Wainfleet St Mary



  • The parish was in the Wainfleet sub-district of the Spilsby Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 2109
1861 R.G. 9 / 2373
1871 R.G. 10 / 3389
1891 R.G. 12 / 2602

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary.
  • There is also a photograph of St. Mary's Church on the Wendy Parkinson Church Photos web site.
  • Here is a photograph of St. Mary's Church, taken by (and copyright of) Ron Cole.



Church Records


Civil Registration

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

Description and Travel

Wainfleet St. Mary is both a village and a parish that lie on the North Sea near Skegness, almost 40 miles east of Lincoln. Wainfleet All Saints parish forms the northern border, along with Croft parish, with the Steeping River being the general boundary. Friskney parish lies to the south. The parish includes the hamlet of Wainfleet Bank. The parish encompasses 5,921 acres of land.

There is a town of Wainfleet in the Niagara Falls area of Ontario, Canada. The link to Lincolnshire is via Governor Simcoe who selected the names for the townships of what was formerly Lincoln County.

If you are planning a visit:

You can see pictures of Wainfleet St Mary which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • In the parish are the remains of some ancient salt pans, dating back to Roman times. See F. McAvoy's paper in "Medieval Archeology," 1994, vol 38, "Marine Salt Extraction, the salterns of Wainfleet St. Mary, Lincolnshire," pages 134-163.
  • Prior to the draining of the Fens, this parish was a principle source of cranberries for England. And, because of the swamps, it was a popular place for waterfowl and those who hunt them. For more on the local history, see if you can find a copy of Oldfield's, "History of Wainfleet," published in 1829.
  • Wainfleet was a busy port in Medieval times, but silting of the River and accretion of sand bars off the coast cut off access to the sea. For many decades, Gibraltar Point was the closest ships could get to Wainfleet. That, too, was abandoned in the early 20th century due to accretion of sand banks. The last commercial boats to use The Haven near the point left in the 1920's.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF492586 (Lat/Lon: 53.103507, 0.227194), Wainfleet St Mary which are provided by:


Military History

  • The marshy area near Wainfleet Sands was used during the Napoleanic Wars as an artillery testing site, and again in the 1890s by the 1st Lincolnshire Artillery.
  • The Royal Flying Corps opened an airfield here in 1914.
  • The station was used for aircraft armament training throughout the Great War.
  • The airfield was closed in 1918.
  • The airfield was used on and off between the wars by the RAF and the RNAS, primarily for training.
  • The RAF re-opened the station in August, 1938, as an aerial bombing and gunnery range.
  • Large numbers of bombs and other types of ammunition were disposed off in the swamps after World War II. The construction of a seawall in 1978 unearthed many of the munitions.
  • The RAF station was finally closed in December of 2009.

Names, Geographical

  • The name Wainfleet is from the Old English waegn+fleot, or "stream that can be crossed by a wagon". The name is Wenflet in the 1086 Domesday book.
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991.]

Politics and Government


Poor Houses, Poor Law, etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Spilsby petty session hearings held every other Monday.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Spilsby Poor Law Union.


In 1851, Wainfleet (All Saints and St. Mary combined) had a population of 2,082.

Year Inhabitants
1801 421
1831 660
1851 717
1861 730
1871 721
1881 705
1901 669
1911 686
1921 789
1951 959
1971 923
1991 965


  • See our Schools page for more information on researching school records.