A prehistoric or Roman trackway and settlement has been identified through the village and several Neolithic burials, including a typical early long barrow.
The village of Maidenwell, separately assessed in documents of 1334, was united with Farforth parish in 1450 or possibly 1592. Maidenwell was probably depopulated about 1400-28. Significant earthworks of the former medieval settlement were still traceable in the 20th century.
The village falls within the ecclesiastical parish of Ruckland with Farforth in The South Ormsby Group of the Deanery of Bolingbroke. The parish includes the hamlet of Oxcombe. The parish church is the tiny church of St Olave at Ruckland (see below).
Farforth or Farforth cum Maidenwell is a hamlet in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire. Since 1936 it is situated in the civil parish of Maidenwell, and approximately 6 miles (10 km) south from the town of Louth.
The parish church is dedicated to Saint Peter and is a Grade II listed building, rebuilt in 1861 using material from a previous medieval church. The font dates from the 15th century. The 1861 rebuilding in Early English style was financed by the family of William and Francis Osiear and the Corporation of Basingstoke. William and Francis Osiear are commemorated through an engraved brass plate in the chancel.
In the 1086 Domesday Book Ruckland is written as "Rochland", with nine households, the Lord of the Manor being Briscard.
Ruckland's church, dedicated to Saint Olave (sometimes Olaf), seats forty people. It was built in 1885 of green sandstone by W. Scorer, and is a Grade II listed building. The churchyard contains war graves to two members of the World War II armed forces.
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.