History of South Witham village

South Witham is a village just west of the A1 (Great North Road/Ermine Street) midway between Stamford and Grantham. Earliest evidence of occupation was found in 1896, when workmen on the railway found Bronze Age burials and a roundhouse. 24 Roman burials and a stone coffin were discovered in the quarry with a temple and well.

South witham map

The name is derived from Anglo-Saxon, Withig a Willow and Ham a village. Saxon pottery was discovered on Fishpond Lane. 

South Witham is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Wimme. In the 12th to 14th Century the Knights Templars had a preceptory just outside the village

South witham kt

In 1539 there was a regular stage between Berwick and London with ‘Witham’ as a stop. When Mary Queen of Scots was held captive at Tutbury Castle (1584), Sir Ralph Sadler, her gaoler, sent letters to the Royal Court via South Witham. From

1633 to 1752 South Witham was a Post village and its name was recorded as Post Witham (Wytham)

Letter

Photo by SWAG

Letter

4th October 1811 a bare-knuckle fight was held at the meeting of 3 counties at the west edge of the parish between Tom Cribb, champion of England, and Tom Molineaux from Baltimore. It was estimated that 20,000 people attended. 

The railways came to the village from 1893-1964 with a line from Saxby to Bourne. This led to ironstone mining and limestone quarrying in the area. In WWII RAF South Witham opened at Morkery Wood, being the largest bomb dump in the country, (1942-56) with the railway station as the transport hub. Incendiaries were stored on Moor Lane.

The earliest record of a School is 1841, with the present one opening in 1880

South witham school

There are two Public Houses in the village, the Angel and the Blue Cow. The Angel may be named due to its proximity to the church, but Templar Inns were often given this name, as in the Angel and Royal at Grantham. The Blue Cow on the High Street was named c1800 being owned by Buckminster and all their property had blue in the name.

The Angel Inn

Angel inn

The Blue Cow

The blue cow