History

Caistor grew out of a stronghold of the Romans, itself succeeding a hill fort of the early Britons who called it Caer-Egarry. The Roman camp was encircled by a massive wall, of which fragments remain. It was a site of trade and was recorded as a Royal Mint from 970 to 1042.

Built of golden stone, the Church of St Peter & St Paul retains something of Saxon and Norman times and some medieval building. Nearby is the original Grammar School building built from an endowment in 1630, which has seen many famous pupils such as the distinguished poet Sir Henry Newboult through its doors.

Caistor was involved in the 1536 Lincolnshire Rising and in 1590 burials due to the plague grew from 13 to 36. A disastrous fire in 1681 destroyed the town square, causing several deaths and making 45 families homeless. The Sessions House of 1662 was the sole survivor. The rebuilding of the square in brick in place of wood, in the 18th and 19th centuries gives us the present town centre. The Lion Pump was erected in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Caistor traders thrived in 19th century, with sheep, cattle and horse fairs taking place in the town. The 1858 sheep fair was the largest in England at the time.

The House of Industry was built in 1800, becoming the Caistor Union Workhouse from 1836 to 1937 and finally Caistor Hospital until its closure in 1990.

The population grew to 2166 in 1851 and various trades were carried out: craftsmen making chairs, clocks and candles to thriving inns and hotels. New Methodist and Congregational churches were built. In 1818 a savings bank opened and the fire engine was installed in 1869. Gas arrived in 1856, prompting the Lincolnshire Chronicle to write that it was “A city on a hill whose light cannot be hid.”

Schools were developed which led to the first joint Church of England and Methodist Primary School.

The railway never came to Caistor and a canal begun in 1793 was not used after 1855 and was officially abandoned in 1936.

The next century saw the building of a bypass in 1938 and involvement in the Second World War with RAF Caistor opening in 1940. Another secondary school, Caistor Yarborough,was built, the grammar school enlarged and today they form part of the first class educational facilities in the town.

In the 1950’s Irish people who had come to the town originally for agricultural and mining work built their own Catholic church and today they form an important part of a diverse community who continue to influence the history and development of Caistor.