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All Saints' church, Hemswell, Lincs. - geograph.org.uk - 113840.jpg
All Saints Church, Hemswell
Grid reference: SK930909
Location: 53°24’26"N, 0°36’7"W
Population: 309  (2001)
Post town: Gainsborough
Postcode: DN21
Local Government
Council: West Lindsey

Hemswell is a village in Lindsey, the northern part of Lincolnshire. It stands on the Lincoln Cliff escarpment, and may be found just north of the A631, two miles west of Caenby Corner and seven miles east of Gainsborough. The 2001 census recorded a population of 309.

In the Domesday Book, Hemswell is written as “Helmeswelle”, a settlement of 37 households. Before the Norman Conquest the manor was owned by Earl Edwin.

Aerial photographs have shown ancient mediæval settlement on the edge of the village, and 18th-century enclosure maps indicate a larger village area than now exists and the site of a mediæval church. earthworks have been defined through crop markings and hollow ways, ditched enclosures, embankments and foundations of buildings that indicate the existence of crofts.[1]

The parish church, All Saints, originates in the 13th century it was partially rebuilt in 1764, when a new tower was added, and in 1858, when the rest of the church was replaced. An internal Early English Gothic three-bay north arcade remains, as does a 13th-century Decorated Gothic sedilia on the south wall of the chancel.[2]

The church is a Grade II* listed building.[3] The font bears the arms of the Monson family.[4]

A further listed church, St Edmund’s on Spital-in-the-Street Road, is a converted 16th-century quarter sessions court house.[5]

About the village

Maypole on Maypole Lane

Opposite the churchyard is a 19th-century maypole of wood and wrought iron with painted red white and blue stripes.[2][6] It is one of the oldest in the land, and is danced round each May Day during the village May Day Fete.

On Church Street is the listed early 19th-century Post Office,[7] now non-operational, and Manor Farmhouse, originally 17th-century.[8] On Spital-in-the-Street Road is the early 17th-century Spital Almshouse, now a cottage, and its barn, previously a hospice.[9][10]

RAF Hemswell was located just outside the village from 1937 until it closed in 1967. The site and buildings were subsequently redeveloped into a private trading estate which became the new civil parish of Hemswell Cliff.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Hemswell)


  1. National Monuments Record: No. 1033406 – Hemswell Mediæval Settlement Earthworks
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire, 1964; 1989 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09620-0page 273
  3. National Heritage List 1166242: Church of All Saints (Grade II* listing)
  4. Cox, J. Charles (1916) Lincolnshire p. 165; Methuen & Co. Ltd.
  5. National Heritage List 1063353: Church of St Edmund (Grade II listing)
  6. National Heritage List 1063352: Maypole, Church Street (Grade II listing)
  7. National Heritage List 1166218: The Old Post Office, Church Street (Grade II listing)
  8. National Heritage List 1359852: Manor Farmhouse (Grade II listing)
  9. National Heritage List 1308942: Spital Almshouse (Grade II listing)
  10. National Heritage List 1359815: Barn at Spital Almshouse (Grade II listing)