Place:Bourne, Lincolnshire, England

Alt namesBournsource: Family History Library Catalog
Brunesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 168
TypeTown, Urban district
Coordinates52.767°N 0.383°W
Located inLincolnshire, England
Also located inKesteven, England     (1889 - 1974)
See alsoBourne Rural, Kesteven, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1899
South Kesteven District, Lincolnshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
Contained Places
Grimsthorpe Castle
Bourne Abbey
Bourne Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Bourne is a market town and civil parish in the South Kesteven District of Lincolnshire. It is situated on the eastern edge of the Kesteven Uplands and the western border of the Lincolnshire Fens.

Bourne was part of Bourne Rural District from 1894 until 1899 when it was made an urban district. It has a current (21st century) population of just under 14,000.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The Ancient Woodland of Bourne Woods, although much reduced, is still extant and originally formed part of the ancient Forest of Kesteven and is now managed by the Forestry Commission.

The earliest documentary reference to Brunna, meaning stream, is from a document of 960, and the town appeared in the Domesday Book as Brune.[1]

Bourne Abbey, (charter 1138), formerly held and maintained land in Bourne and other parishes. In later times this was known as the manor of 'Bourne Abbots'. Whether the canons knew that name is less clear. The estate was given by the Abbey's founder, Baldwin fitz Gilbert de Clare, son of Gilbert fitz Richard, and later benefactors. The abbey was established under the Arrouaisian order. Its fundamental rule was that of Augustine and as time went on, it came to be regarded as Augustinian. The Ormulum, an important Middle English Biblical gloss, was probably written in the abbey in around 1175.

Bourne Castle was built on land that is now the Wellhead Gardens in South Street.

Bourne was an important junction on the Victorian railway system, but all such connections were severed after the Second World War (see Rail heading). The business stimulus it brought caused major development of the town, and many of the buildings around the medieval street plan were rebuilt, or at least refaced. Improved communications allowed a bottled water industry to develop, and to provide coal deliveries for the town's gas works.

The then local authority, Bourne Urban District Council, was very active in the interests of the town, taking over the gas works and the local watercress beds at times of financial difficulty and running them as commercial activities. Large numbers of good quality council houses were built by them in the early 20th century.

Bourne sent many men to both of the 20th century's world wars, as did any other town in Britain, but was otherwise only lightly affected. During World War II a German bomber crashed onto the Butcher's Arms public house in Eastgate, after being shot down. Nine people were killed, including the bomber's crew. In a separate incident a number of bombs were dropped on the Hereward Camp approved school, a row of wooden huts adjacent to the woods that may have been mistaken for a military camp. Charles Richard Sharpe was injured in the second incident, but he was no stranger to fighting the Germans, having been awarded the Victoria Cross in the first conflict of the century.


The first local railway was the Earl of Ancaster's estate railway, which ran from the East Coast Main Line at Little Bytham, through the Grimsthorpe estate to Edenham.

Later Bourne had a railway station which was on both the Great Northern line from Essendine to Sleaford and the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway connecting the Midlands to East Anglia. Both these were closed to timetabled passenger service by the end of February 1959 and the lines were closed to occasional use by the Beeching Axe. With the exception of the Red Hall, the principal station buildings were demolished in 1964, the year after the Beeching Report. The main goods shed survived however, just into the new century and there remains an unusual survival: a goods store of wooden construction. The mechanism of the locomotive turntable is now in the Wansford depot of the Nene Valley Railway.


The Bourne-Morton Canal or Bourne Old Ea connected the town to the sea in Roman times.

Until the mid-19th century, the present Bourne Eau was capable of carrying commercial boat traffic from the Wash coast and Spalding. This resulted from the investment following the Bourne Navigation Act of 1780. Passage became impossible once the junction of the Eau and the River Glen was converted from gates to a sluice in 1860.

Research Tips

Lincolnshire is very low-lying and land had to be drained for agriculture to be successful. The larger drainage channels, many of which are parallel to each other, became boundaries between parishes. Many parishes are long and thin for this reason.

There is much fenland in Lincolnshire, particularly in the Boston and Horncastle areas. Fenlands tended to be extraparochial before the mid 1850s, and although many sections were identified with names and given the title "civil parish", little information has been found about them. Many appear to be abolished in 1906, but the parish which adopts them is not given in A Vision of Britain through Time. Note the WR category Lincolnshire Fenland Settlements which is an attempt to organize them into one list.

From 1889 until 1974 Lincolnshire was divided into three administrative counties: Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Parts of Lindsey. These formal names do not fit with modern grammatical usage, but that is what they were, nonetheless. In 1974 the northern section of Lindsey, along with the East Riding of Yorkshire, became the short-lived county of Humberside. In 1996 Humberside was abolished and the area previously in Lincolnshire was made into the two "unitary authorities" of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The remainder of Lincolnshire was divided into "non-metropolitan districts" or "district municipalities" in 1974. Towns, villages and parishes are all listed under Lincolnshire, but the present-day districts are also given so that places in this large county can more easily be located and linked to their wider neighbourhoods. See the WR placepage Lincolnshire, England and the smaller divisions for further explanation.

  • Maps provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time show all the parishes and many villages and hamlets. (Small local reorganization of parishes took place in the 1930s led to differences between the latter two maps.):
  • GENUKI's page on Lincolnshire's Archive Service gives addresses, phone numbers, webpages for all archive offices, museums and libraries in Lincolnshire which may store old records and also presents a list entitled "Hints for the new researcher" which may include details of which you are not aware. These suggestions are becoming more and more outdated, but there's no telling what may be expected in a small library.
  • GENUKI also has pages of information on individual parishes, particularly ecclesiastical parishes. The author may just come up with morsels not supplied in other internet-available sources.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Bourne, Lincolnshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.