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Town and civil parish
Clockwise from top: Aerial of Sleaford Castle site, Handley Monument, St Deny's Church, view across rooftops of Sleaford and Sessions House (on the right)
Sleaford is located in Lincolnshire
Location within Lincolnshire
Population19,807 (2021 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTF064455
• London100 mi (160 km) S
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Areas of the town
Postcode districtNG34
Dialling code01529
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°59′46″N 0°24′47″W / 52.996°N 0.413°W / 52.996; -0.413

Sleaford is a market town and civil parish in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. On the edge of the Fenlands, it is 11 miles (18 kilometres) north-east of Grantham, 16 mi (26 km) west of Boston, and 17 mi (27 km) south of Lincoln. It is the largest settlement in North Kesteven with a population of 19,807 in 2021. Centred on the former parish of New Sleaford, the modern boundaries and urban area include Quarrington to the south-west, Holdingham to the north-west and Old Sleaford to the east. The town is bypassed by the A17 and the A15 roads, which link it to Lincoln, Newark, Peterborough, Grantham, Boston and King's Lynn. Sleaford railway station is on the Nottingham to Skegness (via Grantham) and Peterborough to Lincoln lines.

The first settlement formed in the Iron Age where a prehistoric track crossed the River Slea. It was a tribal centre and home to a mint for the Corieltauvi in the 1st centuries BC and AD. Evidence of Roman and Anglo-Saxon settlement has been found. The medieval records differentiate between Old and New Sleaford, the latter emerging by the 12th century around the present-day market place and St Denys' Church; Sleaford Castle was also built at that time for the Bishops of Lincoln, who owned the manor. Granted the right to hold a market in the mid-12th century, New Sleaford developed into a market town and became locally important in the wool trade, while Old Sleaford (based near the site of the prehistoric settlement) declined.

From the 16th century, the landowning Carre family kept tight control over the town – it grew little in the early modern period. The manor passed from the Carre family to the Hervey family by the marriage of Isabella Carre to John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol in 1688. The town's common land and fields were legally enclosed by 1794, giving ownership mostly to the Hervey family. This coincided with canalisation of the Slea, which brought economic growth until it was superseded by the railways in the mid-1850s. These new transport links supported the development of light industries and expanded the town's role in the trade in agricultural goods. Long a centre for local justice and administration in north Kesteven, Sleaford became an urban district in 1894 and was also home to other public bodies including the now-abolished Kesteven County Council (1925–1974). After a period of stagnation, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries the sale of farmland around Sleaford led to the development of large housing estates, causing the population to rapidly expand and the urban area to engulf Quarrington and Holdingham.

Sleaford was a market town until the 20th century, serving a rural hinterland. Seed companies such as Hubbard and Phillips and Sharpes International were established in the late 19th century, though have since closed. The arrival of the railway made the town favourable for malting, but the Bass Maltings closed in the 1950s. Though its traditional market has also declined sharply in the 21st century (and its cattle and corn markets shut in the 20th century), Sleaford's economy has diversified. The town remains an important administrative, service and commercial centre for the surrounding district. It houses supermarkets, shops and a large business park with offices and light manufacturing, and is home to the headquarters of North Kesteven District Council; three secondary schools (two of which are selective); four primary schools; three newspapers; police, fire and ambulance stations; several places of worship; many sports clubs; a leisure centre; and several medical and dental practices and care homes. Regeneration has transformed some earlier industrial areas, including through the construction of the National Centre for Craft & Design (The Hub). The town is one of the largest employment centres in the district; the commonest employers in 2021 were the public sector, retail and, to a much lesser degree, manufacturing.


Sleaford is a civil parish and market town in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire. It is bounded by the civil parishes of Leasingham to the north; Ewerby and Evedon, and Kirkby la Thorpe to the east; Silk Willoughby to the south; and Wilsford, South Rauceby and North Rauceby to the west.[2] These neighbouring parishes are all rural, comprising villages separated from Sleaford's urban area by fields, though Kirkby la Thorpe also includes the Milton Way housing estate on Sleaford's eastern fringe.[2]

Urban area[edit]

Sleaford's urban area includes the town centre, focused on the marketplace fronted by St Denys' Church, where Eastgate, Northgate, Southgate and Westgate meet. Though some parts have been redeveloped in the 20th century, including the Riverside Shopping Precinct and Flaxwell House, the area follows a medieval street layout and is home to many of the town's oldest buildings; it is also the retail and commercial hub.[3][4] The area around Carre Street (running parallel to Southgate to the east), once home to industry and wharves,[5] has been regenerated in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.[6][7]

To the north-west of the centre, housing developments along Northgate (which becomes Lincoln Road north of the railway line), mostly built in the 20th and early 21st centuries, have brought the hamlet of Holdingham into Sleaford's urban area, which extends as far north as the A17 and A15 junction at Holdingham Roundabout.[8][9] To the north-east, the town's built-up area has expanded along Eastgate, with 19th-century housing closer to the town centre giving way to modern business parks with warehouses, factories and office units; the River Slea forms the southern boundary of these developments and closer to the town Lollycocks Field sits between the one of the business parks, Eastgate and the Slea.[9][10][11] South of the river, the town's urban area extends eastwards along Boston Road, which runs from Southgate to the A17 at Kirkby la Thorpe. Except for Boston Road Recreation Ground, the road is straddled by housing west of the railway; developments near the centre are mostly 18th- and 19th-century, while those around Old Place, at the Hoplands and south of Boston Road are mostly planned 20th- or 21st-century residential estates.[9][12]

The Victorian train station can be found near the bottom of Southgate; Station Road includes some converted 19th-century warehouses.[9][13] Mareham Lane heads south out of the town, past the vast disused Bass Maltings complex.[9][13] Also forking off from Southgate are Grantham Road and London Road, which fan out in a south-west direction. They link Sleaford with Quarrington village,[9] which has a historic core that has been merged into the town's urban area by modern housing developments.[14] The earliest suburban housing at the base of Southgate appeared in the 19th century and was known as New Quarrington,[15] while ribbon development along London and Grantham roads is mostly early-20th-century; much larger planned developments took place in the late 20th and 21st centuries at Quarrington Hill, Southfields and between the two roads.[9][16] To the town centre's west is Westgate, medieval in origin but heavily developed with dense terraced housing in the 19th century;[17][18] to its north is Westholme, parkland which houses a school;[19][20] to the road's south is West Banks and its adjoining streets, between the River Slea and the Nine-Foot Drain, an area heavily built up in the 19th century.[9][21] South of Westbanks are the remains of Sleaford Castle.[9]

Outside of the town's urban area, but included in the civil parish boundaries is Greylees, a settlement built in the early 21st century on the site of the former Rauceby Hospital.[9][22]

Topography and geology[edit]

Sleaford occupies a position on the Lincoln Heath, a limestone plateau[23] between the Lincoln Cliff to the west (a Limestone scarp running north–south through Lindsey and Kesteven),[24] and the Fens to the east, a low-lying region of the East of England which has been drained to reveal nutrient-rich soils that form some of the most productive farmland in the country.[25][26][27]

The town centre lies about 49 feet (15 m) above sea level and has formed around the River Slea, which runs west to north-east through it.[28] A band of Jurassic Cornbrash limestone forms the bedrock under Holdingham (where the ground rises to 82 feet (25 m) above sea level in places), parts of central Sleaford, and most of the housing at Quarrington (where elevations exceed over 98 feet (30 m) at Quarrington Hill) and southern Greylees. The bedrock on the eastern parts of the town comprises Jurassic Kellaways sandstone and siltstone. To the west, the Slea follows a shallow valley underlain by Jurassic Blisworth clay and limestone and, at its lowest elevations at Quarrington Fen and Boiling Wells Farm, earlier Jurassic Rutland argillaceous rocks and Upper Lincolnshire limestone. Greylees and the northern fringe of the Quarrington Hill estate sit on the southern edge of this valley, on the Blisworth clays and limestone.[28][29] Alluvium deposits are found along the Slea's course, and sand and gravel of the Sleaford series are found to the east and south.[24][29] Most of the soil is free-draining, lime-rich and loamy, though some of the eastern parts are on loamy soils with naturally high groundwater.[30]

Two Local Nature Reserves sit within the civil parish boundaries: Lollycocks Field, providing mostly wildflower and wetlands habitats alongside Eastgate, and Mareham Pastures, consisting of wildflower meadows, new woodland, hedges and open grassland.[11][31] There is also Sleaford Wood in the north of the town and Sleaford Moor to the north-east, near the A17 and A153's Bone Mill Junction.[28]


The British Isles experience a temperate, maritime climate with warm summers and cool winters.[32] Lincolnshire's position on the east of the British Isles allows for a sunnier and warmer climate relative to the national average, and it is one of the driest counties in the UK.[33] In Sleaford, the average daily high temperature peaks at 21.1 °C (70.0 °F) in July and a peak average daily mean of 17.2 °C (63.0 °F) occurs in July. The lowest daily mean temperature is 4.1 °C (39.4 °F) in January; the average daily high for that month is 7.0 °C (44.6 °F) and the daily low is 1.3 °C (34.3 °F) (the latter also occurs in February).[34] The East of England tends to be sheltered from strong winds relative to the north and west of the country. Despite this, tornadoes form more often in the East of England than elsewhere;[35] Sleaford suffered them in 2006 and 2012, both causing damage to property.[36][37]

Climate data for Cranwell
WMO ID: 03379; coordinates 53°01′52″N 0°30′13″W / 53.03117°N 0.50348°W / 53.03117; -0.50348 (Met Office Cranwell); elevation: 62 m (203 ft); 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1930–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 7.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1.3
Record low °C (°F) −15.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 48.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.9 9.5 9.3 9.0 8.6 9.4 9.1 9.6 8.7 10.3 11.3 11.0 116.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 65.1 83.7 124.2 163.0 209.2 191.6 202.2 187.6 151.1 113.6 74.4 65.6 1,631.3
Source 1: Met Office[34]
Source 2: Starlings Roost Weather[38][39]



The earliest records of the place-name Sleaford are found in a charter of 852 as Slioford and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Sliowaford. In the Domesday Book (1086), it is recorded as Eslaforde and in the early 13th century as Sliforde.[40] In the 13th century Book of Fees it appears as Lafford.[41] The name is formed from the Old English words sliow and ford, together meaning 'ford over a muddy or slimy river'.[40]

Early period[edit]

An electrum stater of the Corieltauvi, probably struck at Sleaford in the mid-1st century BC. Diameter 17–19 mm.

