuracy as they sometimes change without notice. Spalding has it's own Family and local history Group (JB):

  • South Holland Family & Local History Group
  • Mr G.A. Lewis
  • 'Taeping'
  • 54 Wygate Road
  • Spalding, Lincs, PE11

Those with Seafaring ancestors might like to try the Spalding Shipwreck Society (JB):