Tattershall, Lincolnshire

Tattershall, Lincolnshire

Tattershall is a village and civil parish in the East Lindsey district of the county. It is situated on the A153 Horncastle to Sleaford road, 1 mile (1.6 km) east from the point where that road crosses the River Witham. At its eastern end, Tattershall adjoins the village of Coningsby, 1 mile to the north.

The village is steeped in history and none more so than Tattershall Castle, fashioned during the early 13th century by Robert de Tattershall. It was greatly expanded and rebuilt in brick during the 15th century by Ralph de Cromwell, 3rd Baron Cromwell, Henry VI's Lord High Treasurer. Of the original stone castle some remains can still be seen. Brick castles were less common in England than stone or earth and timber constructions; when brick was chosen as a building material it was often for its aesthetic appeal. About 700,000 bricks were used to build the castle, and perhaps Ralph de Cromwell had already forseen the demise of the traditional stone Castle when making this decision.

The castle passed hands through the centuries, often falling to neglet, and was finally put up for sale during the early 20th century with its greatest historic treasures, the huge medieval fireplaces, still intact. When an American bought them they were ripped out but Lord Curzon of Kedleston stepped in to buy the castle and was determined to get the fireplaces back. The fireplaces were sought and recovered in London and restored to the castle. During the 1920s, Lord Curzon passed away and the Castle was left to the National Trust. Today, the old guardhouse is the gift shop, and the grounds are home to a number of peacocks.

Adjacent to the castle is the Grade I listed Perpendicular-style Holy Trinity Church, endowed by Ralph de Cromwell, 3rd Baron Cromwell, but built after his death. It received its charter from Henry VI in during the mid 15th century but building did not commence until at least three decades later, reaching completion at the beginning of the 16th century. The church has medieval stained glass, a collection of brasses and an intact rood loft and was restored, twice, during the late 19th century. Near the font is a plaque marking the grave of the Tattershall resident Tom Thumb, reputedly 18.5 inches (47 cm) tall, who died in 1620 aged 101. Tom Thumb's small house can be seen on the roof of a larger house in the Market Place.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre was formed in July 1957. There are displays and fly pasts involving an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane. The visitor centre allows an up close guided tour of the aircraft when not in use, as well as exhibits about the aircraft. This is thanks to a partnership between the Royal Air Force and Lincolnshire County Council.