Archaeological material from the Bronze Age and earlier has been recovered and excavations have shown there was unsustained late-Neolithic and Bronze Age human activity in the vicinity.[42][43] The earliest known permanent settlement dates from the Iron Age, where a track northwards from Bourne crossed the River Slea.[42] Although only sparse pottery evidence has been found for the middle Iron Age period, 4,290 pellet mould fragments, probably used for minting and dated to 50 BC–AD 50, have been uncovered south-east of the modern town centre, south of a crossing of the River Slea and near Mareham Lane in Old Sleaford. The largest of its kind in Europe, the deposit has led archaeologists to consider that the site in Old Sleaford as one of the largest Corieltauvian settlements in the period and possibly a tribal centre.[42][44]

During the Roman occupation of Britain (AD 43–409), the settlement was "extensive and of considerable importance".[45] Its location beside the Fens may have made it economically and administratively significant as a centre for stewards and owners of fenland estates.[46] There are signs of a road connecting Old Sleaford to Heckington (about 4+12 mi or 7.2 km east), where Roman tile kilns have been uncovered and may imply the presence of a market.[47] When the first roads were built by the Romans, Sleaford was bypassed as "less conveniently located" and more "geared to native needs".[48] A smaller road, Mareham Lane, which the Romans renewed, ran through Old Sleaford, and south along the fen edge towards Bourne. Where it passed through Old Sleaford, excavations have shown a large stone-built domestic residence, associated farm buildings, corn-driers, ovens and field systems, all from the Roman period, and a number of burials.[49] Other Roman remains, including a burial, have been excavated in the town.[50][51]

Middle Ages[edit]

A plan of Sleaford Castle, made in 1872.

There is little evidence of continuous settlement between the late Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods[47] but the Saxons did establish themselves eventually. South of the modern town, a 6th to 7th-century cemetery has been uncovered with an estimated 600 burials, many showing signs of pagan burial rites.[47][n 1] The now ruined Church of St Giles/All Saints at Old Sleaford has been discovered[47] and excavations of the market place in 1979 uncovered Anglo-Saxon remains from the 8th–9th centuries, indicating some form of enclosure with domestic features.[53]

The earliest documentary reference to Sleaford occurs in a 9th-century charter,[54] when it was owned by Medehamstede Abbey in Peterborough, a Mercian royal foundation.[55] There is little evidence of estate structure until the late Saxon period,[47] but there may have been a market and court before the Norman Conquest, and it may well have been an economic and jurisdictional centre for surrounding settlements.[56] The Slea played a big part in the town's economy: it never ran dry or froze, and by the 11th century it supported a dozen watermills. The mills and others in nearby Quarrington and the lost hamlet of Millsthorpe, formed the "most important mill cluster in Lincolnshire".[57]

In the later Middle Ages, the Romano-British settlement became known as Old Sleaford, while New Sleaford was a settlement centred on St Denys' Church and the market place.[58] The Domesday Book of 1086 has two entries under Eslaforde (Sleaford) recording land held by Ramsey Abbey and the Bishop of Lincoln.[n 2] The location of the manors recorded in Domesday is unclear. One theory endorsed by Maurice Beresford is that they focused on the settlement at Old Sleaford, due to evidence that New Sleaford was planted in the 12th century by the bishop to increase his income,[n 3] a development associated with the construction of Sleaford Castle between 1123 and 1139.[60] Beresford's theory has been criticised by the historians Christine Mahany and David Roffe[n 4] who have reinterpreted the Domesday material and argued that in 1086 the Bishop's manor included the church and associated settlement which became "New" Sleaford.[62][63]

A charter to hold a fair on the feast day of St Denis was granted by King Stephen to Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1136–1140. Between 1154 and 1165, Henry II granted the bishop of Lincoln the right to hold a market at Sleaford; Bishop Oliver Sutton argued in 1281 that his right to hold a market and fair had existed since time immemorial. In 1329, Edward III confirmed the market. In 1401, Henry IV granted the bishop fairs on the feast days of St Denis and St Peter's Chains.[64] A survey of burgage tenure from 1258 survives;[65] tenants in the nearby hamlet of Holdingham held tofts with other land, while those in New Sleaford held only tofts, indicating that demesne farming centred on the hamlet.[66] The town later had at least two guilds comparable to those found in developed towns.[67] However, there was no formal charter outlining its freedoms;[68] it was not a centre of trade, and tight control by the bishops meant the economy was mainly geared to serve them. So it retained a strong tradition of demesne farming well into the 14th century.[69][70] As the economic initiative passed more to burgesses and middlemen who formed ties with nearby towns such as Boston, evidence suggests that Sleaford developed a locally important role in the wool trade.[71][72] In the Lay Subsidy of 1334, New Sleaford was the wealthiest settlement in the Flaxwell wapentake, with a value of £16 0s. 8d.1/4d.[73] Meanwhile, Old Sleaford, an "insignificant" place since the end of the Roman period, declined and may have been deserted by the 16th century.[74][75]

Early modern period[edit]

The tomb of Sir Edward Carre (died 1618) in St Denys' Church

The manor of Old Sleaford was owned in the late 15th and early 16th centuries by the Hussey family, but John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford was executed for treason for his part in the Lincolnshire Rising. The manor and his residence at Old Place reverted to the Crown and were later sold to Robert Carre.[76][77] George Carre or Carr from Northumberland had settled in Sleaford by 1522 when he was described as a wool merchant.[78][79] His son Robert bought Hussey's land and the castle and manor of New Sleaford from Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln.[80][n 5] His eldest surviving son Robert, founded Carre's Grammar School in 1604, and his youngest son Edward was created a baronet; his son founded Sleaford Hospital in 1636.[82] The last male descendant died in 1683 and the heiress, Isabella Carre, married John Hervey, Earl of Bristol, in whose family the estates remained until the 1970s.[83][84] The Carres and Herveys had a strong influence: while extracting dues from their tenants, they took leading tradesmen to the Exchequer Court to gain legal force behind their monopoly on charging tolls on market and cattle traders and for driving animals through the town.[85]

Industry was slow to take hold. By the second half of the 18th century, Cogglesford Mill was the only working corn mill in the town.[86] An old mill at the junction of Westgate and Castle Causeway supplied hemp to the growing rope-making business of the Foster and Hill families.[84] As the local historian Simon Pawley wrote, "In many respects, things had changed little [by 1783] since the survey of 1692," with few of the buildings or infrastructure being improved.[87] Major changes to agriculture and industry took place in the last decade of that century. From the Middle Ages, Sleaford was surrounded by three open fields known as North, West and Sleaford Fields. When these were enclosed in 1794, over 90 per cent of the 1,096 acres (444 hectares) of the open land was owned by Lord Bristol. Despite the costs of fencing and re-organisation, the system was easier to farm and cottages were built closer to fields, while the landowner could charge more rent owing to the increased profitability of the land; those who lost out were the cottagers, who could no longer keep a few animals grazing on the common land at no cost.[88] The process allowed the land boundaries and pathways to be tidied; Drove Lane, running to Rauceby, was shifted north and straightened.[89]

Industrial development[edit]

Sleaford, as it appeared in 1891. The major roads are marked in red; railways in grey and rivers in blue. Key: (1) Market Place, (2) St Denys' Church, (3) Manor House, (4) Carre's Grammar School, (5) Westholme House, (6) Castle, (7) Station, (8) Old Place, (9) the remains of St Giles's Church, (10) the Union workhouse.[90]

Canalisation of the River Slea began in the 1790s. Canals in England were constructed from the 1760s to make inland trade easier; Sleaford's businessmen were keen to benefit from these. Sleaford Navigation opened in 1794.[89][91] It eased the export of farm produce to the Midlands and the import of coal and oil. Mills along the Slea benefited and wharves were constructed around Carre Street.[92][93] Between 1829 and 1836 the navigation's toll rights increased in value 27 times over.[92] The railways emerged in the 19th century as an alternative to canals and arrived at the town in 1857, when a line from Grantham to Sleaford opened.[94][95] This made trading easier and improved communications,[n 6][96] but led to the decline of the Navigation Company. Income from tolls decreased by 80 per cent between 1858 and 1868; it made its first loss in 1873 and was abandoned in 1878.[97] The town's rural location and transport links led in the late 19th century to the rise of two local seed merchants: Hubbard and Phillips, and Charles Sharpe; the former took over the Navigation Wharves, and the latter was trading in the US and Europe by the 1880s.[98] The advent of steam power led Kirk and Parry to open a large steam-powered flour mill in 1857 and provided the basis of Ward and Dale's factory, which made steam cultivators for farming.[99] The railway, Sleaford's rural location and its artesian wells, were key factors in the development of the 13-acre (5-hectare) Bass & Co maltings complex at Mareham Lane (1892–1905).[100]

