STORY OF FOLKINGHAM
LINCOLNSHIRE'S LOST TOWN
‘Folkingham is one of those agreeable places that are less important than they used to be.’
The Landmark Trust
Folkingham is the forgotten town of the South Kesteven region of Lincolnshire. A former Anglo-Saxon royal borough, with strong associations with leading aristocratic familes right through to the twentieth century, Folkingham now lies isolated in the rolling Lincolnshire countryside. Its grand church still rises over the undulating landscape, a vestige of a lost medieval prosperity, when Folkingham was the seat of the influential Beaumont family and the region was blessed with a major monastic house, a preceptory of the Knights Templar and a fair of national importance.
The impression of Folkingham today is dominated by the Georgian market place, largely created through the patronage of the Heathcote family, who bought the manor in 1788. It is a total surprise for the traveller progressing north on the A15. This spacious market place, which is one of the larger market squares to survive in Lincolnshire, is a testimony to the importance of this former town. It is a reminder that once there were seven annual fairs held at Folkingham, as well as weekly markets. There was once a substantial castle, a town hall, sessions house, work house and prison and a gas works. But despite all this, and the patronage of aristocratic families, Folkingham has struggled to develop.
Folkingham remains today an unusual anomaly - a former town in the middle of nowhere, with around eight hundred inhabitants. But, let us not forget, Folkingham still has an important story to tell, one which is much more than its current status would suggest.