In the beginning…..
Barkston: (sometimes known as Barkston le Willows) is in the heart of Lincolnshire, on the A607 about 4 miles north east of Grantham. The village is mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086 under the name of Barchestune. There is reference to a Norman camp and the existence of 4 mills in the area. The village Church of St. Nicholas occupies the site of previous Church buildings dating back 700 years. It was later rebuilt in the Gothic style. The village name derives from Old English and Old Scandinavian in ‘Barkr’ and ‘tun’ – the farmstead of a man called ‘Barkr’. There are some almshouses – originally 6 built in 1640 and rebuilt in 1839. Arthur Jefferson, father of Stan Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy fame, is buried in the village cemetery.
Syston: the name comes from the Old English ‘sid’ and ‘stan’ which means ‘broad stone’. The village appeared in the Domesday book of 1086 as ‘Sidestan’. Syston Hall is a seat of the Thorold family, the other being at Marston.