New Sleaford's population more than doubled from 1,596 in 1801 to 3,539 in 1851.[101] Coinciding with this is the construction or extension of public buildings, often by the local contractors Charles Kirk and Thomas Parry.[102][103][104][n 7] The gasworks opened in 1839 to provide lighting in the town.[105] Sleaford's Poor Law Union was formed in 1836 to cater for the town and the surrounding 54 parishes. A workhouse was built by 1838, able to house 181 inmates.[106] Despite these advances, the slums around Westgate were crowded, lacking in sanitation and ridden by disease;[n 8] Northgate, as the entry point from the north along the turnpike, had also attracted notoriety for its taverns, lodging houses and brothels in the early 19th century: it was the "plague spot of the town".[108][109] The local administration failed to deal with these issues, prompting a heavily critical report on the town's public health by the General Board of Health, which set up a Local Board of Health in 1850 to undertake public works.[107][110] By the 1880s, Lord Bristol had allowed the Board to pump clean water into the town, though engineering problems and his reluctance to sell land to house a pumping station had delayed the introduction of sewers.[111] In the meantime, despite Anglicans dominating official institutions, non-conformist chapels were flourishing in the poorest parts of the town, at Westgate from the early 19th century and at Northgate after 1848, where they sought to provide spiritual care and education. Temperance was so prominent in the town that an aerated water factory, Lee and Green, opened in c. 1883 and became one of Sleaford's most important manufacturers.[112]

Post-industrial period[edit]

Officer Training School at RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford.

Although hardly damaged in the First and Second World Wars,[n 9] Sleaford has close links with the Royal Air Force due to proximity to several RAF bases, including RAF Cranwell, RAF Digby and RAF Waddington. Lincolnshire's topography – flat and open countryside – and its location in the east of the country made it ideal for the airfields being constructed in the First World War. Work began on Cranwell in late 1915; it was designated an RAF base in 1918 and the RAF College opened in 1920 as the world's first air academy.[114][115] The Cranwell branch railway linking Sleaford station with the RAF base opened in 1917 and closed in 1956.[116][117] During the Second World War, Lincolnshire was "the most significant location for bomber command" and Rauceby Hospital, south-west of Sleaford, was requisitioned by the RAF as a specialist burns unit which the plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe regularly visited.[114]

Sleaford's population remained static between the wars, but the Great Depression in the 1930s caused unemployment to rise.[118] The Council housing put up along Drove Lane proved insufficient for the low-income families after the Westgate slums were cleared in the 1930s; Jubilee Grove opened in that decade to meet the demand.[119] In the post-war period, there were housing developments at St Giles Avenue, the Hoplands, Russell Crescent, Jubilee Grove and Grantham Road.[120] Parts of the town were redeveloped: in 1958, the Bristol Arms Arcade opened, the Corn Exchange was demolished in the 1960s and the Waterside Shopping Precinct opened in 1973, as did Flaxwell House, designed to house a department store, though later becoming the national headquarters for Interflora.[121] Old industries departed; Ward and Dale closed down in 1939[122] and Lee and Green around the 1940s;[123] Bass shut the maltings in 1959,[100] and Hubbard and Phillips's pea-sorting factory closed in 1972.[7] New industrial estates and business parks were built off East Road in the late 20th century.[124]

By 1979, the major landowner, Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol, was heavily in debt and sold most of his estates in Sleaford and Quarrington. The estate office closed in 1989.[14] Much of the land went to property developers and subsequent decades brought new housing and a considerable rise in population.[125] According to a council report, people were attracted to the town by "the quality of life, low crime rates, relatively low house prices and good-quality education".[126] From 1981 to 2011, Sleaford's population rose from 8,000 to 18,000; the growth rate in 1991–2001 was the fastest of any town in the county.[127][128] The infrastructure struggled to cope, especially with increased traffic congestion. Two bypasses opened and a one-way system was introduced, a process that Simon Pawley argues accelerated the decline of the High Street.[14] In the early 2000s, the Single Regeneration Budget of £15 million granted to Sleaford improved the town centre and funded development of the Hub in 2003 (later called the the National Centre for Craft & Design) in the old Navigation wharves area.[7][129]



Sleaford served the surrounding agricultural communities and the town maintained a weekly market throughout the 19th century and a livestock market on Northgate from 1874 until 1984.[130][131] According to a 2010 council report, the public sector was the town's main employer, along with agriculture and manufacturing. Unemployment was lower than the national average as were wages reflecting pay in the food processing and agricultural industries.[126] At the 2011 Census, the largest group of working-age persons by economic activity are those in full-time employment, who make up 43.8 per cent of this section of the population, while 15 per cent are part-time employees and 7.7 per cent are self-employed; 15 per cent of the working-age population were retired, 4.2 per cent unemployed, with 40 per cent of those in long-term unemployment and roughly one third aged 16 to 24. The largest socio-economic grouping is those working in lower-tier managerial or administrative roles (21.9 per cent), followed by semi-routine (17.8 per cent), routine (15 per cent) and intermediate (12.5 per cent) occupations; no other group comprised 10 per cent or more. In terms of industry, the most common, based on those working in the sector, are the wholesale and retail trades (including automotive repairs) at 16.9 per cent, health and social care (13.4 per cent), public administration and defence (13.3 per cent) and manufacturing (10.9 per cent), with no other groups representing 10 per cent or more.[132] An unemployment survey of Lincolnshire in 2014 found that the county experienced a decline in unemployment (based on Jobseekers Allowance claimants) by 29 per cent over the preceding 12 months, while the county's unemployment rate was marginally below the national average.[133]


In 2011 North Kesteven District Council produced a 25-year strategy to regenerate the town, since its rapid growth since the 1990s had outgrown improvements to its infrastructure. It planned future residential developments and outlined ways to improve the town centre. It suggested developing more parking around the centre and reverting parts of the one-way system, developing southern Southgate and turning Money's Yard into an attraction to link with the National Centre for Craft and Design.[134] North Kesteven District Council granted planning permission for a £56 m project to redevelop the derelict Bass Maltings site by converting it into residential and retail space and creating about 500 permanent jobs.[135][136] The development including a supermarket was delayed when the town council opposed a link road through part of the recreation ground.[137][138] Tesco, who had pledged to invest in a £20 million store in the development withdrew in January 2015 following financial set-backs.[139]


Population changes of Sleaford[n 10]
Source: [n 11]
Population changes of New Sleaford ancient/civil parish[n 12]
Source: [142]

Population change[edit]

In 1563 there were 145 households in New Sleaford (including 20 in Holdingham),[143] plus 10 in Old Sleaford and 17 in Quarrington.[144] In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the diocese recorded that there were "more than 250 families" in the ecclesiastical parish of Sleaford,[145] with a further 35 in the parish of Quarrington.[146] One estimate puts the population of New Sleaford at 800 to 900 at this time.[147] The first official census was conducted in 1801 and recorded a population of 1,596 in New Sleaford (including Holdingham); combined with Old Sleaford and Quarrington, this gave a population of 1,812 in the area covered by today's Sleaford civil parish.[n 13] Following the opening of Sleaford Navigation in 1792 and the flourishing of the town's economy this produced (combined with the effects of inflated agricultural prices during the Napoleonic wars), Sleaford's population rose steadily in the first half of the 19th century.[147] It totalled 3,539 in New Sleaford and 4,160 across all the three parishes by 1851. The population grew much more slowly between the 1850s and the 1880s, before witnessing further growth that took the urban district's population to 6,427 by 1911 (incorporating New Sleaford, Old Sleaford, Holdingham and Quarrington).[n 13]

Slower rates were recorded for the urban district between then and the 1931 census, though the pace picked up again in the 1930s; by the outbreak of the second world war in 1939 there were 7,835 residents. Sleaford's population grew very slowly in the post-war years, reaching 7,975 by 1971,[148][149] largely due to the fact that Lord Bristol remained owner of the vast majority of the undeveloped land around the town. However, as the 6th Marquess sold the land from the 1960s onwards and speculative housing blossomed around Sleaford, the civil parish's population expanded rapidly;[150] the population growth rate between 1991 and 2001 was the fastest of any town in Lincolnshire.[151] Between 1981 and 2011, the population more than doubled, reaching 17,671;[152] this had risen by a further 12% to 19,815 by the 2021 census.[153] This accounts for 17% of North Kesteven's population, making Sleaford the most populous civil parish in the district.[154]

Ethnicity, nationality and religion[edit]

According to the 2021 census, Sleaford's population was 96.3% White; 1.4% Asian or British Asian; 0.4% Black, African, Caribbean or Black British; 1.4% mixed or multi-ethnic; and 0.5% other ethnicities.[155] The population is therefore less ethnically diverse than England as a whole, where 81.0% were White, 9.6% Asian or British Asian, 4.2% Black, African, Caribbean or Black British, 3.0 mixed and 2.2% other.[156]

