Category Archives: Our Events

A midsummer opportunity to explore Molecey’s Granary and grounds

DJI_0506The Granary on Stamford Road in West Deeping

Date stone 1773

The engraved stone on the gable-end of The Granary records the date of 1773 – which makes 2018 its 245th birthday! This was when miller and baker John Molecey, married to Eleanor, built the granary. It was attached to their watermill which came to be known as Molecey’s Mill, to the east of the village of West Deeping, on the recently-opened Turnpike road, (now Stamford Road) and next to the Welland Navigation, the canal between the Deepings and Stamford.

The current owners, Graham and Glenn,  


West Deeping Heritage Group and friends

 to celebrate this birthday on

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Meet at 6 p.m. at “The Boaty”, between 60 and 66, King Street, West Deeping  – to walk with Graham and Maggie who will be your guides along the former route of the Deeping to Stamford canal, the Welland Navigation.

Or if you do not want to walk – meet at 7 pm at The Granary, Stamford Road, West Deeping, where there is plenty of parking in the paddock.

Bubbles, Bites & Birthday cake will be available!

Please let us know if you are coming – or text 07808 585189




Last but not least of our meetings

It’s more than West Deeping Heritage Group’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 16th May 2018. After the briefest of meetings, starting at 7.30 p.m. at the Village Hall, there will be an opportunity to have a “Delve into the village archives.”

There’s no charge, the weather forecast for Wednesday is dull and cool and we have many interesting things to show you – so do join us!

We have picked out just some of the archives in our collection for you to look at: IMG_20180515_0001

 – our oldest original documents – including some found by John Watts, a lodger for a short time in the room above the garage of West Deeping Rectory in 1955 when he was lodging there. 60 years later Mr Watts’ daughters Sandra Edwards and Linda Reed of Coventry contacted West Deeping Heritage Group and made the trip to the village to return the package. The oldest is a church warden’s bill from 1758 – for “4 times washen the linin”  he was owed 10 shillings!

– the file of information about village buildings – including all our listed buildings and research on the Figg family and the Moleceys.

Late 19thC school group

West Deeping School pupils in the late 19th century when Mr Mann was the schoolmaster

 – archives for the village school –  from when it was first endowed by Miss Molecey in 1845 and opened in the stone cottages on King Street near the Red Lion. When the new West Deeping Church of England school opened in 1900, the original building became the Reading Room and later was converted into a family home. Most of the school records are at Lincolnshire Archives but we have copies which have been transcribed.  The log book was kept right up to the school’s closure in 1972.


– the Archaeology archive, including aerial photographs, maps and photographs of excavations at Rectory Farm starting in the 1990s and copies of talks given to West Deeping Heritage Group by the archaeologists.

and last but by no means least:

–  the “Boaty Archive” – many of the information resources we collected for the Heritage Lottery-funded project on the Stamford Canal.

If there are other aspects of West Deeping’s history in which you are interested or if you have information to share, please get in touch by commenting on this post.

“Voices from the Past” for our April meeting

Expect more than just a talk at West Deeping Heritage Group’s meeting on Wednesday 18th April 2018, when Lincolnshire folk singer Kate Witney will present: “Voices from the Past – folk songs as historical sources”.

Folk songs

She explores the ways in which folk songs and broadsides give an insight into the lives of our forebears and explores their reliability as historical evidence. Expect to meet female sailors, political campaigners, queens and dukes – and the occasional highwayman.

  • At the Village Hall, King Street, West Deeping.
  • Refreshments are available from 7 p.m. for a 7.30 p.m. start.
  • Admission is £2.50 at the door.
  • Car parking is available behind the Village Hall but drivers should be aware that the entrance is narrow. Alternative parking at The Red Lion Public House, opposite the Village Hall.


The lower Welland valley and its villages


West Deeping will be the first of the Lower Welland valley villages Lower Welland Valley villagesto hear about Robert Beasley’s  many years of research on the development of the River Welland and its surrounding area.  At our February talk, on Tuesday 20th February, he will present the evidence he has discovered in early maps and aerial photographs. Using geo-referencing software followed by hours and hours of analysis, Robert has come up with a timeline stretching from the Bronze Age up to the nineteenth century enclosures.

