Harmston is a village and civil parish in the South Kesteven District of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated just west off the A607 road, and 5 miles (8 km) south from the city and county town of Lincoln. It sits on the Lincoln Cliff overlooking the River Witham valley.
Harmston Hall was built as a manor house in 1710 for Sir Charles Thorold, and in 1719 was the home of Sir George Thorold, Lord Mayor of London. In 1930 it became part of a mental health hospital complex, and functioned as the headquarters for the Lincolnshire Joint Board for Mental Defectives. The hospital closed in 1990, the site being redeveloped as a private residence.
Harmston remained a small village until the mid-1990s when the new owner of Harmston Hall, a local property developer, made plans for a housing development at the southern perimeter of the village on the former hospital site. The new housing estate, completed in 2006, brought in new people and has transformed Harmston from an agricultural to a mainly commuter village for workers in nearby Lincoln.
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.