Parish-level data about country of origin and religion have not yet been published for the 2021 census. The previous census, in 2011, recorded that 92.7% of Sleaford's population were born in the United Kingdom, compared with 86.2% nationally; 4.3% were born in European Union countries other than the UK and Ireland; for England, the figure was 3.7%. 2.6% of the population was born outside the EU, whereas the total for England was 9.4%.[157][158]

In the 2011 census, 71.6% of Sleaford's population said they were religious and 21.7% said they did not follow a religion, indicating slightly higher levels of religiosity than in England as a whole (where the figures are 68.1% and 24.7% respectively). However, compared to England's population, Christians were a much higher proportion of the Sleaford's population (70.3%), and all other groups were present at a lower proportion than the national rates; Muslims were the largest religious minority, accounting for 0.4% of the town's residents compared with 5% nationally; all other groups were present in very low numbers.[157][158]

Ethnicity (2021)[155][156] and nationality and religious affiliation (2011)[157][158]
White Asian or British Asian Black, African, Caribbean or Black British Mixed or multi-ethnic Other ethnicity Born in UK Born in EU (except UK and Ireland) Born outside EU Religious Did not follow a religion Christian Muslim Other religions
Sleaford 96.3% 1.4% 0.4% 1.4% 0.5% 92.7% 4.3% 2.6% 71.6% 21.7% 70.3% 0.4% 1.0%
England 81.0% 9.6% 4.2% 3.0% 2.2% 86.2% 3.7% 9.4% 68.1% 24.7% 59.4% 5.0% 2.5%

Household composition, age, health and housing[edit]

Gender, age, health and household characteristics (2011)[157][158]
Characteristics Sleaford England
Male 48.4% 49.2%
Female 51.6% 50.8%
Married[n 14] 50.3% 46.6%
Single[n 14] 28.9% 34.6%
Divorced[n 14] 10.5% 9.0%
Widowed[n 14] 7.1% 6.9%
One-person households 29.2% 30.2%
One-family households 65.4% 61.8%
Mean age 40.0 39.3
Median age 41.0 39.0
Population under 20 24.3% 24.0%
Population over 60 23.2% 22.0%
Residents in good or very good health 82.1% 81.4%
Owner-occupiers[n 15] 68.5% 63.3%
Private renters[n 15] 15.8% 16.8%
Social renters[n 15] 13.8% 17.7%
Living in a detached house[n 15] 39.2% 22.3%

Parish-level data about household composition, age and housing have not yet been published for the 2021 census. In the 2011 census, 48.4% of the population were male and 51.6% female. Of the population over 16, 50.3% were married, compared to 46.6% in England; 28.9% were single (a smaller proportion than in England where it is 34.6%), 10.5% divorced (compared with 9% in England), 7.1% widowed (comparable with 6.9% for all of England), 3.1% separated and 0.1% in same-sex civil partnerships (2.7% and 0.2% respectively in England). In 2011, there were 7,653 households in Sleaford civil parish. It has a roughly average proportion of one-person households (29.2% compared with England's figure of 30.2%); most other households consist of one family (65.4% of the total, higher than England's 61.8%).[157][158]

The 2011 census showed Sleaford's population to be very slightly higher than the national average; the mean age was 40 and the median 41 years, compared with 39.3 and 39 for England. 24.3% of the population was under 20, versus 24% of England's, and 23.2% of Sleaford's population was aged over 60, compared with 22% of England's population.[157][158] In 2011, 82.1% of the population were in good or very good health, compared to 81.4% in England.[157][158]

As of 2011, Sleaford has a higher proportion of people who own their homes with or without a mortgage (68.5%) than in England (63.3%), a slightly lower proportion of people who privately rent (15.8% compared with 16.8%) and a much smaller proportion of social renters (13.8% compared with 17.7% nationally). The proportion of household spaces which are detached houses is higher than average (39.2% compared with 22.3%), while the proportion of terraced household spaces is lower (19.3% against 24.5% nationally). The proportion of purpose-built flats is also lower (8.7% versus 16.7%).[157][158]

Workforce and deprivation[edit]

Economic characteristics of residents aged 16 to 74 (2021)
Characteristic Sleaford England
Economic activity[156][159]
Economically active 63.1% 60.9%
Employed 60.6% 57.4%
Economically active but unemployed 2.5% 3.5%
Economically inactive 36.9% 39.1%
Agriculture, energy and water 2.9% 2.3%
Manufacturing 10.0% 7.3%
Construction 8.4% 8.7%
Retail, hotels and restaurants 21.0% 19.9%
Transport and communication 6.0% 9.7%
Financial, real estate, professional and administration 10.6% 17.4%
Public administration, education and health 37.2% 30.3%
Other 4.0% 4.6%
Managers and directors 11.1% 12.9%
Professionals; associate professionals 30.4% 33.6%
Administrative and secretarial occupations 9.8% 9.3%
Skilled trades 10.6% 10.2%
Caring, leisure and other service roles 10.3% 9.3%
Sales and customer service roles 7.6% 7.5%
Process, plant and machine operatives 8.8% 6.9%
Elementary occupations 11.4% 10.5%

In 2021, 63.1% of Sleaford's residents aged between 16 and 74 were economically active (including full-time students), compared with 60.9% for all of England. 60.6% were in employment, compared with 57.4% nationally. The rate of economically inactive people aged 16 to 74 was 36.9%, lower than the rate in England as a whole (39.1%).[156][159]

The 2021 census revealed that the most common industries residents worked in were: public administration, education and health (combined 37.2%, much higher than the national rate of 30.3%), retail, hotels and accommodation (combined 21.0%, slightly higher than England's rate of 19.9%), finance, real estate, professional or administrative services (combined 10.6%, well below the English rate of 17.4%), and manufacturing (10.0%, above the national rate of 7.3%). No other sectors accounted for more than 10% of the population and were comparable to the national rate, except for transport and communication, which was almost 40% lower than the rate in England as a whole.[156][160]

In terms of occupational composition, in 2021 Sleaford's workforce was broadly similar to the workforce in the whole of England. It has slightly lower proportions of people in professional, associate professional and technical roles (30.4%) and managerial occupations (11.1%). There are slightly higher proportions of people in caring, leisure and other service occupations (10.3%), process, plant and machine operatives (8.8%), and elementary occupations (11.4%).[156][161]

The government's Indices of Multiple Deprivation (2019) show that North Kesteven contains the lowest level of deprivation of any district in Lincolnshire, with only 0.7% of the district's population living in places in the most deprived decile nationally.[162] The indices divided the Sleaford parish into 10 statistical areas (LSOAs). Of these 10 areas, five placed within the least-deprived 30% of LSOAs nationally (one placed in the least-deprived 10% nationally); these were mostly concentrated in the west of the town, especially in Quarrington and the western parts of the Holdingham ward. However, the parts of the Westholme and Castle wards clustered around the town centre and the eastern part of Holdingham ward fall within the most-deprived 40% of areas nationally, with some of these LSOAs having even higher levels of deprivation.[163]


The River Slea in the town was part of the disused Sleaford Navigation canal

The A17 road from Newark-on-Trent to King's Lynn bypasses Sleaford from Holdingham Roundabout to Kirkby la Thorpe.[164] It ran through the town until the bypass opened in 1975.[165][166] The Holdingham roundabout connects the A17 to the A15 road from Peterborough to Scawby. It also passed through Sleaford until 1993, when its bypass was completed.[167][168] Three roads meet at Sleaford's market place: Northgate (B1518), Southgate and Eastgate (B1517). A one-way system set up in 1994 creates a circuit around the town centre.[164][169]

The railways arrived in the 19th century. Early proposals to bring a line to Sleaford failed,[n 16] but in 1852 plans were made to build the Boston, Sleaford and Midland Counties Railway and its Act of Parliament passed in 1853. The line from Grantham opened in 1857; Boston was connected in 1859, Bourne in 1871 and Ruskington on Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway in 1882.[94][95]

Sleaford is a stop on the Peterborough to Lincoln Line and the Poacher Line, from Grantham to Skegness.[171][172] Grantham, roughly 14+34 miles (23.7 kilometres) by road and two stops on the Poacher Line, is a major stop on the East Coast Main Line. Trains from Grantham to London King's Cross take approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.[173][174]

The River Slea through the town was converted into use as a canal for much of the 19th century. Plans to canalise it were drawn up in 1773,[89][175] but faced opposition from land-owners who feared it might affect the drainage of fens. Plans were approved in 1791 with the support of Brownlow Bertie, 5th Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven who owned estates and quarries that he hoped would benefit. An Act of Parliament passed in 1792, establishing the Sleaford Navigation, which opened two years later.[89][91] After falling revenues due to competition from the railways, the navigation company closed in 1878. The river, although no longer navigable, passes under Carre Street and Southgate.[97] The Nine Foot Drain, also unnavigable, meets the Slea just before Southgate.[164]

Sleaford is also home to the bus company Sleafordian Coaches, which operates buses on routes in, through and around the town.[176]


Local government[edit]


The parts of Lincolnshire, which have medieval origins. They formed the basis of local government until 1974, including (from 1889) Kesteven County Council (KCC).[177] Sleaford was in Kesteven and KCC held its meetings alternately in Sleaford and the other major settlement in Kesteven, Grantham.[178]

From the medieval period, New Sleaford and Old Sleaford were ancient parishes;[179] New Sleaford was in the Flaxwell wapentake and Old Sleaford in the Ashwardhurn one, both in the Kesteven parts of the Lincolnshire.[180] New Sleaford contained the main built-up area,[181] and its ancient parish boundaries also included the rural hamlet of Holdingham to the north-west.[179][182]

