Scunthorpe is a town in the administrative centre of the North Lincolnshire unitary authority, and had an estimated total resident population of more than 72,500 people in 2010. A predominantly industrial town, Scunthorpe, the United Kingdom's largest steel processing centre. It is the third largest settlement in Lincolnshire after Lincoln and Grimsby.
Scrunthorpe: Ironore and steel-making
Ironstone was mined in the area as early as the Roman occupation, but the deposits lay forgotten until the 19th century. The rediscovery of iron ore in 1859 by Rowland Winn on the land of his father, Charles, resulted in the development of an iron and steel industry and rapid population growth.
Iron ore was first mined in the Scunthorpe area in July 1860. Owing to the lack of a mainline railway the ore was transferred to a wharf at Gunness (or Gunhouse), initially by cart then by a narrow gauge railway, for distribution by barge or mainline rail from Keadby. Winn knew that the best way of exploiting the iron ore fields was for a rail link to be built from Keadby to Barnetby. He campaigned tirelessly for the link; construction work started in mid-1860 and was complete in 1864. He persuaded the Dawes brothers, to whose ironworks the ore was being supplied, to build an ironworks at the site of the iron ore fields at Scunthorpe. Construction of Scunthorpe's first ironworks, the Trent Ironworks, began in 1862, with the first cast from the blast furnace being tapped on 26 March 1864.
Other ironworks followed: building of the Frodingham Ironworks began in 1864; North Lincoln Ironworks in 1866; Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company in 1872; Appleby Ironworks blew in their first blast furnace in 1876; and the last constructed being Lysaght's Iron and Steelworks in 1911, with production starting in 1912. Crude steel had been produced at Frodingham Ironworks in 1887 but this proved not to be viable. Maxmilian Mannaburg came to Frodingham Ironworks in 1889 to help build and run the steelmaking plant and on the night of 21 March 1890 the first steel was tapped.
The town itself lies on a rich bed of iron ore and limestone – crucial in the manufacturing of steel. However, in 1981 it was decided to close all the local mines and quarries and bring in iron ore from abroad; the local ore being around 20% iron and the foreign ore being 60–70% iron. At the same time, British Steel (since sold to other manufacturers) closed all its other mining operations around the UK for the same reason. There are still many millions of tonnes of proven reserves of ore in Scunthorpe but it is cheaper to use imports for the time being.
Historically part of Lincolnshire, in 1889 the area was included in the "Parts of Lindsey" administrative county. Separate local government began in 1890 when the Scunthorpe local board of health was formed. In 1894 the local board was replaced with an urban district council. Ten years later the neighbouring townships of Bromby and Frodingham (including Crosby) were also constituted as one urban district. The two urban districts were amalgamated, along with the parish of Ashby in 1919 to form a new Scunthorpe Urban District. Scunthorpe received a charter incorporating the town as a Municipal Borough in 1936.
Local authority boundary changes brought the town into the newly organized county of Humberside in 1974, and a new non-metropolitan district, the Borough of Scunthorpe, was formed with the same boundaries as the old municipal borough. The opening of the Humber Bridge on 24 June 1981 provided a permanent link between North and South Humberside but did not secure the county's future. The county of Humberside (and Humberside County Council) was abolished on 1 April 1996 and succeeded by four unitary authorities.
The previous Humberside districts of Glanford and Scunthorpe, and that part of Boothferry District south of the northern boundaries of the parishes of Crowle, Eastoft, Luddington, Haldenby and Amcotts, now compose the unitary authority of North Lincolnshire. On amalgamation charter trustees were formed for Scunthorpe, and they continue to elect a town mayor. Scunthorpe forms an unparished area in the borough and unitary authority of North Lincolnshire.
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.