Place:Twenty, Lincolnshire, England


Coordinates52.772°N 0.289°W
Located inLincolnshire, England

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Twenty hamlet in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated approximately east from the market town of Bourne, and west from Spalding. Agriculture is the major industry.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


According to a Peterborough monk's de Gestis Herwardi Saxonis, Bourne was the boyhood home of Hereward the Wake. With one or two exceptions, such as where two historical revolts are reported as one, the account can be verified to a surprising degree of probability by comparison with reports from other sources and by correlation of the account's geography with the likely reality in the English Fens and the southern Netherlands.

When he found that he might lose his inheritance, Hereward used the local terrain, fen and forest, to engage in a vigorous resistance to the Norman conquest. In the same year that Twenty's railway station opened (1866), the novelist Charles Kingsley published his romance Hereward, the Last of the English, in which he describes the Fens as he thought they had been in around 1070. His tale was a rewriting of the Peterborough monk's account, according to the taste of the 1860s. The Fens in general, though not around Twenty in particular, are also described in several modern novels, some of them about Hereward.

In 1138, Bourne was divided into two manors on the foundation of Bourne Abbey, (charter 1138). Some of the fenland, east of Bourne town, appears to have been allocated to each. The initial endowment of the abbey was made by Baldwin Fitzgilbert de Clare and his wife, but later legacies accumulated during the 12th, 13th and later centuries, though the abbey was never very wealthy. Possibly the Twenty area was acquired under the Abbott David from 1156, as fisheries in the 'Bourne marsh', though the connection of this with the site of the future Twenty is speculative. Limited information on how the Bourne fens were reclaimed in the period before 1630 is known. The abbey was governed by the Arrouaisian Rule, which had been derived from the Augustinian. The distinction became progressively less discernible over the years.

17th century

The Twenty Foot Drain was a main part of Robert Bertie, Earl of Lindsey's drainage scheme, declared complete in 1638 and undone from 1642 onward, during the First English Civil War (1642–46). The Earl died at Edge Hill (23 October 1642). The imposition of the Lindsey level is typical of the many local grievances which led to that war. The fenmen had their way until the 1765 Act of Parliament set the Black Sluice scheme into being. The drain was incorporated into this as a less important feature and persisted into the 20th century, though the length at Twenty is now filled in. Its name appears as "Old Twenty Foot Drain" alongside Twenty Drove, in plans in the Exeter Estate book of 1826/27.

In the Lindsey Level system, the Twenty Foot drain ran from south of the site of Twenty station, two degrees west of north to Dowsby Fen. There, it swept eastwards to drain to the estuary of the River Welland, nowadays at , by way of Gosberton High Fen, Risegate Eau and Bicker Haven. Its course can still easily be traced upstream from the former Dowsby Cross (which stood on the B1397 road where its line crosses the South Forty Foot Drain at but it is not marked on modern maps), its course in the modern drainage pattern, is now fragmented.

19th and 20th centuries

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) production was first commercially developed in France, in response to the effect of the blockades on imports from the West Indies during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars with Britain and other countries. Later, beet was raised in the reclaimed fenland east of Bourne, after trials elsewhere in England had proved unsuccessful. Although Britain's ravenous demand for sugar was mostly met by European beet and West Indian cane sugar imports until shortly after 1900, the successful sugar beet production in areas such as that around Twenty just met the nation's sugar requirements during the First and Second World Wars.

Twenty had a railway station from 1866 until its closure in 1959 when a large part of the local railway system was closed. The station's main apparent use was the removal to market of the produce of the black, humic soil which lay between Twenty and Bourne, as well as the less perishable products of the silt land.

The building style of the now demolished Twenty Farm made it appear to have been built just before the railway station opened. The 1892 Ordnance Survey shows that very little other domestic building had been added to the hamlet after 25 years. The remarkable feature is the administrative nature of the new buildings. To the farm and railway station had been added the police station and school and that was virtually all.

Twenty Foot Drain

The derivation of the name of Twenty has been much speculated about but it seems fairly clear that it arose from its position where, in the mid-19th century, the North Fen Drove crossed the 17th-century Twenty Foot Drain. By that stage, the road gave passage through to Spalding and had been turnpiked.

Roads and boundaries

It is probably unlikely that the A151 was a Roman road as during their times this area was either completely under water or at the very least a watery fen. More likely that the A151 was built during the drainage period or during enclosure of the local land. The Roman boundary was probably formed by the Car Dyke at a time when early land reclamation was in progress. Further land would have been claimed during the Saxon and medieval periods until the main land drainage schemes of the 17th century.

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