Sleaford Poor Law Union, overseen by a Board of Guardians, was founded in 1836.[106][n 17] The Board of Guardians administered welfare to the poor and were progressively granted powers relating to public health and sanitation. The Public Health Act 1848 allowed for local boards of health to be established where local people petitioned for one; covering urban areas, these boards took over powers over public sanitation from the Guardians.[184] The parish of New Sleaford, excluding the hamlet of Holdingham, was made a local board district (LBD) in 1850, governed by an elected local board of health.[185][186] Holdingham was subsequently made its own civil parish in 1866.[182] The Public Health Act 1872 established urban sanitary districts (USD) to cover the areas which were in LBDs and made the local board of health the urban sanitary authority.[187] The New Sleaford USD was enlarged in 1877 to include the parishes of Holdingham, Old Sleaford and Quarrington.[n 18]

The Local Government Act 1894 converted the USD into New Sleaford Urban District, overseen by an urban district council.[191] In 1900, it was renamed Sleaford Urban District.[192] The UDC, like its predecessor, met in Sessions House until 1901, after which it used a purpose-built council chamber at Sleaford's new fire station in Watergate. From 1919, the UDC also had a depot and stables at Jermyn Street and created a permanent office there in 1927. In 1955, the UDC brought its offices and council chamber under one roof when it moved into Westgate House, where the authority remained until its abolition.[193] During a major reorganisation of local government, Sleaford Urban District was abolished on 1 April 1974, being absorbed into the new district of North Kesteven.[194][195] A successor parish called Sleaford was created on 6 July 1973 covering the area of the urban district, which had the effect of abolishing the four parishes of Holdingham, New Sleaford, Old Sleaford and Quarrington.[196] The new parish council declared its parish to be a town at its first meeting on 14 November 1973, allowing it to take the style "town council" and letting the chair of the council take the title of mayor.[197][198]


Sleaford is in the North Kesteven District of Lincolnshire (coloured red on this map).

There are three tiers of local government covering Sleaford, at parish, district and county level: Sleaford Town Council, North Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council, respectively.[199] County councils have statutory responsibility for some public services, including education, transport, libraries, planning and social care. District councils manage social housing, planning applications, council tax, and waste and recycling.[200] Town councils have powers to run some local amenities.[201] Sleaford Town Council owns and manages the town cemetery,[202] as well as the Boston Road Recreation Ground and six other public open spaces or playgrounds;[203] it also manages the market,[204] Eastgate Car Park,[205] the town's allotments on The Drove and Galley Hill,[206] and several bus stops,[207] public toilets,[208] and street lighting and furniture.[209][210] Since the 2023 local elections, the town council has been composed of 18 councillors from five wards: Sleaford Castle (3 seats), Sleaford Holdingham (2 seats), Sleaford Navigation (3 seats), Sleaford Quarrington (7 seats) and Sleaford Westholme (3 seats).[211] There are seven representatives from five wards on the district council, as of 2023: Sleaford Castle (1 seat), Sleaford Holdingham (1 seat), Sleaford Navigation (1 seat), Sleaford Quarrington and Mareham (3 seats), and Sleaford Westholme (1 seat).[211] Under the most recently devised boundaries, Sleaford has one seat on Lincolnshire County Council.[212]

North Kesteven Council Offices, Kesteven Street

Since 2015, the town council has had its headquarters at the Town Hall in Quayside House, off Carre Street;[213] the building is part of the modern Navigation Yard development.[214][n 19] The district council is also based in Sleaford, at the Council Offices on Kesteven Street; the oldest part had been built as a row of houses called Lafford Terrace in the 1850s before being mostly being bought by the former Kesteven County Council (KCC) for offices in 1925; a large extension took place in 1960. After KCC's abolition in 1974, the complex was transferred to the newly established North Kesteven District Council, serving as its offices and, after a major extension in 1991, becoming its sole office building and host to its council chamber.[216][217]

National politics[edit]

Before 1832, Sleaford was in the Lincolnshire parliamentary constituency, which encompassed all of the county except for four boroughs. In the 1818 election, 49 of the 2,000 people living in New and Old Sleaford and Quarrington qualified to vote. In 1832, the Reform Act widened the franchise and divided Lincolnshire. Sleaford was in the South Lincolnshire constituency that elected two members to Parliament.[218] Following the 1867 reforms, the South Lincolnshire constituency's borders were redrawn, but Sleaford remained within it.[219] The franchise was widened by the reforms so that roughly 15% (202) of males in Sleaford and Quarrington could vote in 1868.[220] The constituency was abolished in 1885 and the Sleaford constituency formed. It merged with the Grantham seat in 1918. In 1997, Sleaford was reorganised into Sleaford and North Hykeham.[221][222] The current constituency has been held by Conservative members since it was created;[n 20] the incumbent is Caroline Johnson, who has held it since the 2016 by-election[223] and was re-elected with 67% of the vote in 2019.[224]

From 1999 until 2020, Lincolnshire elected members of the European Parliament as part of the East Midlands constituency.[225][226]

Public services[edit]

Utilities and communications[edit]

The Sleaford Gas Light Company was formed in 1838. The following year gas lighting was provided and a gasworks was constructed in Eastgate. In 1866, the company was incorporated; in 1895–96, the works were rebuilt and lit the town through to the company's nationalisation in 1948.[227] Gas ceased to be made there in the 1960s and the original buildings were retained, although later extensions were demolished in 1966–1968.[228]

In 1879, an Act of Parliament was passed to set up a water company for Sleaford; pumping machinery was installed and works constructed in 1880 to provide a clean water supply to the town. In 1948, the council took over the company and in 1962 its operation was handed to the Kesteven Water Board, which was absorbed by the Anglian Water Authority in 1973.[229][230]

Until the 1880s, Sleaford's raw sewage was conveyed through "an antiquated system of drains, open cesspits and inadequate sewers";[231] the town's effluent was discharged into the Slea, which was also the source of drinking water. The local board of health purchased land for a sewage farm on the eastern fringe of the parish in the early 1880s and converted Cogglesford Mill into a pump to convey wastewater to the farm.[231][232] This system was in place from 1884. The farm was initially let to four tenants who were responsible for disposal but in 1903 the urban district council took over management. In 1954, a new treatment plant was built on East Road;[233] it was expanded in the late 1970s while the town's sewage pipes were also updated from 1980 to 1984.[234][235] The treatment works were upgraded again in 1994, at the cost of £2.4m.[236]

Kesteven County Council promoted a Bill to Parliament to build an electricity generating station which passed in 1900. It was built at the cost of £6,700 in 1901 on Castle Causeway and remained there beyond nationalisation in 1948; by the 1970s it had been extended to include a new transformer and converted to a substation.[237] Following nationalisation, electricity was provided by the East Midlands Electricity Board until it was privatised in 1990.[238] A "virtually carbon neutral" straw-burning power-station at Sleaford opened in 2013; capable of supplying electricity to 65,000 homes, it is powered by straw bales from farms within a 50-mile (80-kilometre) radius. Most electricity generated is fed into the National Grid and the facility provides free heat to public buildings in the town.[239]

Sleaford's post office was based at Lindum House (23 Northgate) from 1897 to 1933, when it moved to Southgate.[240] As of 2024, a post office (Sleaford Post Office) still operates in Southgate.[241] There is also Woodside Post Office on Lincoln Road.[242] The town's telephone exchange was also based there from 1897 until 1967, when a purpose-built automated exchange opened on Westgate.[240][n 21] Sleaford Library has occupied its present building on the Market Place since 1987, having been previously based in the former fire station at Watergate since 1956.[244] As of 2024, the library includes a local and family history section and microfiche machine.[245] It was refurbished in 2010, but has been listed by the county council as "undersized".[246]

Emergency services and healthcare[edit]

Policing is provided by the Lincolnshire Police,[247] fire-fighting by the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service,[248] and ambulance services by the East Midlands Ambulance Service.[249] The first police station was built at Kesteven Street in 1845 and reconstructed in 1912;[250] the police moved into the former Sleaford Rural District Council offices at the Hoplands on Boston Road in 1998,[251][n 22] and this remains Sleaford Police Station as of 2024.[247] The fire and ambulance services share accommodation on Eastgate which opened in 2018.[244] Sleaford's first fire station was built in 1829 on Watergate and was completely rebuilt by the urban district council in 1900; the fire service moved to premises on Church Lane in 1953, which it occupied till 2018.[244] The ambulance service had operated from Kesteven Street from 1960 until 2018.[254][255][256]

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust provides services at four hospitals: Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Grantham and District Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital and the County Hospital Louth.[257] As of 2024, Sleaford has two GP surgeries: Sleaford Medical Group on Boston Road and Millview Medical Centre on Handley Street.[258] The town also has three dental surgeries[259] and four pharmacies.[260] The Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust runs Ash Villa at Greylees near Sleaford for the NHS Mental Health Service.[261] There are also two care homes: Oakdene (on Eastgate) and Glenholme Holdingham Grange (in Holdingham).[262] The town had an NHS clinic at Laundon House on Eastgate; it opened as a maternity hospital in the 1930s, was taken over by the NHS in the 1940s and converted to a clinic in the post-war decades, before closing in 2016.[263]