Be prepared for an evening full of insights into the features of this river system which has shaped our local heritage. Robert’s study raises a few questions too!

The Village Hall, King Street, West Deeping will be open from 7 p.m. for light refreshments before the talk starts at 7.30 p.m. £2.50


New Year programme begins – in medieval times


Longthorpe Tower from the north-east

How many of us, living only a few miles away, have passed by Longthorpe Tower time and time again and thought how we really should see the famous murals and find out about the tower’s history? It’s closed between November and April but here’s the opportunity!

Longthorpe Tower is the subject of the first talk in our 2018 programme,  on Tuesday 16th January at West Deeping Village Hall.  Our speaker, Chris Carr, has been a tour guide at Longthorpe for a number of years.  In this talk she will explain the symbolism of the paintings and the background to the building in which they are housed, including some of the history of the family responsible for commissioning them.


 Cutaway reconstruction of the tower © Historic England (drawing by Bob Marshall)

The tower had been used during the Second World War by the Home Guard and the paintings were only discovered in 1945, under many coats of limewash and distemper, when the tenant was preparing to redecorate.   The English Heritage website gives a fascinating glimpse into the earlier history of the manor house of which the tower was originally part, and the man thought to have built the tower around 1300. As much status symbol as refuge, the tower is in itself an unusual feature in southern England, but its great renown derives from the spectacular wall-paintings in the main first-floor room. Added about 1330, they are among the most impressive examples of medieval domestic wall-painting in northern Europe.

Chris Carr will no doubt have much more to tell and show us on the subject of this significant heritage feature right on our doorstep.

Our talk starts at 7.30, but refreshments are served from 7 pm. All are welcome – no membership is needed and it’s just £2.50 at the door.

The history of your house

Those of us who have an old house are not always lucky enough to have the deeds to tell us its history; those who have a new house may think there is no history to be told – but  our next West Deeping Heritage Group talk – Investigating house histories might help!

Historic Investigations picture collage

Debbie Frearson and Carole Bancroft Turner of Historic Investigations have been investigating architectural histories for 10 years.   Using interesting and diverse case studies, both architectural and archival evidence are drawn together to complete a “house history”, giving practical advice to get started on your own investigations.   They will talk about their work for English Heritage and share some anecdotes of their time recording buildings in rural areas.

All are welcome:

on Wednesday 15th November

From 7 p.m. for refreshments –  the talk starts at 7.30 p.m.

Village Hall, King Street, West Deeping PE6 9HP


The Charter of the Forest

West Deeping Heritage Group marks the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest with a talk on Wednesday 4th October

The Charter of the Forests 1217

One of the most celebrated documents in history, the Magna Carta of 1215 was King John’s agreement to safeguard the rights, privileges and liberties of the clergy and nobility.  Not so well-known is Henry III’s Charter of the Forest,  issued on November 6, 1217.   It re-established rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs.  Many of its provisions, enabling free men to use the landscape for foraging, firewood and farming, were in force for centuries afterwards.

Only two copies of the original 1217 Charter of the Forest survive today, one of which can be seen at Lincoln Castle alongside its 1215 Magna Carta counterpart.  (For opening hours, follow the link Lincoln Castle).

Charter-of-the-Forest-Dinner-22-09-2017-SS-1Last Friday, 23rd September, the Dean of Lincoln Christine Wilson welcomed more than 800 guests to a special black tie dinner at Lincoln Cathedral to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Charter of the Forest. The event featured fine food and entertainment from within the nave, which had been adorned with forest greenery.

West Deeping Heritage Group celebrates in a rather more humble way! The group meets on Wednesday 4th October for a slide presentation by local historian Joyce Stevenson  taking us on an 800-year-journey in time, linking Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest with the 21st century. Present day St Albans, Bury St Edmunds, Runnymede and Lincoln, along with our forests and woodlands, tell a story of the two hugely important historical documents.

Join us at 7 pm for 7.30 p.m

at the Village Hall, King Street,

West Deeping

dnesday 4th October