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Aerial View Of Folkingham.jpg
Grid reference: TF072332
Location: 52°53’14"N, 0°24’21"W
Population: 796  (2011)
Post town: Sleaford
Postcode: NG34
Dialling code: 01529
Local Government
Council: South Kesteven
Grantham and Stamford

Folkingham is a village in the Aveland Wapentake of Kesteven, the south-western part of Lincolnshire. It stands by the A15 road eleven north of Bourne.

The 2011 census gave a population of 796.

The name 'Folkingham' is from the Old English language apparently Folcingaham which may mean "Homestead (or village) of "Folca's people".[1][2] Folkingham appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Folchingeham, Folchingham and Fulchingeham.


A castle was built in the 12th century by Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln and enlarged by Henry Beaumont in the 14th century. He was given a licence to crenelate it in 1312. The last documentary record of occupation of this castle dates from 1372.[3] John Leland described it as a ruin in 1535, in which state it survived until the Civil War.

In the late 18th century, Folkingham market place was used for stacking timber. Around it was a horse pond, a market cross and a small town hall. The market place was divided by chains into areas for sheep, cattle, horses and poultry, and for the sale of farm produce and other wares. In 1788 the third Richard Wynne, then lord of the manor, was in financial difficulties and sold off the estate to Sir Gilbert Heathcote, whose great-grandfather, the first baronet, was a member of Parliament, Lord Mayor of London and Governor of the Bank of England. When Sir Gilbert acquired the estate he wanted to transform Folkingham into a small market town. His changes included clearing the market place and having it equipped to cater for the stage coaches using the main London to Lincoln road which passed through.

Folkingham (then Falkingham) was the birthplace of Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle (1779–1857), the main author of The Wynne Diaries.[4]

The Falkingham Gas Light Company was founded in 1863. The installation almost certainly used a Water gas or combined Water Gas/Producer gas system to produce gas from coal. No large-scale plant was installed in the village.[5]

In 1940 RAF Folkingham, to the south-west of the village, began use as a Second World War airfield. It provided for troop carrier and airborne units and acted as a decoy airfield. During the 1950s and 1960s it was occupied by Bomber Command as a ballistic missile base.[6] It is no longer in service.[7]

Parish church

St Andrew's Church

The parish church, St Andrew, originates from the late 12th century and was largely completed by the late 15th, with restorations carried out in 1825, 1858 and 1860.[8] It has early Decorated Gothic arcades and a mainly Early English chancel, with a Norman pier where there was an opening into a chantry chapel. On the south side of the church are the remains of stocks and a whipping-post.[9] The church is a Grade I listed building.[8]

In 2006, gale force winds blew down two of the four pinnacles, one of which fell onto the roof causing damaging costing more than £100,000 to repair.[10]

About the village

The village has several historic buildings, such as the House of Correction and The Greyhound. The area around the castle site became a designated conservation area in 1968.

The local economy today is still based mainly on agriculture. There are several footpaths that pass through the village, providing one of a number of activities that attract visitors. The New Inn is a pub/restaurant in a 17th-century building in West Street.[11]

Gate of the House of Correction

In the early 19th century a House of Correction, or minor prison, was built here, on the site of Folkingham Castle. The surviving Grade II* listed buildings consist of the original 19th-century governor's house and gateway, dating from 1808 and 1825.[12][13] It was closed in 1878 but was taken over in about 1980 by the Landmark Trust, which converted the Gateway into a holiday home.[14]

The Greyhound, once a coaching inn, dates back to 1650. It has since been converted into flats. It is a Grade II* listed building.[15]

Folkingham Manor House is located just off the Market place in the centre of Folkingham. It was built for Lord Clinton in the 17th century, out of stone taken from the castle/[16]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Folkingham)


  1. Mills, Anthony David: 'A Dictionary of British Place-Names' (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 978-0-19-852758-9
  2. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 1960. p. 183 ISBN 0198691033
  3. Folkingham Castle. English Heritage National Monuments Record. Retrieved 31 July 2011
  4. Betsey and Eugenia Wynne, ed. Anne Fremantle; The Adventures of Two Sisters in Napoleonic Europe; Oxford Paperbacks (March 1982); ISBN 0-19-281304-8. The full diaries did not appear in print until 1935–1940: Elizabeth Wynne: The Wynne Diaries, 3 vols (Oxford: OUP).
  5. Gas company
  6. "RAF Folkingham", Retrieved 31 July 2011
  7. Further historical information and photographs appear on the Folkingham Past and Present site. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  8. 8.0 8.1 National Heritage List 1062733: Church of St Andrew (Grade I listing)
  9. Cox, J. Charles (1916). Lincolnshire. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. pp. 127–128. 
  10. "Storm-damaged church needs backing". Rutland and Stamford Mercury (Johnston Press). 2 February 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  11. The New Inn, Folkingham
  12. National Monuments Record: No. 1106465 – County House of Correction
  13. National Heritage List 1360144: House of Correction (Grade II* listing)
  14. "House of Correction", The Landmark Trust. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  15. National Heritage List 1062747: Greyhound Antique Shop (Grade II* listing)
  16. Information on Folkingham  from GENUKI