From the 14th century, justice was administered through the assizes (periodic courts which heard capital cases) or by the justices of the peace (later called magistrates), who tried more serious but non-capital crimes in the quarter sessions (with a jury) and more minor crimes in the petty sessions (without a jury).[264][265] The petty and quarter sessions came to be known as the magistrates' courts.[264] Each of the three parts of Lincolnshire had its own quarter sessions; in Kesteven, the sessions were split between northern and southern divisions; those for the north met at Sleaford from at least the 17th century and the court was known as the Sleaford Bench.[266][267][n 23] The magistrates met at a building on the market place, which was replaced in 1830 by Sessions House.[268] The system was overhauled in 1971, with the quarter sessions and assizes replaced with the Crown Court,[269] which has been held in Lincoln ever since,[270] but Sessions House continued to host the petty sessions until HM Courts Service closed Sleaford Magistrates' Court in 2010.[271] As of 2020, the nearest magistrates' courts serving Sleaford's residents are at Lincoln and at Boston.[272]


Sleaford has four state primary schools.[273] William Alvey Church of England School, founded in 1729 following a bequest by William Alvey,[274][275] became an academy in 2012[276] and in 2022 was rated "good" by the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted);[277] it caters for 650 pupils aged 4 to 11.[278] Founded in 1867,[279] St Botolph's Church of England School is voluntary controlled, has 406 pupils aged 5 to 11 on roll,[280] and was rated "good" by Ofsted in 2023.[281] Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic School was established in 1882[282] and converted to an academy in 2013;[283] in 2023, it had 166 boys and girls aged 4 to 11 on roll and was rated "good" by Ofsted.[284] Church Lane Primary School, formerly Sleaford Infants' School, opened in 1908;[285][286] a community school with a nursery, it caters for 203 boys and girls aged 3 to 11 as of 2023;[287] at its latest Ofsted inspection (in 2014), Church Lane Primary School was rated "outstanding".[288]

The town has three secondary schools, each with sixth forms:[273] the two grammar schools (Carre's Grammar School and Kesteven and Sleaford High School) are selective and pupils are required to pass the eleven plus exam.[289][290] The other school, St George's Academy, is not selective.[291] Carre's is a boys' selective school (with a coeducational sixth form) founded in 1604 with 806 pupils on roll as of 2024;[292][293] it converted to an academy in 2011 and was judged to be "good" by Ofsted in 2023.[294] It is run by the Robert Carre Trust.[295] Kesteven and Sleaford High School is a girls' grammar school (with a coeducation sixth form) founded in 1902.[296][297] It became an academy in 2011[298][299] and was judged to be "good" by Ofsted in 2017.[300] It was taken over by the Robert Carre Trust in 2015.[301] As of 2024, it has 763 pupils on roll.[296] St George's Academy is mixed-sex comprehensive school.[302] It traces its origins to 1908 when Sleaford Council School opened; it became a secondary modern school after the Second World War,[303] a comprehensive in 1992,[304] a technology college in 1994[303] and an academy in 2010.[302] As of 2024, it operates a satellite school at Ruskington;[302] and it has 2,319 pupils on roll across both sites.[302] Ofsted judged it "good" in 2015.[305] The co-educational Sleaford Joint Sixth Form consortium allows pupils from each school to choose subjects taught at all three schools.[306][307]

As of 2024, Sleaford has one independent special school:[273] Holton Sleaford Independent School, which opened in 2021. It caters for pupils with "social, emotional, and mental health difficulties". At its latest Ofsted inspection in 2022 it was rated "good".[308]

Places of worship and religious organisations[edit]

Constructed in the Decorated Gothic style, much of the nave of St Denys' Church dates to the 14th century.[309]


The Anglican ecclesiastical parish of St Denys, Sleaford, encloses the town of Sleaford and hamlet of Holdingham but does not include Quarrington. It falls within the Lafford Deanery, the Lincoln Archdeaconry and the Diocese of Lincoln.[310][311][n 24] New Sleaford had a church and priest by the time of the Domesday Book (1086). The patron was then Bishop of Lincoln. The vicarage was founded and endowed in 1274.[313] The parish church, St Denys', fronts onto the market place; the oldest parts date to the late 12th century and the broach spire is one of the oldest in England (though was rebuilt in 1884).[309][314] As of 2024, services are held every Sunday and Wednesday.[315] The vicarage, adjacent to the church, dates to the 15th century.[316][n 25]

In the Middle Ages, Old Sleaford had its own church, which was originally dedicated to All Saints and later St Giles. It disappeared at the end of the medieval period.[318] It was in the possession of Ramsey Abbey at the time of Domesday and later Haverholme Priory, and was eventually served by a vicar. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536–41), the king took over collection of the tithes, eventually leasing them to Thomas Horseman and then selling them to Robert Carre. In the 17th century, the rectory of Quarrington and the vicarage of Old Sleaford were combined to form the ecclesiastical parish of Quarrington with Old Sleaford.[319][320] As of 2024, Quarrington's Anglican community is served by St Botolph's Church in Quarrington village; parts of the building date back to the 13th century;[321][322] services are held on Sundays.[323] It is in the deanery of Lafford and archdeaconry of Lincoln.[320][n 24] In 1932 a church hall was built on Grantham Road; it is used as a community centre.[324]

The prebendary of New Sleaford or Lafford had a seat in the Lincoln Cathedral; it is not known when it was established, but it was confirmed by the Pope in 1146 and 1163,[325] and was in the patronage of the bishop. Sleaford's tithes paid to the prebendary were valued at £11 19s. 7d. (£11.98) in 1616. The Prebendal Court of Sleaford had jurisdiction over New and Old Sleaford and Holdingham to grant administration and probate.[326][327]

Other Christian denominations[edit]

Riverside Church, Southgate

Meetings of dissenters were taking place at Southgate by 1692, but ceased in 1732.[328] Non-conformist meetings next took place on Hen Lane (later Jermyn Street) from c. 1776, with the chapel expanded in 1819 and a school added in 1837.[329][330][n 26] The Congregationalists who met there moved to new a chapel on Southgate in 1867–1868 (extended in 2007); in 1972, it became Sleaford United Reformed Church, which merged with Sleaford Community Church to form Riverside Church in 2008.[333][334] As of 2024, it hosts weekly Sunday worship.[335] Wesleyan Methodists first met on Westgate in the late 18th century and built a chapel there in 1802.[n 27] They moved to a chapel on North Street in 1848, rebuilt in 1972.[336][337] As of 2024, this houses Sleaford Methodist Church, in the Sleaford Methodist Circuit; it hosts services every Sunday.[338] A Wesleyan Reform chapel opened in West Banks in 1864, but since 1896 has been occupied by the Salvation Army,[339] who hold a weekly Sunday service there as of 2024.[340] In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were also Primitive Methodist[n 28] and Baptist chapels in the town.[n 30]

By 1879 a Roman Catholic missionary was conducting services in the town. A Catholic school and chapel were built in 1882 on Jermyn Street and in 1889, Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church, opened beside it.[346][347] As of 2024, Mass is held on Sundays and throughout the week with a Vigil mass on Saturday.[348]

A congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was founded in Sleaford in 1955; they built a Kingdom Hall on Castle Causeway in 1972, which was rebuilt in 1999.[349][350] As of 2024, the congregation meet on Wednesdays and Sundays.[351] Sleaford New Life Church began meeting in the 1960s;[352] in 2002, they purchased a site at Mareham Lane and built a new church there;[353] as of 2024, the congregation meet there for worship on Sundays.[354] The church also runs a food bank.[355] Sleaford Spiritualist Church was founded in 1932 and opened its church building on Westgate in 1956.[356] As of 2024, a divine service is held there on Sundays.[357]


The Sleaford Muslim Community Association met in St Deny's Church Hall during the early 2000s. A prayer hall, Sleaford Islamic Centre, opened in 2015.[358] Daily prayers are held there as of 2024.[359]


Arts, entertainment and heritage[edit]

The National Centre for Craft & Design

The National Centre for Craft & Design opened as The Hub in 2002 in the redeveloped Hubbard and Phillips seed warehouses with support from a Single Regeneration Budget grant.[360][361] It houses exhibitions of applied and contemporary art.[361] Opened in 2010, the Carre Gallery (on Carre Street) is operated by Sleaford Gallery Arts Trust.[362]

The Playhouse theatre on Westgate was constructed in 1825 for Joseph Smedley and sold in 1856 to be converted into an infants school and later a library and offices. In 1994, Sleaford Little Theatre bought and restored it and in 2000 it opened to the public.[363] The Sleaford Picturedrome opened in 1920; the cinema closed in 2000 and the building became a snooker hall and then a nightclub[364][365] that closed in 2008[366] before reopening as another nightclub in 2015 which was still operating in 2021,[367] though as of 2024 the building has been converted into a sports bar.[368]

Sleaford hosted an annual, volunteer-run carnival in the 20th century; it was last held in 1995[369] before being revived in 2013;[370] it ran for three years before the planned 2016 carnival was cancelled.[371] The RiverLight Festival, offering activities, open days and exhibitions, has taken place annually since 2022; in 2024, it will host a carnival.[372] Sleaford Live Week is organised annually to showcase local musicians and artists.[373]

Sleaford Museum Trust was formed in the 1970s to collect and preserve historical artefacts from the town's history. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant allowed the trust to establish a museum on Southgate, which opened in 2015.[374][375] Sleaford and District Civic Trust was founded in 1972 to "preserve the best features" of the town.[376][377] Sleaford Rotary Club received its charter in 1956;[378] it runs charity and community events.[379]

