Legsby (otherwise Legesby) is a small village and civil parish in the West Lindsey District of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated approximately 13 miles (20 km) north-east from the city and county town of Lincoln and 3 miles (5 km) south-east from the town of Market Rasen.
The parish includes the settlements of Bleasby, Bleasby Moor, Collow, and (since 1936) East Torrington.
To the north and south of St Thomas' church are earthworks and a hollow way, indicating Legsby medieval village. By 1187 the village and church had been granted to the Gilbertine priory of Sixhills. At the 1541 Suppression Legsby manor was given to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who sold it the same year. The estate was later bought by Richard Nelthorpe, and it remained in the Nettlethorpe family until the early 20th century.
Bleasby, less than 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south, is the site of a deserted medieval village and manor house, defined by moat, croft, field and pond earthworks. A windmill mound, The Mount, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) south of Bleasby at the end of Mount Lane, and now covered by trees, is the site of Bleasby Mill, documented in the 13th century. The mound probably existed before the 12th century establishment of the adjacent Collow township.
The settlement remains of the Legsby hamlet of Holtham, in the 16th century known as "Howdome" and comprising four families, is defined by crop mark evidence of a moated monastic or manor house, and a ridge and furrow field system. Earthwork remains of a moat, paddocks, ditch, enclosures and trackways were visible in 1846, but were demolished in the 1960s.
Collow, 0.5 miles (0.8 km) north-east from East Torrington, is a possible manorial or medieval site. Machinery finds could indicate a 16th- or 17th-century mill, and moat, pond, ditch, croft and field earthworks of a defensive homestead.
Kelly's 1885 Directory records Major Robert Nassau Sutton JP as lord of the manor, and a principal landowner with Edward Heneage MP, DL, JP. The parish was of 2,835 acres (11.5 km2), with agricultural production comprising wheat, barley, oats and turnips. It held a Wesleyan chapel and a church school for 50 children. There were nine farms, one a Glebe farm, two shoe makers, a blacksmith, shopkeeper and wheelwright. Bleasby hamlet held Methodist and Free Methodist chapels, four farms and a wheelwright, and Collow hamlet, two farms.
Legsby Grade II listed Anglican church is dedicated to St Thomas. (description in Wikipedia)
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.