When I moved to Lincolnshire four years ago, I knew very little about the county that was to become my home. It seemed that wherever I looked online, the space which should be filled with information about Lincolnshire was blank.
One of the first things to strike me about Market Rasen was how beautiful the Lincolnshire Wolds are, just a half a mile out of town. I’d had the typical southerner’s belief about Lincolnshire being very flat, and indeed there are large swathes of this county which are very flat indeed, and the land from Lincoln to Market Rasen, along what is called the Lincoln Plain, is certainly flat. But that’s not all that Lincolnshire is, and not all that Market Rasen has to offer.
The Lincolnshire Wolds are like a child’s drawing of the countryside, gently rounded hills, and green as far as the eye can see. People who live here have a great affection for both types of landscape. The flatlands of the fens and the plain give you enormous skies, and it’s like having a canvas from Constable laid out before you, a watercolour of blues and greys and whites which sweeps across. I notice the smallness of the sky when I visit London, and how little you can see the changing weather or time of day.
Despite the fact that the Wolds are a site of outstanding natural beauty, when I first moved here there was nothing about them on the Visit England site. It seemed like a bit of an oversight, until I realised that in their list of things worth visiting in England, Lincolnshire didn’t feature once! Not Lincoln, with its Roman remains, mediaeval houses and wonderful castle and cathedral. Not Louth with its lovely 18th century architecture and foodie heaven! Not Horncastle with its myriad antique shops, including the one we call the place where antiques go to die…. I badgered the Visit England people and the last time I checked things had improved. But often it is very difficult to understand why Lincolnshire is so overlooked by the world.
One of my favourite bloggers about Lincolnshire history is Rod Collins, who travels about taking gorgeous photographs and writing about anything which takes his fancy in the county. He doesn’t invite questions about family history, in fact positively discourages them on his website, but he does offer the sort of colour and detail that anyone with a Lincolnshire heritage would be interested in.
Lincolnshire must be one of the most varied counties in the country. It has fens, plains, the Wolds, and sea shore too. There are surnames which originated in Lincolnshire, and which are unique, which will be a subject for another blogpost, including the name Markham, which is in my own family tree.