There is a volunteer twinning association, the Sleaford and District Town Twinning Association, which was founded in 1999. The association has created and maintains links and annual visits with Marquette-lez-Lille in France since 1999, and with Fredersdorf-Vogelsdorf in Germany since 2009.[380]

Sport and recreation[edit]

Sleaford Town F.C. played in the United Counties League Premier Division North for the 2023–24 season.[381] Formed as Sleaford Amateurs F.C. in 1920, the club was renamed Sleaford Town in 1968. In 2007 it moved to its present grounds at Eslaforde Park.[381][382][383] Sleaford Rugby FC was established in 1978[384] and opened its clubhouse in 1999 off the A153.[385] Sleaford Golf Club was founded in 1905 and had roughly 100 members the following year, which increased to 193 in 1911. The original golf course has been altered. In 2014, the club had roughly 600 members.[386][387] Sleaford Cricket Club has grounds at London Road; the earliest record of the club is in 1803 and its pavilion was opened in 1967.[388] The town is also home to several lawn bowling clubs, including Bristol Bowls Club (founded in 1934),[389][n 31] Eslaforde Park BC,[391] and Sleaford Town BC (at Mareham Lane).[392] There is also Sleaford Indoor Bowling Club, established in 1991;[n 32] an all-discipline gymnastics club founded in 1996;[394][395] Sleaford Striders, an athletics club founded in 1984;[396] and Sleaford Town Runners, a running club established in 2006.[397]

Sleaford Leisure Centre originated in the opening of an outdoor lido in 1886; a children's pool was added in 1960 but closed in 1981, while the older pool was converted into the modern indoor leisure centre in 1984.[398] In 2011 North Kesteven District Council received a grant of £2.85 million to fund reconstruction of the centre and its gym, which was completed in 2013.[399][400]

Sleaford Recreation Ground on Boston Road spans 13.8 acres. Owned and managed by Sleaford Town Council, it is the town's largest public space.[203][n 33] There are several other open spaces and playgrounds managed by the town council.[n 34]

Local media[edit]

Local news and television programmes is provided by BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and ITV Yorkshire from the Belmont TV transmitter. The town can also receive the Waltham TV transmitter which broadcast BBC East Midlands and ITV Central. The main radio stations for the county are BBC Radio Lincolnshire, broadcasting on 94.9 FM and 104.7 FM frequencies,[402] and the commercial station Greatest Hits Radio Lincolnshire, on 102.2, 96.7 and 97.6 FM. Lincs FM however, continues to broadcast on DAB, despite giving up its FM frequencies.[403]

The town's local newspapers are the Sleaford Standard (founded in 1924),[404] the Sleaford Advertiser (founded in 1980)[405] and the Sleaford Target (founded in 1984).[406] Historically, the Sleaford Gazette operated between 1854 and 1960 (when it was taken over by the Standard).[407][408] The Sleaford Journal ran from at least 1884 until it was incorporated into the Gazette in 1929,[409] while the Sleaford Telegraph ran from 1888 to 1889 and the Sleaford Guardian was in print for a year from 1945 to 1946.[407]


Manor House, Northgate

A small number of medieval buildings remain standing in the town. St Denys' Church and St Botolph's in Quarrington date to the 12th and 13th centuries respectively,[410][411] while Sleaford's half-timbered vicarage is 15th century.[412] St Denys' Church is noted for its tracery and its stone broach spire is one of the oldest in England.[410] Cogglesford Mill is the only remaining watermill in town and is a testament to the economic importance of the River Slea from the late-Saxon period onwards.[413][414] The Bishops of Lincoln used the medieval town as a base, constructing the now-ruined Sleaford Castle,[68] and as a means of extracting produce and wealth through demesne farming and by granting a market and limited freedoms to the town.[69] As a result, the oldest areas are the market place and the four roads which meet there: Northgate, Southgate, Eastgate and Westgate; many 18th- and 19th-century buildings are found in this area.[415]

Buildings dating from these centuries include William Alvey's baroque house on Northgate,[416] the Manor House on Northgate inset with medieval masonry,[417] and the Sessions House on the Market Place.[418] The Carre family founded the grammar school which was rebuilt in 1834,[419] the hospital, rebuilt in 1830,[420] and the almshouses, rebuilt 1857,[421] while the Victorian builders Charles Kirk and Thomas Parry constructed or added to numerous public buildings and private residences, including Lafford Terrace and their own houses on Southgate and at Westholme.[422]

The derelict Bass Maltings

During the Industrial Revolution, the Slea was canalised in 1794 and the Sleaford Navigation Company constructed offices and wharves along Carre Street.[423] The canal brought trade, while the Gothic-fronted gasworks on Eastgate lit the town from 1839.[105] Benjamin Handley and Anthony Peacock financed and benefited from the navigation and founded the bank that took over Alvey's House on Northgate and later added a Baroque extension;[424][425] Henry Handley, a Member of Parliament, is commemorated by the Handley Memorial on Southgate, a Gothic monument in the style of an Eleanor Cross.[426] During the 1850s, the railways arrived and the station was built in a Gothic style.[427] Sleaford's agricultural location and new transport links encouraged seed trading and malting in the late 19th century: the seed merchant Charles Sharpe's house, The Pines, is on Boston Road.[428] The massive Bass and Company maltings complex, constructed in brick off Mareham Lane between 1892 and 1905, is grade II*listed and has a frontage more than 1,000 feet long.[429][430]


The Handley family were well-connected with business; Benjamin Handley was a lawyer, prominent in the Navigation Company and partner in the local bank Peacock, Handley and Kirton.[431] His son, Henry, was MP for South Lincolnshire; after his death, the residents erected a monument to him on Southgate.[432] Robert Armstrong Yerburgh the son of Rev. Richard Yerburgh, vicar of New Sleaford, was twice MP for Chester.[433] Sir Thomas Meres, politician was educated at the grammar school.[434] Sir Robert Pattinson, also educated at the grammar, was MP for Grantham and Sleaford and chairman of Kesteven County Council.[435]

The religious controversialist Henry Pickworth was born in New Sleaford and challenged the opponent of Quakerism Francis Bugg to an open debate at Sleaford.[436] John Austin, a religious writer, was educated at the grammar school.[437] William Scoffin served as the town's Presbyterian minister and preached there for more than forty years,[438] while Benjamin Fawcett, Presbyterian minister, was born and educated at Sleaford.[439] Andrew Kippis, the Presbyterian minister, biographer and Fellow of the Royal Society, attended the Grammar School.[440]

In science, Richard Banister, the oculist, practised for 14 years in Sleaford, where he trained in couching cataracts.[441] Henry Andrews astronomer and astrologer, worked in Sleaford during his youth.[442] In academia, the botanist David H. N. Spence was born in Sleaford;[443] and the sociologist Sheila Allen attended Kesteven and Sleaford High School.[444]

The royalist poet Thomas Shipman was educated at Carre's Grammar School, as was novelist Henry Jackson;[440][445] Joseph Smedley, the actor and comedian, built the theatre in 1824, before settling in the town in 1842, establishing a printing business and dying in North Street;[446] and Charles Haslewood Shannon, the artist, was born in Quarrington, where his father was rector.[447] The children's author Morris Gleitzman was born in the town,[448] as was the actress and comedian Jennifer Saunders was born in Sleaford.[449] In popular culture, the singer Lois Wilkinson of the Caravelles was born in the town;[450] glamour model Abi Titmuss grew up in Ruskington and was educated at Kesteven and Sleaford High School;[451] and Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist, was born in the town.[452] Eric Thompson who narrated The Magic Roundabout television series, was born in a house on Jermyn Street.[453] In sport, the professional footballer Mark Wallington who played for Leicester City, Derby County and Lincoln City, grew up in Sleaford and, after retiring, taught Physical Education at St George's Academy.[454]

Coat of arms[edit]

Sleaford Urban District Council was granted a coat of arms on 26 October 1950[455] and after the council was abolished its successor Sleaford Town Council was granted the right to use the arms.[456] The shield combine elements from the arms of the Carre family and the Marquesses of Bristol, while the eagle in the crest symbolises Sleaford's links with the Royal Air Force and the ear of wheat in its beak represents agriculture.[457]

Coat of arms of Sleaford Town Council
Granted to the urban district council on 26 October 1950.[458]
On a Wreath of the Colours an Eagle wings extended and head downwards and to the sinister proper holding in the beak an Ear of Wheat stalked and leaved Or.


