Sempringham is a hamlet in the in the South Kesteven District of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated south from the A52 road, east from Grantham and north from Bourne. Since 1931 the hamlet has been in the civil parish of Pointon and Sempringham; previously it was a parish in its own right. It is located on the western edge of the Lincolnshire Fens, the closest village being Billingborough, to the north on the B1177 road. Sempringham is noted as the home of Gilbert of Sempringham, the son of the lord of the manor. Gilbert is the only English Saint to have founded a monastic order, the Gilbertines.
Sempringham consists of a church and a holy well, with other houses east from the church scattered along the B1177 between Pointon and Billingborough. The church stands at an altitude of about , on land rising out of flat fenland. Pointon is the chief township of the civil parish, which includes Millthorpe and the fens of Pointon, Neslam and Aslackby, and a part of Hundred Fen at Gosberton Clough. Formerly, Birthorpe, now part of Billingborough, was included in the parish.
Sempringham is noted in the Domesday account as "Stepingeham" in the Aveland Hundred of Kesteven. In 1086 the manor consisted of 35 households, 8 villagers, 2 smallholders and 14 freemen, with 4.3 ploughlands, a meadow of and woodland of . In 1066 Earl Morcar was Lord of the Manor, which was transferred to Jocelyn, son of Lambert in 1086, with Tenant-in-chief as Alfred of Lincoln.
In the early 17th century, Sempringham was a centre of the Puritan movement in Lincolnshire. Samuel Skelton, curate of Sempringham, sailed to Massachusetts Bay in 1628 with the first group of Puritan settlers, who landed in Salem. Another member of the Sempringham congregation at the time was the young Anne Dudley, later Anne Bradstreet, the colony's first published poet.
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.