NOTE: All divisions of Holland are listed in WeRelate as "Contained Places" in Lincolnshire.
Parts of Holland was one of the three medieval subdivisions or 'Parts' of Lincolnshire (the other two were Lindsey and Kesteven) which had long had the privilege of separate legal administrations (Quarter Sessions). Under the Local Government Act 1888 it obtained a county council, which it retained until 1974. At that point the three county councils were abolished and Lincolnshire (minus the northern part of Lindsey) had a single county council for the first time.
Before the changes of 1888, Holland had, since probably the tenth century, been divided into the three wapentakes of Elloe, Kirton and Skirbeck.
whilst the urban districts were
In 1932, the Crowland Rural District (which consisted of the single parish of Crowland) was abolished and added to Spalding Rural District, and all the urban districts apart from Spalding were abolished and added to East Elloe Rural District.
The ground of Holland is close to sea level, achieving a maximum altitude of about five metres (16 feet) on artificially raised river banks (levees). It therefore needed carefully managed drainage to maintain the very productive arable farmland which covered almost its entire extent. Consequently, a significant part of its drainage for arable use was obliged to await the introduction of steam pumping. Before the mid-nineteenth century, Holland was a much more pastoral area, used for fattening stock brought in from Scotland and northern England before it was driven to market in places like London. Many of the country roads are still called droves.
There is a resemblance in landscape between the Parts of Holland and Holland, the region in the Netherlands, although their meanings are different. Holland in England means "land of the hill spurs", although hill spurs are hardly obvious. Both Hollands have landscapes that are low lying and both are known for tulip growing.
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.