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Early map of Folkingham, probably produced c.1700 for Richard Wynn

This is the earliest surviving map of Folkingham and was probably produced for the first Richard Wynn, who was a lawyer and someone who was probably keen to document his estates. Source: Folkingham History Group.

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1. Giustiniana Wynne (1737-1791). 2. Elizabeth Wynne (1778-1857)




The manor of Folkingham was disposed of by Edward Clinton, 5th Earl of Lincoln in 1691 and the buyer was Richard Wynn (1656-1719), a prosperous gentleman of the Inner Temple, son of a London merchant and alderman. His main residence was a town house in Charterhouse Yard, which was redeveloped by wealthy families in the classical taste between 1688 and 1705. His family had its roots in the powerful Welsh Wynn dynasty, centred on Gwydir Castle in Snowdonia, which had Roman Catholic associations.

The second Richard Wynne (an ‘e’ was added to the surname sometime in the eighteenth century) seems to have little to do with Folkingham. He left England after the death of his first wife, Susanna and eventually arrived in Venice where he was introduced by his gondolier to Anna Gazini, a striking twenty-two-year-old Venetian from Lefkos, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. Anna became Sir Richard’s lover and two years later, she gave birth to a baby girl who was baptized Giustiniana Francesca Antonia Wynne on 26th January 1737 in the Church of San Marcuola. Richard married Anna in 1739 and legalized Giustiniana’s status six years later. Anna gave birth to two more daughters and their first son, Richard, was born in 1744, followed by William in 1745.

Richard Wynne II died in 1751, and the Folkingham estate passed to Giustiniana’s brother, Richard William Wynne, who was born in Venice in 1744. He seems to have shared his father’s love of continental life and followed the Roman Catholic faith he was brought up with. It seems that during the 1770s Richard settled in Folkingham at the Manor House for a period dedicated to family life and his second daughter with Camille, Elizabeth (known as Betsey), was born in Folkingham 1778. She is now known for the diary she kept, which is an invaluable source of contemporary historical and personal comment in forty one manuscript volumes. The Wynne Diaries were published by Anne Fremantle in 1930s and cover a period from 1789 to 1857. They provide an illuminating insight into a well-connected English family in Europe.

Mounting debts, exacerbated by an extravagant lifestyle, eventually forced the sale of the Folkingham estate in 1788.

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1. The Greyhound - view of rear before later alterations.
Source: Historic England Archive, 1981.

2. Dick Turpin’s Room at The Greyhound.

3. Late seventeenth-century staircase, The Greyhound.

4. Greyhound House and Cottage.



The earliest reference to The Greyhound is in 1611, but it is highly probable that the inn existed prior to this, as we have explored in the Late Medieval section. Evidence of mid-seventeeth-century fabric survives in the southern block of the western range.

A walk around the back of The Greyhound is a surprise as it reveals the rear ranges of a substantial late seventeenth-century inn, whose form has the feel of a period manor house. This impression is accentuated by the use of local iron-rich rubblestone, combined with high-status Collyweston stone slates and tall chimney stacks. It represents a significant investment and shows that The Greyhound was sizeable inn well before the Heathcotes remodelled it a century later.

This substantial remodelling of the inn was probably done by its new owner, Richard Wynn. Architectural clues support this attribution. Rebuilding The Greyhound in this period made commercial sense. Richard Wynn would have been familiar with the new turnpikes which were improving travel conditions on the Great North Road in Huntingdonshire. These were paving the way for an emerging coaching trade, which would rapidly develop through the first half of the eighteenth century. Folkingham was in a convenient location for a coaching inn, being situated almost mid-way between Lincoln and Peterborough, and roughly a day’s ride from each.

The Greyhound  had its own farm of some three hundred and ten acres, its land located to the east of the main road south of the town, which supplied the inn with produce, while also generating supplementary income.

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1. Spring Farmhouse, Spring Lane, dated 1693.

2. Estate farmhouse of c.1700, Sleaford Road.
Source: Estate Sale Catalogue, 1920.


Only a few pre-eighteenth-century buildings still survive in Folkingham and this probably has much to do with the strategic modernisation of the town by the Heathcote estate in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Older dilapidated buildings were swept away, while ones which were still serviceable were subjected to improvement.

Two buildings to survive intact are both estate farm houses, and it is suggested that these formed part of the same redevelopment project as The Greyhound, all undertaken by Richard Wynn in the first decade of his ownership of the manor. Spring Farmhouse on Spring Lane (named after Pearson’s spring which was the main source of water for the town) has a date stone inscribed ‘E.I.M. 1693’ (presumably a tenant farmer) set into the front wall and it is constructed from the same coarse local limestone rubble with grey ashlar limestone quoins and dressings as can be seen at The Greyhound and Greyhound House.


Low Farm at the end of Spring Lane dates from c.1700 and displays the same building characteristics, from its materials and window architraves to the central chimney stack, baffle entry, inglenook fireplaces and T-shaped plan. Another farmhouse, which formed the conclusion of this project, was situated to the north of Sleaford Road. This one must have been slightly later in date, for it had a classical five-bay form - it was demolished c.1970.


