Home History
History of Burton Pedwardine PDF Print E-mail

Burton Pedwardine (sometimes incorrectly spelt Burton Penwardine) can trace its history back to before the Norman Conquest. The place-name Burton (or Burtun) is generally understood to mean “the ton next to the borough“, a fortification that hints at the villages pre-Conquest role as a subordinate element in a large multiple estate which was probably based upon Sleaford and/or Kirkby La Thorpe.

Sometime before the Norman Conquest, two carucates of land (a carucate being a Domesday Book measurement equivalent to 120 acres (490,000 m²) based on the area a plough team could till in a year), together with the right to receive the fines and forfeitures of the court in Helpringham, were attached to the manor of Folkingham. Throughout the Middle Ages the land changed hands but remained a subordinate element in manors located ouside of the village.

The remaining ten carucates, along with sokeland (land from which services were rendered) in Heckington and Aswarby, constituted a manor which was held by Aethelstan, an official of King William I who held extensive estates in Kesteven and Holland. By 1086 the whole of his ‘fee’ was held by Guy de Craon, and he retained Burton as a feudal village.

In the Domesday Book, some interesting characters were listed as residents of the village!

Eskil the priest
Gilbert de Ghent
Hugh fitzBaldric
Ralph the priest
Waldin the Breton

Source: Folio 367v Great Domesday Book, The National Archives

In the twelfth century some two and half carucates were granted to various religious houses, and four bovates (one eighth of a carucate) were let to a sub-tenant for one ninth of a knight’s fee (about £2). Most of the estate, however, was retained in the hands of the principal lord, and the manor seems to have functioned as the centre of the honour of Craon in South Lincolnshire.

By 1276 Burton was held by Walter Pedwardine, who came here from the borders area of Herefordshire and Shropshire where the nearby Pedwardine Hill rises over 1,000ft above sea level. Pedwardine is mentioned in the Shropshire Domesday, and papers relating to the Pedwardine manor are in the British Library and National Library of Wales. His descendents retained their main residence in the village until the early fifteenth century.

Roger was the last Pedwardine to hold the manor of Burton Pedwardine and died in 1468. A chantry (a private chapel) was founded in the parish church in which the lords of the manor were buried. The manor was alienated in c.1450, and passed to Thomas Daniel and in 1464 to William Hussey who did not live in the village, although the parish was known as Hussey around that time.

Mareham Grange was reabsorbed into the estate in 1552 with the purchase of the manor by Sir Thomas Horsman, and the estate descended almost intact into the twentieth century.

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Burton Pedwardine thus:

BURTON-PEDWARDINE, a parish in Sleaford district, Lincoln; 2 miles SW of Heckington r. station, and 4½ SE of Sleaford. Post Town, Heckington, under Sleaford. Acres, 2,580. Real property, £2,427. Pop., 135. Houses, 26. The property is divided among a few. The manor was given by the Conqueror to Alan de Craon; and passed to the Pedwardines. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £339.* Patron, H. Handley, Esq. The church is partly ancient, partly of the year 1802. There is a national school of 1860.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th Century, Burton Pedwardine was a prosperous village, as the Fens of East Anglia were turned into fertile farmland by the expanding drainage schemes. The residents were primarily labourers, agricultural workers and servants. The Sleaford Brick Co Ltd had works at the western edge of the Parish until 1922 and the original Manager’s house, plus one of the houses built for employees of the brick works, still exist today. The clay pits that served the brick works are long disused but are still clearly visible from White Cross Lane.

There were at least two Public Houses at one time (both the King’s Arms (closed by the brewery on 1st May 1958) and the FlowerPot still exist today as private houses) but as the rural agricultural economy, on which much of Lincolnshire still relies today, declined so did the village. By 1925, the population growth began to slow and entered a period of decline following World War II. Today, Burton Pedwardine is a small hamlet, although St. Andrew’s Church depicts Burton’s historical prosperity.

(c) Burton Pedwardine Parish Meeting 2006-9