The Town

A Brief History

A brief history of the town

The small Lincolnshire town of Burgh-le-Marsh is surrounded by what was once marshland. The earliest settlement may have been named ‘Burgh-in-the-Marsh’, which became Burgh-le-Marsh under Norman and French influence.

Its origins can be traced back to at least the Roman period. A Roman road from the north west passes through the town and out toward Skegness. This would have been a useful route for those stationed at the Roman Fort, which once occupied the same site as the modern town.

Burgh-le-Marsh was granted a charter in 1401. This meant it could hold markets on specific days of the week and other, rival market towns were prohibited from holding their markets on the same days. Customers were often discerning, carefully choosing which markets to patronise and therefore creating fierce competition between market towns. Successful towns would see their prosperity increase. Churches were often built or enhanced to express local wealth, particularly during the medieval period. Around the turn of the sixteenth century, Burgh-le-Marsh would see the construction of its magnificent parish church, St Peter and St Paul’s, which would replace an earlier parish church dedicated to St Mary, now lost.

During the nineteenth century, many important buildings were constructed in the town. These included Dobson’s Mill (1813 -1844); Hanson’s Mill (1855); Burgh Hall (1844); Police Station (1845; closed in the 1960s); railway station (1845. This was actually constructed two miles away at Gunby. It closed in 1970); gasworks (1858); and school (1868). This school would, in 1878, become St Paul’s Missionary College, which educated and sent men all around the world until its closure in 1936.

Today, Burgh-le-Marsh is a thriving rural town, with shops, pubs and restaurants. But it has not forgotten about its history and heritage. The collective memory of the town is embodied in every brick and stone, every story shared and every life remembered.