• The Whaplode Cemetery, set up in Oct. 1893, has its own mortuary chapel and covers about 2 acres.


  • Whaplode was part of the Holbeach sub-district of the Holbeach 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 / 612
1851 H.O. 107 / 2097
1861 R.G. 9 / 2326
1871 R.G. 10 / 3326 & 3332
1891 R.G. 12 / 2566 & 2569

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary.
  • The original church was reportedly built in 1120.
  • St. Mary's church seats 500.
  • The gravestones in St. Mary's churchyard have been moved. Some are lain flat in the grass.
  • There is a photograph of St. Mary's Church on the Wendy PARKINSON Church Photos web site.
  • David HITCHBORNE has a photograph of St Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2004.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the chancel arch on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2008.
  • Here is a photo of St. Mary's Church, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):


  • A Chapel of Ease was built in Whaplode Drove, some 8 miles south of Whaplode, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist in 1820.
  • St. John's church was built in 1898 to replace the small chapel.
  • Whaplode Drove became its own ecclesiastical parish on 15 August 1902.
  • St. John's church seats 150.
  • David PRESTIDGE has a photograph of Whaplode Drove Church on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2006.
  • Here is a photo of St. John's Church in Whaplode Drove, taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):



Church Records

  • St. Mary's parish register dates from 1559.
  • Whaplode Drove chapelry parish registers exist from 1713.
  • Check our partial Parish Register Extract. Your additions are welcome.
  • Check the LFHS marriage indexes for the East Elloe Deanery.
  • There was a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel located at Saracens Head/Whaplode Washway on the east side of the present main road. It was built in 1825 and closed in 1971. Associated with it was the Whaplode Washway Sabbath School. The Wesleyans also built a chapel at Dowsdale in 1898. The United Methodists also had a chapel in the parish and the Primitive Methodists had one near Shephaystow, built in 1867. 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

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

Description and Travel

Whaplode is both a village and parish about 100 miles north of London between the towns of Spalding and Holbeach. The parish is a long, narrow affair, running north to south, and incorporates the hamlets of Whaplode Drove, Dowsdale, Sheppeau Stow, Postland and most of Saracens Head. Moulton parish is neighbor to the west and Holbeach parish to the east. The area of 10,200 acres is flat fenland, drained by many small canals.

Mick CLAXTON tells us (2009): "Whaplode Drove is a small village between Crowland and Holbeach. It was orinally part of the parish of Whaplode but became a parish in it's own right in the early 1900's." The web page author could only find an ecclesiastical parish of Whaplode Drove, created in 1902, with the church of St. John the Baptist. The Civil Parish appears to remain just "Whaplode".

The Whaplode River runs through the village on its way to join the River Welland. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A151 road, which runs through the village itself.
  • If travelling by rail, it is recommended that one heads to Peterborough as the service is more frequent. Then take a slow train to Spalding. From there, it is only a short walk across the supermarket's car park to catch a bus (No. 505 - a green bus) which goes to Kings Lynn (they run about every half hour). This goes through the village of Whaplode en route. It takes about 15 minutes on the bus from Spalding. [Miranda Apps, 2007]
  • You can take a short, self-guided walk around the village following a unique, modern public sculpture trail. Pick up the leaflet with map available in the village from St. Mary's Church. In St. Mary's, guides are available some weekend afternoons to explain the unusual architecture of this fine church, including fragments of Saxon work and an effigy of 17th century knight in full armour.
  • See our touring page for area resources.
You can see pictures of Whaplode which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Irby Hall, reduced to only a farm house in 1871, was in ancient times the seat of the knightly family of IRBY.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF323239 (Lat/Lon: 52.796449, -0.039233), Whaplode which are provided by:


Military History

  • Inside St. Mary's Church is a stained glass window with a tablet beneath it, erected in 1921 in memory of the men of the parish who perished in World War I.
  • There is a War Memorial standing just outside the church in memory of the six men who died in World War II.
  • There is a War Memorial standing just outside the church in Whaplode Drove, as well. The memorial can be seen on the left side of David PRESTIDGE's photograph listed under "Church History" above.

Military Records

There are three Commonwealth War Graves in Whaplode Cemetery:

World War I:

  1. Cyril John Digby HARRISON, priv., 20th Hussars, age 19, died 9 March 1916. Son of Son of John T. and Sarah E. HARRISON.

World War II:

  1. Leslie CHAPMAN, flight srgt., 61 Sqdn. RAF Vol. Rsrv., age 23, died 1 Feb. 1945. Son of Ernest and Eva Ellen CHAPMAN.
  2. George Alfred FULLER, gunner, 381 Bty. Royal Artillery, age 21, died 28 Aug. 1942. Husband of Mildred FULLER.

Names, Geographical

  • The name Whaplode is from the Old English Cwappa+lad, or "Watercourse where eelpouts are found". In 810 the name appeared as Cappelad and in the 1086 Domesday Book the village is given as Copelade.
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]
  • John Bland tells us (2004) that the locals pronounce Shepeau Stow as "Shep-hay Stow (as in crow)".

Politics and 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 ancient Elloe Wapentake in the South Holland district in the parts of Holland.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council about civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to answer family history questions.
  • For today's district governance, visit the South Holland District Council site.
  • Whaplode Drove was both a hamlet and an ecclesiastical chapelry in the parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law, etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Elloe (Spalding) petty session hearings.
  • Whaplode Drove kept its poor jointly with the rest of the parish, even though some eight miles south of Whaplode village.
  • An ancestor of Lord Boston built almshouses for six poor widows. These were still in use in 1900.
  • After the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, the parish became part of the Holbeach Poor Law Union.


Year Inhabitants
1831 1,998
1871 2,602
1881 2,375
1891 2,216
1901 2,270

Probate Records

John BLAND provides a transcript of the will of Joseph EASON of Whaplode Drove.

John BLAND also provides a transcript of the will of William EASON of Whaplode Drove.



  • Elisha WILSON left a bequest in his will of 1704 for the education of children of the parish. A National School was erected in the village in 1856, built to house up to 194 students.
  • In Whaplode Drove the first school was built in 1842 and Shephaystow School was built in 1876.
  • A School Board of 5 members was formed on 12 May 1874.
  • In 1887, The Saracen's Head School, a board school, was opened for 120 children. In 1900, average attendance was 75.
  • In 1881, St. Catharine's School, a board school, was opened for 100 children. In 1900, average attendance was 55.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.