Midsummer Heritage opportunities

It’s “Midsummer Magic” in West Deeping from 17th to 25th June – and it’s a great opportunity to get to see some of our fascinating village heritage.

Starting with the weekend of 17th to 18th June, there will be fifteen village gardens open to the public.  All of them have history attached and five of them incorporate parts of the former Welland Navigation or Stamford Canal which cannot normally be seen.

In the following week, there will be two Midsummer Heritage Walks – on Wednesday 21st June along part of the route of the canal and on Saturday 24th June, following the “Figg trail”!

Open Gardens

  • Mill Spinney – behind St Andrew’s Church, includes the up-stream end of the canal where it  came into the village from Tallington, Uffington and Stamford. A stretch of the canal was restored by Robert Alpe, the owner’s late husband.
  • St Andrew’s Lodge – also in Church Lane. The Victorian rector adopted this stretch of the canal when it was abandoned in the 1860s and added it to his garden. His wife remodelled the remains of a turf-walled lock into a woodland walk and the current owner has a wooden walkway along the course of the canal.
  • St Andrew’s House, 45A King Street – just to the left of the front entrance is where the canal crossed under or over King Street.  All you can see now are the culverts underneath the road, constructed in the 1880s. Follow the link to read more about crossing King Street. In the paddock behind the modern house, it’s possible (in some lights) to see the indentation left by a spur in the canal which led to the old stone buildings – thought to be warehouses and barns for goods transported on the canal.
  • Holly Lodge, The Lane – the canal forms the rear boundary of this garden. One of West Deeping’s only remaining dovecotes is here too. As the old dovecote is so close to the canal, some people think it might have had some associated use. It was not built until 1755  – although the canal had been in use since the 1670s. In more recent years the dovecote certainly served as a stable, but use of boat horses stopped when the canal was abandoned in the 1860s. A former owner of Holly Lodge wrote up his research in an essay.

111_16 pigeoncote near canal

  • Cromwell House, The Lane – dating from the early 17th century –  has an important place in West Deeping’s history.  The full story has yet to be written. It was almost certainly the house belonging to a Charles Weldon, mentioned in the grant of James I (1623) which led to the construction of the Stamford Canal. Later in its history the house belonged to the Figg family who no doubt used the canal for transporting their farm produce up and down-stream. In front of the house, you can still see the canal course, before its turn to the north through the grounds of ‘Manor Barn’ (previously the farm buildings attached to Cromwell House, and more recently to West Deeping Manor during the ownership of the Tinsley family).

Heritage Walks

If you haven’t had enough of West Deeping village heritage after looking at these properties when the gardens are open – come on a Midsummer Heritage Walk!

Wednesday 21st June.  “West Deeping to Molecey’s Mill along the route of the Stamford Canal”

Meet at 6.30 pm at The Boaty, (near the information board, between 60 and 66, King Street.) Refreshments at The Granary, Stamford Road. Donations for village funds.

Saturday 24th June. “The Legacy of the Figg family.”

Meet at 2 pm at St Andrew’s Church, Church Lane. Finish with tea & cake at the Village Hall. £3: Limited places: tickets from wdheritage@hotmail.co.uk or 01778 344768

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