Claypole Parish Plan 2021

Claypole Parish Plan 2021 Historical Context

1. There is evidence of iron age and Roman occupation in the village as evidenced by various archeological surveys during land development over the past 30 years. A range of artefacts including brooches, coins and pottery fragments have been found.

2. The village is detailed in several entries in the Domesday Book of 1086. It shows that the Manor (i.e. land) of Claypole at that time was owned by William the Conqueror’s half brother Bishop Odo of Bayeux.

3. The Domesday Book records the existence of a church and a mill in addition to the tracts of land and their ownership.

4. A Survey and Terrier of 1729 held in the Lincolnshire Archives records the ownership of land around the village. Many of the landowners names are identifiable in later Parish Church burial records and even continue to modern day Claypole families.

5. The Acts of Enclosure of 1769 formally identified owners of land that was previously held by individuals as strips of land within a meadow or field. Over the centuries many of the identified areas of land have been sold and merged to become the land map known today.

6. The Parish Church existed in the Saxon times and was probably made of wood. The church recorded in the Domesday book stood for about 150 years and was replaced by a small stone church. Over the next two centuries the church was developed in stages, by adding the nave, aisles and the tower. In the late 14th century the spire was added to the tower and a porch and nave battlements added. Many of the church features such as the porch door, the font and the pulpit are dated to 14th century and the church itself is listed in Simon Jenkins book ‘1000 Best Churches’, as being a fine example of a Lincolnshire Parish Church with a number of excellent features. In the graveyard there is the remains of a 14th century cross now used as a war memorial.

7. The Parish church graveyard is almost full and the Parish Council purchased additional adjacent land to enable burials for the foreseeable future. Recent PC funding enabled the extension of the church footpath into the new cemetery.

8. The railways (now known as the East Coast Main Line) came though the village in 1852, dividing the village from about two thirds of the land in the parish. A station and several crossings were constructed. The station opened on August 1st 1852 and was closed to passengers as part of the rationalisation of the railways on 16th September 1957 and for goods traffic in 1967. It was later demolished. Until closure there were 5 stopping trains per day starting with the milk train at 7am. Children would attend school in Newark and Grantham using the train.

9. The early twentieth century saw a range of businesses and retail premises in the village, although these are now much reduced in number. There were four public houses over the last century and now only one exists. There was an engineering works - which manufactured the bridge over the river in the centre of Lincoln by the shopping centre. There was a small manufacturing plant making concrete paving slabs and other items. Both have since been demolished and replaced by housing developments.

10. The current village store was originally a butchers where beasts were slaughtered on the premises and later became a Co-Op store for over 40 years. A succession of owners have continued to operate a general store there and it is now the such facility in the village. Hairdressers replaces a previous greengrocers. The butchers on Doddington Lane continues a business from an original butchers butchers build when Moore Close was developed on the site of a large industrial farm concern.

11. There was a flax mill in the village for over 900 years making use of the river for powering the mechanism. The mill was subsequently used for grinding corn until that ended in 1947 following a severe frost that damaged the water wheels beyond economic repair.

12. Several Claypole people have become famous over the centuries and generally been benefactors of the village during their lives.

13. The Village Hall, the school (now replaced by a modern building), a large house and refurbishment of the Parish church, as well as the funding of the nurses home in Newark are all due to the benefaction of Mr Harry Coulby. He was raised in the village and ultimately became the Chairman of the Great Lakes Shipping Company in America, owning over 60 large ships transporting timber and coal. His home in Wickliffe Ohio employed over 100 gardeners. Coulby Close is named in his honour.

14. Sir Robert Heron was Lord of the Manor and lived at nearby Stubton Hall. He was an MP for over 40 years. He established a Workhouse at Claypole from 1817 to 1838. Located by the River Witham the “House of Industry” was enlarged in 1838 to become the Newark Union Workhouse and was well regarded in being able to take care of paupers. A local farmer bought and converted the workhouse into twenty cottages in 1938 which served a useful purpose as there was an acute housing shortage. As the housing situation improved they gradually became unwanted and were demolished in 1978. Eventually the site became Gretton Close, named after Charles Gretton of Claypole.

15. Charles Gretton came from a lowly background to become a watchmaker to the King and President of the Watchmakers Guild, dying in 1731. Examples of his watches are held in the British Museum. His greatest impact on Claypole was the funding of education for children of the village for over a hundred years. Education in Claypole has been located in five sites over the centuries to accommodate changes of requirement and provision.

16. The population of Claypole, in as far as it can be deduced, remained fairly static over several centuries. The first significant change coincided with the coming of the railways. A later doubling of the population has occurred over the last forty years with the change of use of previous farmland and industrial premises into housing developments. The increase accelerated in the last twenty years as the density of housing in new developments was increased.

17. In the 1960s, a consortium of community groups successfully raised funds to create a large sports field and with additional funding constructed a Chance to Share Hall. Prior to this the land was used as a site for allotments and “ prefabs” built post war and later demolished. The Chance to Share Hall became the basis of the current Claypole School as the County Council extended the hall to become the school.

18. Anther post war housing development were the “Swedish Cottages” on Barnby Lane. These wooden constructed semidetached cottages are still in use and being updated by current owners. 19. There was a fourteenth century stone bridge crossing the River Witham on the approach to Claypole from Newark. This was replaced in the early twentieth century and later updated to its current modern form. In recent times the river has risen to almost road level in periods of prolonged rain but no significant flooding has taken place. The adjacent property Cromwell House can be traced back to the family of Oliver Cromwell who was a prominent character in the English Civil War of the seventeenth century.