Middle Rasen is a village and civil parish in the West Lindsey District of Lincolnshire, England, located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west from the town of Market Rasen. Today the village consists of two villages which have merged to become one; they were called Middle Rasen Drax and Middle Rasen Tupholme. The population, according to the UK census of 2001, was 1,319.
"Rasen" is mentioned in Domesday Book of 1086, but West Rasen, Middle Rasen and Market Rasen are indistinguishable. In its entirety the list includes ten separate references to Rasen, which as a whole consisted of 144 households.
In 1885 Kelly's Directory noted village Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, and Reformed Wesleyan chapels. It described a parish land of sand and clay, with a clay subsoil, on which wheat, barley and turnips were grown, and with pasture. Parish area was 3,550 acres (14 km2), supporting an 1881 population of 928. There were 17 farmers listed, four of whom had added trades, variously a miller, cattle dealer, butcher & cattle dealer, and machine owner. Other occupations were a blacksmith, beer retailer & blacksmith, millwright, grocer, shopkeeper, wheelwright, carrier, grocer & draper, butcher & cattle dealer, miller, publican, and dressmaker, and a shoemaker who also ran the post office.
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.