The Horncastle History & Heritage Society




In view of the current public health situation, the Horncastle History and Heritage Society announces, with regret, that all public meetings are cancelled until further notice.

The Society's Archives at Watson's Yard, Horncastle, are also now closed until further notice.


Virtual Exhibition of Horncastle in Wartime

Horncastle in WartimeWhen the town’s VE Day anniversary celebrations had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, we knew we couldn’t let the day go by unmarked. So our volunteers decided to collect memories, objects, and photos from the community about the town in wartime and on VE Day itself.

The virtual exhibition shares stories of how Horncastle celebrated VE Day, memories of soldiers stationed here, the air raids on the town, the home front, war in the countryside, and the long road to postwar recovery.

Thanks to memoirs donated by their families, we have also been able to uncover fascinating first hand accounts of some of Horncastle's soldiers during the conflict.

You will also find a virtual roll of honour where we are collecting information on the lives of the men named on the town's war memorial. If you have photos or further information you'd like to share, please get in touch.


Watson's Yard Open DayWatson's Yard Plans Revealed at Open Day

We'll be revealing our arts & heritage centre plans on Saturday 15th February with a special open day from 10am-2pm. Please come along and tell us what you think!

There will be refreshments, archive displays, and information on the history of the building which started life in the 1780s as Horncastle's first infant school.

There will also be a drop-in print making art activity led by local artist Joanna Pass from Horncastle Art Group, plus a chance to try out some of the latest digital heritage technology with volunteers from Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding.

Grant Funds Plans for New Heritage Centre at Watson's Yard

Watson's Yard

The Society is delighted to have been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop plans for a new heritage centre in Horncastle. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project hopes to secure the future of the Society's archive and the old school in Watson's Yard where it is currently based.

The funding will allow our volunteers to access the expert advice they need to carry out a feasibility study on converting the building into a community arts and heritage centre. To do this the Society will be working in partnership with local charity Heritage Lincolnshire, who have successfully restored old buildings across the county, including what are now the Trinity Centre, Bridge Cafe and Joseph Banks Centre here in Horncastle.

The Society' Chairman Ian Marshman said: "We are delighted to receive this grant made possible by National Lottery players, which will enable us to work with experts and the community to shape plans for a new arts & heritage centre for Horncastle. We want to create a community facility that will share the town's rich history with visitors, and that benefits local people with a flexible space for talks, workshops and temporary exhibitions.”

We want your views to help shape plans for the heritage centre. There's a short survey here where you can share your ideas:

To find out more about the project and our collection visit our Archives page.

Help Save Horncastle's Roman Wall - Sponsor a Stone

Horncastle's Roman WallThe Society is working in partnership with the Horncastle & District Community Association to preserve the Roman Wall around the Community Centre and St Mary's Square.

This includes one of the most publicly visible sections off Manor House Street as well as the longest and the highest (over 8ft!) sections of the wall to have survived. Both are Grade I Listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and have been at risk for many years.

In December 2018 we submitted a bid to Historic England, which if successful will cover 90% of the £100,000 cost of the specialist work needed to save the wall.

However, in order for this public money to be invested in Horncastle's heritage we need to show that we can raise £10,000 in match funding. It is hoped that several grant giving bodies may also contribute, but everyone can help by sponsoring a stone for just £10.

We would like to thank all of our members and supporters from the town and beyond who have already helped us raise over £1,000.

To sponsor a stone all you need to do is download and return a sponsorship form with a cheque, or you can now donate online using our page on JustGiving.

PDF DownloadDownload Sponsorship Form
Click to download -- Sponsor a Stone Form

The names of all the donors will be included on a special plaque at the Community Centre. Although donors are of course welcome to remain anonymous.

To find out more about the Roman Wall why not visit our Roman Horncastle page. You can also find more information on this and the Society's other initiatives on our local projects page.



The achievements of Annie Dixon have at long last been recognised in her home town of Horncastle by the erection of a blue plaque on her family home at 40 East Street. To find out more about this remarkable woman who became the foremost miniature protrait artist of her day, despite fierce competition for the emerging media of photography, follow this link or visit our archive centre at Watson's Yard for full details of her life and artistic output.


The Horncastle History & Heritage Society
Founded in 1966 as the Horncastle Civic Society - an independent and non-political body dedicated to safeguarding and preserving the rich heritage of our ancient market town. We act as a leading voice in the development and growth of the Town.
The Society endeavours to highlight the heritage of the Town whilst promoting places of interest and activities in Horncastle to generate local pride and community spirit allied with an expanding tourist trade.

Society Meetings

Meetings are held every two months at the Admiral Rodney Hotel, North Street, Horncastle

A speaker is generally invited to most meetings, whilst the ordinary meetings give Members an opportunity to contribute to the business of the Society.

Non-members are very welcome to attend to see if this is the kind of group they wish to get involved with.

See 'About Us' for details of the next meetings.


( with the odd gold coin thrown in)



Note: This meeting will be at the The Admiral Rodney at 7.30pm



Working for the town

Protecting and Enhancing

Working with the Town and District Councils on planning and conservation issues, to protect Horncastle's historic environment but also trying to make it an even more pleasant and interesting place to live and work.

Informing and Learning

We love to discover more about our town. Its history going back to Roman times and before and the influences of the railways and canals on its prosperity and the effect of the huge horsefairs on its social evolvement. We invite you to share it all with us.

Preserving our history  

The Society's archive centre at Watson's Infant School, West Street contains lots of information about the town.  It has a large photograph, books, manuscript & DVD collection.

Horncastle History on DVD available again

The DVD 'Horncastle Yesterday and Today' first produced in 2006 as a follow up to the 'Now & Then' book is again on sale at Perkins Newsagents and the Sir Joseph Banks' Centre for £9.99.
A must for anyone interested in the town's history.