“Fresh from the fields” : Rectory Farm Archaeology

Our programme for Autumn 2018 starts off with something special!

Tuesday 25th September 10 am to 4 pm

Rectory Farm Archaeology Day

Thanks to Breedon West Deeping Quarry and PCAS Archaeology Ltd , West Deeping Heritage Group invites everyone to an exhibition in the Village Hall about the Rectory Farm archaeological investigations, on Stamford Road, West Deeping

Look round the display and see examples of the finds, before taking a minibus trip to visit the site itself to the north of Stamford Road– at 10.30, 12.00, 1.30 and 3.00

(Please wear appropriate footwear. Hard hats and high visibility jackets provided)

West Deeping Heritage Group visit to Rectory Farm excavation site 2011

followed at 7.30 pm by West Deeping Heritage Group’s first talk of the season

Simon Savage of PCAS Archaeology Ltd: “Fresh from the Fields: an archaeological update from the Rectory Farm site at West Deeping”

It was 6 years ago that we last heard from the archaeologists about the extensive multi-period landscape in the fields to the north of the village, which has been progressively surveyed and excavated since the 1990s. This important site has revealed evidence of settlement and land use dating from the Neolithic period, including a late Bronze age co-axial field system, Iron age enclosures and a Roman British villa with a bath house.

  • Village Hall, King Street, West Deeping PE6 9HP
  • Refreshments are available from 7 p.m. for a 7.30 p.m. start.
  • Admission is £2.50 at the door.

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 –

wdheritage@hotmail.co.uk 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.

West Deeping Remembers 1914 – 1918: Woodland Trust donation

IMG_20171111_0001This donation is really thanks to Joyce Stevenson, who gave last month’s interesting talk on the Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest. She generously waived any speaker’s fee and suggested instead this double commemoration, on behalf of West Deeping Heritage Group.

Find out more about the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood at Normanton le Heath, north-west Leicestershire.