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founder of the abbey. Another is acknowledged to be St. Guthlac, the saint of the fen country, by a whip placed in his right hand, emblematic of the discipline he used to bestow on himself. The whole front is in a very ruinous condition *. At the west end of the north aile is a tower crowned by a low spire; and some part of the wall, and piers of the arches, belonging to the south aile, are yet standing. In a canopied niche, in the wall of the tower, belonging to the north aile, is a curious circular stone-font; which, from its form, appears to be very ancient; and probably belonged to a baptistery of the abbey in the Saxon period. The nave and ailes are said, by some writers, to have been executed by William de Croyland, “Master of the Works,” in the time of Abbot Upton, between the years 1417 and 1427. Next to these venerable ruins, the triangular bridge, in the middle of the town, may be regarded as an object of “the greatest curiosity in Britain, if not in Europet.” The singularity of its shape has induced some persons to suppose, that it was emblematic of the Trinity; and built rather for the purpose of exciting admiration, than for real utility; and its steep ascent on all sides has been adduced as supporting such a suggestion. From this circumstance, carriages generally go under it; but it is easily passed by horse and foot passengerst. The form it assumes, and the steepness of its approach, both arise from the situation in which it is placed. The rivers Welland, Nene, and a drain called Cat- 3 B 3 Water
* Figures of these statues, as they appeared in the year 1780, are engraved in Carter's “Specimens of ancient sculpture, now remaining in this kingdom.” P. 4.
+ Gough's History of Croyland Abbey.
# There is a bridge, which has been mentioned as similar to this, upon the road between St. Omer's and Calais, in France. It was erected about the year 1754, over a part of the road crossed by two canals, at right angles. The bridge consists of four circular arches, supported by four abutments, uniting in the centre. It is called, Pont Sans Pareil.
water flow under it, and in times of flood, had it not been consi
derably raised on the abutments, it would have been liable to be
* Observations on Croyland bridge, published in Gongh's History of Croy- land Abbey. - -
attempts to bring it back, have proved fruitless. The fair, which used to continue for twelve days, is still held on St. Bartholomew's day. By the returns under the late act, it appears, the number of houses was 229, and of inhabitants, 1,245. This village is so surrounded with fens, as to be inaccessible, except from the north and east; in which directions the road is formed by artificial banks of earth. From this singular situation, it has been compared to Venice. The inhabitants are principally occupied in grazing, attending geese, or in the business of the dairy. Many derive a livelihood from the sale of fish and wildfowl; but for the privilege of catching them they pay to the crown 300l. per annum. The granting this privilege was formerly vested in the monastery.
The manor and estates belonging to the abbey, are said to have been bounded by certain stone crosses, most of which are destroyed or down. The form, inscriptions, and appropriations of which have furnished themes for several different dissertations of antiquaries. That called St. Guthlac's, is still to be seen near Brothertoft turnpike, on the road to Spalding. It is of a square pyramidical shape, tapering upward from one foot four inches, at the base; but the top of the shaft is broken off. The alternate sides are equilateral; and one of its faces bears an illegible inscription. Governor Pownal thought it referred to the names of five brethren, left in the house when refounded by Turketyl. The first words are sufficiently distinct, “ Aio hanc petram.” And Camden thus would read the remainder, “Guthlacus dabit sibi metam.”
KESTEVEN, the third great division of the county, is bounded on the north and north-east by the river Witham, which separates it from Lindsey; on the east by the division of Holland; on the south by the river Welland; which divides it from Northamptonshire; and by parts of Nottingham, Leicester, and Rutlandshires, on the west. This district is subdivided into ten wapen3 B 4 - takes,
takes, and contains seven market towns, viz. Bour NE, CORBY, MARKET DEEPING, Folk INGHAM, GRANT HAM, SLEAFORD, and STAM For D, with 181 parishes. The features of this division are very diversified, and the soils greatly varied: the western partis fine arable, as well as grazing land, and parts of it are well wooded; more particularly the wapentake of Beltisloe. About Sleaford is a tract of fertile pastureland, sufficiently dry for sheep; and yet calculated for fattening large cattle. The variations of soil are nearly all in a longitudinal direction from north to south. The southwestern part contains some handsome seats of the nobility and gentry, and abounds with woods, particularly about Belton, Denton, and Grimsthorpe. The eastern side of the division is low and swampy, partaking of the nature of the adjacent marsh lands in the division of Holland. The south-western part was at a former period denominated a forest, as well as fen; and formed part of the possessions of Leofric Earl of Mercia, who was Lord of Brune and the adjoining marshes. In the time of King Henry the First it was enlarged and afforested by royal mandate. The extent, as described by Dugdale, “was from the bridge of East Deeping, now Market Deeping, to the church of Swaiston, on the one side; and from the bridge of Bicker, and Wragmere Stake, on the other side; which Metes divided the north parts, and the river of Welland the south; excepting the fen of Goggisland, in regard it was a sanctuary of holy church, as belonging to the abbey of Croyland. And being thus made forest, it continued so until King Henry the Third’ time, who, in the 16th year of his reign, granted unto all the abitants within the same, that it should thenceforth be disafforested".” “The men of Kesteven gave 250 marcs to have the king's charter, for deforesting this of Kesteven according to the boundaries contained in that charterf.” This
* Dugdale's Imbanking and Draining, p. 194,195. The patent was confirmed by King Edward the Third, in the twentieth year of his reign.
, t Mag. Rot. 14. Hen. III. Linc, m, 2, 6, as quoted in Gough's Camden.
This division having been mostly inclosed, drained, and cultivated, contains much rich and valuable land.
BOOTHBY GRAFFO Wapentake, high division, contains the parishes of Boothby, Coleby, Harmston, Narenby, Skinnard, Swinethorpe Hamlet, Welbourne, Wellingore;—low division, Aubourn, Bassingham, Bontham, Carlton in Moorlands, Doddington, Eagle, Waddington, Hykeham North, Hykeham South, Norton Disney, Scarle North, Skellingthorpe, Stapleford, Swinderby, Thorp on the Hill, Thurlby, and Wisby.
Through this wapentake a Roman road passes from Lincoln to Brough, a village just without the bounds of the county, where Stukeley and Horsley endeavour to fix the ancient station of CRoCOLAN.A.
At Eagle, or EGLE, was a Commandry of knights templars, who had the manor granted them by King Stephen. It afterwards was possessed by the hospitalars; and upon their suppression, in the thirty-third year of Henry the Eighth, it was granted to Thomas Earl of Rutland, and Robert Tirwhit. In the chancel of No RTON DISNEY church is the figure of a woman, with a cross and four shields: round which is this inscription: “Ici gist Joan que fust la femme moun Gillam Disti, et file moun Sire Nicolas de Lancforte Deu eite merci de sa alme. Amen”.” - • - - - * , “In the same church is a brass plate, put up about the middle of the reign of Elizabeth, commemorating William Disney, Esq. Sheriff of London, 1532; and Richard Disney, Esq. his eldest - S011
* Gough's Sepul. Mon, Vol. I. pt. 1. Intro. cix.