A brief history of Cherry Willingham. Further information can be obtain from http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/cherrywillinghamheritage/
Cherry Willingham is 3 miles east of Lincoln built on the northern acclivity of the vale of the Witham. The names means "Homestead of the Willas people, where the Cherries grow"
The village has spread outwards from the original settlement behind the Church, where Iron Age remains have been found. During the Anglo Saxon period 6th -11th century there used to be a series of long narrow medieval fishponds running east to west just below the church one of which is still in existance on the Ladymeer Estate. A Roman villa was discovered just above the flood plain of the Witham.
The village was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
"There we find in the lands belonging to Gilbert de Gaunt was ULFT, with 14 bovates of land, and land for as many oxen. Gilbert had 2 ploughs. There are 12 villagers and a freeman, a church and a priest, 2 ponds or fisheries, and 40 acres of meadow."
From the 12th to the early 15th century the lands were held by the Marmian family.
It was purchased from Lord Avelard in the 18th century by Thomas Becke, a notable Lincolnshire lawyer and he enclosed the estate and put most of the land to grass. In 1753 through his auspices our church of Saint Peter & St Paul was built and he is remembered by a large marble archway shaped tomb. The crest above reads:
"Here repose the remains of Thomas Beck of Lincoln esq. the founder and Patron of this church whose experienced abilities in the profession of the law and unparelled industry enabled him to aquire a fortune without the sordid means of avaricious parsimony in times to whose extravagance few patrimoys sufficed. Who had so much endeared himself to his intimates by his meritorious conduct in the several relations of Husband, Father and Friend that his death at an age to which temperance alone can extend vitality seemed to them as immature as it was sudden. He was born 29th March 1690 and dyed 19th October 1757".
John Becke esq. erected this monument in pious veneration to the memory of his father.
"John Becke only son of the said Thomas Becke died 17th December 1765 aged 51yrs".
This monument was repaired and additions made to it by Henry Hutton esq. and Mary Judith his wife Great Grand Daughter of the said Thomas Becke AD 1799.
For more extracts from the Churchyard please see Ancestry of Cherry Willingham.
The Church is built of high quality Ancaster limestone and stands on a commanding mound. At the foot of which is the spring line, a problem is some gardens but at one time the water was famous for the care of weak eyes.
By 1801 the village had sixteen houses some of which are still standing today and can be viewed via the picture gallery. Over the next forty year to the 1841 the growth rate was slow with nineteen houses being recorded in the census but this had increased to thirtyseven by 1861. By 1921 forty four houses and 188 inhabitants was the count. 129 houses were recorded in 1952 with a population of 445. This had risen to a population of 2827 in 1981. We now have over 3000 inhabitants and still growing, largely as a commuter village for Lincoln.
The first school open on November 13th 1877 with Miss Amy Fowler being appointed as the head teacher at a salery of £50 per annum but she did have a furnished cottage with the job. This was just next door at 20 High Street. The school started with 58 fee paying pupils but this increased in 1891 when all elementary education became free.
Nowadays the village has two new schools a Primary and a Secondary with nearly a thousand pupils on the registers.
Many artifacts have been found at various sites in the village including flints & pottery in 2002, medieval tile & wooden stake 2005 and a sword in 2010