  1. ^ Much of the gold and bronze found in the cemetery was deposited in the British Museum after it was uncovered in the 1880s by the excavator George Thomas.[52]
  2. ^ The Bishop succeeded a Saxon thegn, Bardi, and held 11 carucates with 29 villeins, 11 borders, 6 sokeman, a church and priest, and 8 mills, 1 acre (0.4 hectares) of woodland, 320 acres (130 hectares) of meadow and 330 acres (130 hectares) of marsh. Ramsey Abbey had been granted land in Sleaford and surrounding villages in about 1051. By Domesday its fee called Eslaforde consisted of 1 carucate, 1 sokeman, 2 villeins and 27 acres (11 hectares) of meadow; it was sokeland of the abbot of Ramsey's manor of Quarrington, where he is recorded holding two churches.[54]
  3. ^ This hypothesis was based on the topography, the granting of a fair, market and burgage tenure in the 12th century, and the "Old" and "New" epithets[59]
  4. ^ The earliest references to Old and New Sleaford occur in 13th century documents, which limits their use as evidence for town plantation; the grants of a market and fair in the 12th century do not necessarily indicate a new settlement, but merely a codification and rationalisation of pre-existing arrangements. The diversion of roads like Mareham Lane and the compass-aligned streets provide no chronology even if they imply a westward migration from Old Sleaford.[61]
  5. ^ It was previously sold by the Bishops of Lincoln to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and reverted to the crown on his attainder in 1549; Queen Mary I later sold it to Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln.[81]
  6. ^ Bricks could also be transported more easily, which contributed to the construction of new buildings on West Banks, Grantham Road and London Road (Shaw 1981, p. 87). For a full account of the development of West Banks and adjoining roads, see Stroud & Stroud 1981, pp. 51–65. Station Road and Nag's Head Passage were also developed in this period (Ellis 1981c, pp. 68–69).
  7. ^ The principle buildings were the Sessions House (1831), the grammar school (1834), Carre's Hospital (1830–1846), the gasworks (1839), Navigation House (1838–39), much of Eastgate (including the Alvey School in 1850, and Kingston and Lafford Terraces in 1856 and 1857), the cemetery (1856) and the corn exchange (1857)
  8. ^ Playhouse Yard, Charles Street, Leicester Street and Cabbage Row being four main examples.[107]
  9. ^ A Zeppelin raid passed overhead in 1916.[113]
  10. ^ These figures relate to the area of the Sleaford civil parish as defined in 1974. For the years before 1974, they relate to the civil parish's predecessor, the Sleaford Urban District, which existed between 1894 and 1974. For the years before 1894, they are the sum of the resident populations of the ancient/civil parishes of New Sleaford, Old Sleaford, Quarrington and (after it was separated from New Sleaford in 1866) Holdingham.
  11. ^ Figures for 1801–1901, except 1861 and 1871, are taken from:
    • "New Sleaford CP/AP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
    • "Old Sleaford CP/AP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
    • "Quarrington CP/AP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
    • "Holdingham CP/Hmt". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
    The following other sources have been used for particular years:
  12. ^ These figures include Holdingham before 1866. The figures excluding Holdingham hamlet were: 1,483 (1801), 1,781 (1811), 2,094 (1821), 2,450 (1831), 3,184 (1841), 3,372 (1851),[140] and 3,325 (1861).[141]
  13. ^ a b The figures for the three parishes are from: * "New Sleaford CP/AP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 30 May 2024. The figures for 1861 and 1871 are based on combining the populations for Old Sleaford, New Sleaford and Holdingham parishes, as recorded in Census Office 1862, pp. 517, 850 and Census Office 1873, pp. 654, 685, 700, 710, 729. For the period after 1871, see "Sleaford UD". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  14. ^ a b c d Residents aged 16 and over
  15. ^ a b c d Households
  16. ^ Proposals to link Sleaford to Ancaster for transporting stone in 1827 did not materialise; works by the Ambergate Company in the 1840s should have extended to Sleaford, but stopped at Grantham in 1850, while opposition from the Navigation Company to another proposal further delayed railway links to the town.[170]
  17. ^ Sleaford Poor Law Union consisted of the following parishes: Anwick, Asgarby, Ashby de la Launde, Aswarby, Aunsby, Byard's Leap (1861–1930), Billinghay, Blankney, Bloxholm, Brauncewell, Burton Pedwardine, Cranwell, Culverthorpe, Dembleby, Digby, Dogdyke (c. 1894–1930), Dorrington, Evedon, Ewerby, Great Hale, Little Hale, Haverholme Priory (1861–1930), Heckington, Helpringham, Holdingham, Howell, Kelby, Kirkby Green, Kirkby la Thorpe, North Kyme, South Kyme, Leadenham, Leasingham, Martin, Newton, Osbournby, Quarrington, North Rauceby, South Rauceby, Rowston, Roxholm, Ruskington, Scredington, Scopwick, New Sleaford, Old Sleaford, Spanby, Swarby, Swaton, Temple Bruer with Temple High Grange (1861–1930), Thorpe Tilney, Threckingham, Timberland, Walcot (near Billinghay), Walcot (near Folkingham), Welbourn, Wellingore, Scott Willoughby, Silk Willoughby, Wilsford.[183]
  18. ^ The order establishing this arrangement made no mention of Holdingham,[188] but contemporary press reports[189] and the scholar F. A. Youngs[190] state that Holdingham was included in New Sleaford USD.
  19. ^ The town council met in and maintained an office at Westgate House from 1973 until 1981, after which it shared rooms at the new civic centre at St George's School; in 2002, the offices moved to 3 Hill House, Carre Street, but the council continued to meet at St George's until 2006, after which it met at Carre's Grammar School until 2011, after which meetings were held at The Source in Southgate. In 2015, it very briefly met at Mill House, before moving both its offices and council chamber to Quayside House that year; it purchased the property in 2016.[215]
  20. ^ The previous members were Douglas Hogg (1997–2010) and Stephen Phillips (2010–16).
  21. ^ The Westgate exchange replaced a primitive methodist chapel built in 1907 (superseding an older one on Westgate of 1841, which survives) and closed in 1964 when the society merged with the methodists on Northgate and worshipped at the chapel there.[243]
  22. ^ The site at the Hoplands was acquired by Sleaford Rural District Council (RDC) by 1960 to be used for housing, but in 1962 they opted to build a new office there (replacing smaller premises on Northgate, which they had occupied since 1915); the RDC building was completed in 1964 and included its council chamber and offices. After its abolition in 1974, the RDC's successor, North Kesteven District Council, used the site for offices and full council meetings, but after it extended its other building at Lafford Terrace in 1991, the district council sold the Hoplands site to Lincolnshire County Council,[252] who spent £2m converting it into the police station between 1996 and 1998 (this included adding a cell block and communications tower).[253]
  23. ^ Covering the wapentakes of Flaxwell, Langoe, Aswardhurn, Loveden and Boothby Graffoe.[266]
  24. ^ a b The parishes of New and Old Sleaford were in the peculiar jurisdiction of the predendary until 1846, when they became part of Aswardhurn and Lafford Rural Deanery. In 1866 they were placed in Aswardhurn and Lafford No. 2 Rural Deanery, from 1884 in the Lafford No. 2 Rural Deanery, the Lafford South Rural Deanery from 1910, and since 1968, the Lafford Rural Deanery.[312]
  25. ^ Holdingham had its own chapel in the medieval period; dedicated to St Mary, it was last in use around the 1550s; it subsequently disappeared and its former location is not known.[317]
  26. ^ In the Compton Census (1676), New Sleaford had a Conformist population of 576 people, no "Papists" and 6 Non-conformists.[331] In the 19th century, it had a sizeable Non-conformist population and a large Anglican congregation; at the 1851 Census of Religious Worship, an estimated 2,000 people attended Non-conformist places of worship, while an estimated 600–700 people attended Anglican services in the parish.[329] The Wesleyans met in Westgate in the early 19th century; by 1848, the congregation had set up in Northgate, an area known for its taverns and poor tenements.[332]
  27. ^ The local historian Simon Pawley says that they first in the 1790s at the house of Thomas Fawcett there,[329] while the county council has stated that they first met in 1796 at the Paper Mills on Westgate, and then hired a room in Park's Yard in c. 1799, before occupying a succession of houses until 1802.[336]
  28. ^ The Primitive Methodists began meeting in the town in 1838 in a house in Long Row, New Quarrington. They then occupied a house on Westgate, before having a purpose-built chapel on that road in 1841; in 1964 the congregation merged with the Methodists based at Northgate.[341]
  29. ^ When the building was converted into a shop in 1996, it was reported that it had been derelict for "ten years or more".[344] It was still in operation as a church in 1980.[345]
  30. ^ A Baptist chapel was built on Boston Road in 1808. It served the Strict Baptists until 1881, when most of the congregation moved to a new chapel on Eastgate, though a faction remained until 1915, after which the building was converted to a house.[342] The chapel on Eastgate was known as the Temple and housed Particular Calvinist Baptists.[343] It closed in the 1980s.[n 29]
  31. ^ Sleaford has a lawn bowls club, Bristol Bowls Club, with facilities on Boston Road. Its origins trae back to at least 1904, when croquet matches were being played at Boston Road. Croquet fell out of favour in the 1930s and the croquet club was disbanded and the Boston Road Bowls Club founded in its place in 1934. By the 1960s, it had its own pavillion and lawn at Boston Road. It was renamed Bristol Bowls Club in 1961 to avoid confusion with the Sleaford Road (Boston) Bowls Club.[390]
  32. ^ Following a fundraising campaign and membership drive beginning in 1985, Sleaford Indoor Bowling Club purchased the lease on land adjacent to the town's leisure centre in 1987, and opened a purpose-built bowling centre in 1991, which was refurbished in 2004.[393]
  33. ^ Previously a plant nursery, by the 1890s the land was being let by its tenant Thomas Constable for public events and sports matches. The urban district council acquired his lease in 1897 to use the land as a recreation ground and bought the freehold from Lord Bristol in 1962 (also purchasing another field). In the 1950s and 1970s, the council added tennis courts.[401]
  34. ^ The council owns and manages Castlefield (6.2 acres), Woodside Play Area (5.5 acres), George Street Play Area (2.2 acres), Lincoln Road Play Area (1.2 acres), Meadowfield Play Area (0.75 acres) and Eastgate Green (0.75 acres); it manages but does not own the play areas at Peacock Court and Spire View.[203]
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]