New book chronicles quirky historical facts from the borough

Author Andrew Beardmore with his new book.
Author Andrew Beardmore with his new book.

A new book has been published which celebrates the ‘quirky’ history of Lincolnshire - with several fun facts from the Boston area.

Lincolnshire: Unusual and Quirky features the county in both its conventional and bizarre history - supported by around 450 glossy photos.

The book is split into two sections - conventional Lincolnshire, which features the history of the county from the Stone Age to the 21st century, interspersed with historical ‘quirk alerts’ - and ‘quirky Lincolnshire’.

Author Andrew Beardmore said: “Lincolnshire conjures up images of fenland, windmills, and vast seas of crops and flowers, along with rolling wolds, pretty towns and villages, and the gloriously medieval city of Lincoln. However, lurking not far beneath the surface is a host of oddities and peculiarities that turn the apparently staid and conventional into something much more intriguing.”

Some of the Boston area entries include:

“Coningsby’s church clock, with a dial of 16.5ft (5m) is the largest single-handed clock in the world – while Appleby’s church clock is the smallest – as it has no face at all; it merely strikes the hour on a big bell.”

“In the 18th century, James Rheson of Benington lived in one of the local almshouses. Just before he died, he claimed he had “nowt to leave”, but did make a will leaving all of his worldly possessions to start a fund for a clock in the church tower. However, on his death, 1100 half-crowns were found in an old chest of Rheson’s – and hence the church got its clock.’

“The Quick-Thinking Vicar: Aside from Wrangle once having been a port on The Wash (but which is now three miles from the sea), did you know that many of the original 14th century stained glass windows of St Mary and St Nicholas’s church were demolished by Puritans during the English Civil War? Happily, one of them was saved thanks to the vicar having the presence of mind to remove it – and to then bury it in the vicarage garden!

Mr Beardmore added: “The book also features a ‘Shire-Ode’ - a poem told in rhyming verse which seamlessly weaves 56 Lincolnshire place names into the flow of the poem. The places are then visited alphabetically in the book as a kind of random almanac, looking at the local church, local pub, a bit of historic trivia and the ubiquitous ‘Quirk Alert’ for most places.”

The hardback book is out now, priced £19.99.