History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: St Andrew's church with its 14th century Easter Sepulchre
Henry Godson's Almshouses
In 1720 William Taylor established a charity to erect a row of thatched almshouses for the poor. Two of the almshouses burned down in 1833, and the remaining pair were allowed to decay. Then in 1886, Henry Godson had the 18th-century houses rebuilt at a cost of 750 pounds. The houses were left in trust for poor widows.
This iconic windmill is the only 8 sailed working windmill in England. The mill was built in 1830 for Michael Hare, but it only had 5 sails. A storm blew off the cap and sails in 1892. The mill owner at the time was John Pocklington, and rather than rebuild the mill cap and sails from scratch he found a mill in Boston that was being dismantled. He used the cap and 8 sails from the Boston mill, and reused bricks from that mill to build a new mill house that stands at the base of the mill. Heckington's 8 sailed mill ceased operation in 1946.
It was restored by the Kesteven County Council and is once more in full working order. It is now owned by the County Council and operated by a local group of volunteers. You can see wheat being ground into flour and learn how the milling process takes place. Wheat used in milling is a grown locally, within sight of the mill itself, and you can purchase bags of the finished product, both wholemeal and white flour.
St Andrew's Church
One of the finest parish churches in East Anglia, if not all of England, St Andrew's Church is a magnificent example of Decorated Gothic style. Inside and out you will find beautifully carved faces peering out from amongst tangles of stone foliage. The person most responsible for the wonderful carving was Richard de Potesgrave, who served both Edward II and Edward III as the royal chaplain.
De Potesgrave's worn effigy is set within a finely carved tomb recess, but it is the grouping of the piscina, triple sedilia, and Easter Sepulchre in the chancel that makes St Andrew's such a treasure.
The Easter Sepulchre is one of the finest 14th-century monuments in England, a marvel of the stone carver's art. Facing it is a canopied sedilia where clergy say during services. The canopy is decorated with amusing figures including a priest trying to separate a bickering husband and wife.
The Heckington Show, which usually takes place in late July, bills itself as the largest village show in England. The show features farm animals and agricultural exhibits, children's activities, road races, show jumping, heritage displays, and much more.
There is an active Heritage Trust, who have helped preserve local historic buildings and have created a Heritage Trail leaflet linking local historic sites. One of these sites is The Pearooms, a warehouse built around 1870 by the Great Western Railway in the station yard. It was later used by the famous Sharpe seed company of Sleaford as a warehouse for sorting peas.
Locally-grown peas were brought to Heckington by horse-drawn carts, while shipments from further afield came by rail. It stopped being used for sorting peas in 1961 and was later the first home of the National Centre for Craft and Design (now housed in another restored seed warehouse in Sleaford). The building was restored by a local heritage trust and now serves as private flats, and a place to exhibit local crafts and to house tourist information.
Opposite Limetree Walk on High Street is the Pinfold, a brick-walled enclosure built in the 18th century to hold stray cattle. Any stray cow found wandering about would be brought to the enclosure and the owner had to pay a fine to get it released - rather like having your car clamped today!
Our family had the pleasure of staying just outside Heckington at Star Fen for a week, and we really enjoyed exploring the area. It's only 11 miles from Boston, even closer to Sleaford, and just 9 miles to historic Tattershall Castle.
Address: Heckington, Lincolnshire, England
Attraction Type: Town
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Heckington, St Andrews Church - 0 miles (Historic Church)
Heckington Mill - 0.4 miles (Historic Building)
Helpringham, St Andrew's Church - 2.1 miles (Historic Church)
South Kyme Tower - 3.8 miles (Historic Building)
South Kyme, St Mary & All Angels Church - 3.9 miles (Historic Church)
Cogglesford Watermill - 4.4 miles (Historic Building)
Anwick Drake Stones - 4.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Sleaford Museum - 4.7 miles (Museum)
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