Freiston is a village and civil parish in Lincolnshire, England. It is situated approximately 2 miles (3 km) east from the town of Boston. The Greenwich Prime Zero meridian line passes between the village and Hobhole Drain.
In 1114 Freiston Priory of St James was founded by Alan de Creon for Benedictine monks – it became a monastic cell of Crowland Abbey in 1130. Nothing remains of the priory buildings that stood on the south side of the present church, except for a Norman doorway in the south aisle that opened into the cloisters.
Until 1974 the parish formed part of Boston Rural District, in the Parts of Holland. Holland was one of the three divisions (formally known as parts) of the traditional county of Lincolnshire. Since the Local Government Act of 1888, Holland had been in most respects, a county in itself. Before this, Freiston had been in Skirbeck Wapentake, Parts of Holland.
Freiston is one of 18 civil parishes which, together with Boston, form the Borough of Boston local government arrangement, in place since a reorganisation of 1 April 1974 which resulted from the Local Government Act 1972. The parish forms part of the Coastal electoral ward.
The settlements of Haltoft End, 1 mile (1.6 km) north-north-west, and Scrane End (or Crane End), 1 mile (1.6 km) south from Freiston, lie within the parish, as does the village of Freiston Shore. On its eastern side, Freiston parish adjoins The Wash. There is more information in the Wikipedia article "Freiston Shore"
Freiston Grade I listed Anglican parish church is dedicated to St James. The church was originally cruciform with a central tower. The existing tower is of Perpendicular style, and the parts of the nave are Early English. The roof and chancel were restored in 1763, and the whole building in 1871.
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.