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1. The Green Man public house, Market Place.


2. Five Bells public house, Market Place.


There is evidence of public houses in the seventeenth century, but in the eighteenth century we can begin to pinpoint their locations. The largest establishment was The Five Bells, at no. 28 Market Place, situated on the east side of Market Place on the corner of Tannery Lane. This was a popular coaching and carrier hostelry and was in existence in 1783 when Thomas Winterberry was the landlord. It got its name from the number of bells in the church at this period (there are now six). It occupied a seventeenth-century building, which was later remodeled.

One the opposite side of the Market Place stood the Green Man, at nos. 29-31. This hostelry occupied an old vernacular thatched building which was one of the few older structures to escape demolition, or alteration, in the first wave of improvements by the Heathcote estate. It is likely, given its name, that this was a well-established ale house by the time Thomas Cropley was recorded as landlord here in 1794. It was demolished in 1868 to make way for two red-brick houses which were erected the following year.

The other public house in the Market Place was The Sun at no. 13, located on the west side at one of the steepest parts of the hill, with a rear yard which could be accessed from Chapel Lane. Charles Seward was recorded as the landlord in 1794 and it is possible that the hostelry evolved from The Ironmonger Arms, given that it later had metal-working associations.



Folkingham got its first grammar school in 1714, when the Rev. Richard Brocklesby provided funds to establish an institution providing free education for boys whose parents received parochial aid. Brocklesby was among the clergy who refused to swear allegiance to William III after the Glorious Revolution. The school room was located across the western part of the church, occupying the aisles and base of the tower and was divided from it by ‘mean boarding’. A flue for the fireplace can be seen on the exterior south wall. It received extra funds in 1716 from Peter Richier, M.D., of the bail of Lincoln, and Mary his wife, but Creasey (1825) states it was 'not liberally endowed'. The Rev. Isaac Cookson, Vicar of Osbournby, Helpringham and Walcot, was the Master later in the century, his death in 1784 being recorded on a slate memorial.





The l690s brought change to all parts of Britain following the engineered coup of William and Mary to the English throne. In Folkingham, the Clintons sold off their interests to pay mounting debts and the manor was bought by Richard Wynn, a London lawyer who later became MP for Boston. He seems to have undertaken some measures to improve the town, with the rebuilding of The Greyhound and several estate farms. But this impetus was not continued by subsequent generations. The second Richard Wynne decamped to Italy and the third ended up in debts which forced the eventual sale of the manor in 1788.

James Creasey, writing in 1825, paints a picture of dereliction in the early Georgian town: ‘At the former period it consisted of little else than a mass of irregularly built and dirty looking thatched cottages; even the Inn itself was but a miserable hovel, compared with the present elegant structure. In the middle of the market-place was a large pond, on each side of which were usually laid enormous piles of timber. Nearly opposite the Green Man public house, stood the Market-cross, Butchery, and Town-hall, which seemed to have been erected at a period when elegancy and conveniency received little or no attention. On the opposite side of the market-place stood the House of Correction. Added to the above, the market-place contained two wells from which the inhabitants obtained their usual supply of water.’

However, Creasey’s account should be viewed with a degree of caution. Folkingham was on the network of roads served by the developing coaching and carrier trades, with routes stretching north to Lincoln, Horncastle and Louth and south to Peterborough and London. As we will see The Greyhound inn became a substantial coaching inn before the Heathcote remodeling, hardly according with the derogatory term ‘hovel’.

It was under the Wynnes that the first maps of the town appeared, which allow us to see the extent of the settlement and buildings and property tenure/ownership within it. The first of these appears to have been created at the beginning of their ownership, with the the second at the end.

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1. Slate memorial to George and Ann Sutton, late 1740s, St Andrew’s Church.


2. Place name variant, Falkingham Workhouse, 1813.


On entering Folkingham churchyard it is a surprise to see rows of dark grey slate memorial stones dating from the second half of the eighteenth, and first half of the nineteenth, centuries. Slate is not a local stone, so why is there such a wealth of slate memorials here? The answer is that Folkingham was home to several slate carvers who exploited the contemporary fashion for slate memorials in the Kesteven region. It was a trend which had began in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, where there were indiginous sources of slate, such as at Swithland.

John Watson of Folkingham (died c.1790), was a slate carver influenced by the Midlands style, producing headstones with clear lettering, lack of ornament, and plain classical surrounds. Six stones at Folkingham can be attributed to Richard Casswell, who was born in 1746 in Rippingale and was producing his main output through the 1780s. Simon and Thomas Wing were two brothers who worked at Folkingham from the late eighteenth century producing slate headstones of varying quality.


In the Georgian period and through the nineteenth century, the town had an alternative spelling of Falkingham. The first known instance of the use of the ‘a’ in the town’s spelling is from the distance chart of c.1643 where it is called both Folkingham and Falkingham. It must be recognised that place name spellings in this period were prone to variations and mis-spellings - Grimsby is called ‘Grymsbye’. Another early instance is a trade token of 1669. It seems that it was only during the latter half of the eighteenth century did the trend really become established, as corroborated by Creasey saying it was a ‘modern innovation’.

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