The ancient origins of Skellingthorpe are evidenced by outlines of medieval fishponds on the Manor Farm Field.
Henry Stone was Lord of the Manor who, without heir, bequeathed it in 1693 to Christ’s Hospital London. His Arms appear on the Stone Arms which in the late 1700’s was flooded to a depth of 6 feet. The Stone Arms is thought to have originated as a coffee house.
Christ’s Hospital acquired large areas of land during the time of the enclosure and their crest can be seen on the wall of St Lawrence’s School.
Stoney Yard is part of the early village where the blacksmith and undertaker resided. On the corner is the old Village Hall which was built in 1928 for the Women’s Institute but is now used by the village Scout Group.
The Plough is believed to have been the local beer house.
To the east of the village lies a decoy farm one of about 40 that existed in the Fens during the 18th century. Pipes were laid, down which wild duck were led by tame decoy ducks and driven into nets by terriers. Skellingthorpe duck is reputed to have been a delicacy. Consideration is given to this important historical site which is listed as the Duck Decoy ancient monument.
Traditional buildings include the 19th Century estate workers Stone Cottages whilst the Hall and Manor House represent more stately architectural styles. The Hall dates back to the 19th Century and the Georgian Manor House was built in 1811. (There was an earlier Manor House)
The School House was built in 1856 and the old school and the old vicarage were built the following year along with a series of cottages that were built during the following decade. The School House provided accommodation for the local headmaster until 1970 when it was converted into a private house.
St Lawrence’s Church was ravaged by fire in 1916 and was extensively rebuilt. The glazed fleche on the roof of the Church gives a clue to recent changes with the pillars of the nave having been removed to give an open floor area to enable multi-use.
Jessops Cottage in Green Lane may once have been a school and is thought to be the oldest cottage in the village.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster represents the many squadrons located in the county during World War 2 and the history of the village is closely connected with the building of RAF Skellingthorpe in the Second World War which was home to the No’s. 50/61 Squadrons. There is still evidence of the former airfield with dispersal bays still in existence near Birchwood. The Heritage Centre at the Community Centre celebrates that connection and houses drawings, maps and display boards detailing Skellingthorpe Airfield history. An Annual Memorial Service is held in June to commemorate those who served at Skellingthorpe.
The 50/61 Squadron Visitors Book and Roll of Honour is kept in the Village Office and is available for viewing by appointment only.
The old railway line closed completely in February 1980 and has now become part of the Sustrans national cycle path network and is regularly used by commuters and leisure cyclists.
Passenger and goods traffic opened in Skellingthorpe in 1896 with the station closing in September 1955.
The Community Centre, Village Office and Youth Centre are built on the site of the original railway station along with the former weighbridge office which is now used as the Heritage Centre.