Horncastle in Lincolnshire

A Visitors Guide & Brief History

Situated in the heart of Lincolnshire Horncastle is a thriving market town close to Lincoln and Louth
Voted Antique Town of the Year it is packed with Antique Shops and Centres
It is also rapidly gaining a reputation for books with three secondhand bookshops
A visit is highly recommended to all - there is more information, history and links below


Good for Books

Horncastle is now one of Lincolnshire's leading venues for books
There are 3 independent Horncastle Bookshops plus stock held in the numerous antique shops
Making this an ideal place for the reader, collector or book browser to visit
For further information see
Tim Smith Books     
Good for Books

Antique Shops
There are numerous shops and centres all within easy walking distance
Once again one of the largest concentrations in Lincolnshire
An ideal base for visiting the Newark and Swinderby Antique Fairs
For an in depth guide please visit the separate site Horncastle

Accommodation & Pubs

A fine selection of pubs open all day

Hotels and B&B in and around the town center

Bookshops in Lincolnshire

Items of Historical Interest
The Roman town of Banovallum of which part of the walls remain lay on a tongue of land formed by the Rivers Waring and Bain. This still forms the central part of the town, largely rebuilt in the middle of the last century.
An interesting example of this building is the grocer's shop started by Henry Lunn, who later became famous as a travel agent. Just across the Bain is a house with an alcove high on the front in which is an urn inscribed "A Tribute to Virtue". Adornments of this kind abound, and down by the River Waring is a fine corner house with a tiny miniature cottage set on the ridge of the roof. It is called Tom Thumb's Cottage.

There are a number of fine houses, one of which near the market place was that of Sir Joseph Banks whose country house was at Revesby. Another is the 18th-century house facing you as you cross the bridge over the Bain. It used to be famous for its Horsefair, which may account for the fine building of its inns. The town was renowned for having a very large number of public houses, houses of ill repute and Inns, one of which is now a Horncastle Bookshop. The church of St Mary has a low, massive tower with a little "Candle-snuffer" beacon. It has been ruthlessly restored and has a particularly ugly chancel arch. Relics of the civil war. Many pikes hang on a wall in the south aisle, some with their hafts, others not. Also in this aisle is an elaborately painted trophy to Sir Ingram Hopton who fell "in the attempt of seizing the Arch-rebel in the bloody skirmish near Winceby" A.D. 1643. Near to the east end is a long screed sacred to the memory of the Rev. Thomas Gibson. He kept on being imprisoned and his family driven out by the then Earl of Manchester; but he came back at the restoration "at the head of several hundreds of his friends .... As his enemies never forgave his zeal to the Church and Crown so nothing but the height of Christian Charity could forgive the insults he met from them".

On the north wall is a brass of Sir Lionel Dymoke, 1519, wearing armour as the King's Champion. There is another worn brass in the floor nearby, which is supposed to represent him in his shroud. The market place is dominated by a Victorian monument 31 ft. high. A walk from there past the church down to the Waring reveals some pleasant buildings including the old school. In the opposite direction lies the old theatre now occupied by panel-beaters and paint sprayers. Near this are remnants of the Roman Wall. 


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