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St Martin's church, Ancaster
Ancaster shown within Lincolnshire
|OS grid reference|
|- London||100 mi (160 km) S|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Sleaford and North Hykeham|
Ancaster is a village and civil parish in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England, on the site of a Roman town. The civil parish includes the settlements of Sudbrook and West Willoughby.
Ancaster Hall at The University of Nottingham is named after the parish and the, now extinct, title of the Earl of Ancaster.
During the Romano-British period, the Romans built a roadside settlement on the site of a Corieltauvi settlement. It was traditionally thought to have been named Causennis, although that is now believed to be Saltersford near Grantham. Ancaster lies on Ermine Street, the major Roman road heading north from London. To the northwest of Ancaster is a Roman marching camp and some 4th-century Roman earthworks are still visible. Excavations have found a cemetery containing more than 250 Roman burials, including 11 stone sarcophagi. In the later years of Roman occupation, a large stone wall with accompanying ditches was erected around the town, possibly for defence against marauding Saxons.
The place-name 'Ancaster' is first attested in a twelfth-century Danelaw charter from the reign of Henry II, and in a legal document of 1196, where it appears as Anecastre. The name means 'the Roman fort of Anna'.
An excavation by television programme Time Team in 2002 revealed a cist burial bearing an inscription to the god Viridius. The dig also uncovered Iron Age to 3rd-century pottery, a 1st-century brooch, and some of the Roman town wall.
Ancaster is situated midway between Sleaford and Grantham on the A153 road at its junction with the B6403 (Ermine Street). North of the village, the B6403 (High Dike) is the dividing line between South and North Kesteven. Towards Sleaford is Wilsford and to the east is Sudbrook.
Ancaster has a C.E. Primary School, local shop, butchers, a small railway station on the Nottingham-Skegness line, post office, and one petrol stations. There are two public houses: the Railway Inn, and the Ermine Way; both on Ermine Street and a sports and social club associated with the playing field. Woodland Waters holiday park is situated just outside the village.
Ancaster parish church is dedicated to St Martin. The ecclesiastical parish is linked with Wilsford, and is part of the Loveden Deanery of the Diocese of Lincoln. The 2013 incumbent is The Revd Alan Littlewood. The civil parish boundaries are different: the civil parish also covers the settlements of Sudbrook and West Willoughby.
West of the village on Willoughby Moor is the Woodland Waters Holiday Park on Willoughby Road. There are two nearby natures reserves, each a SSSI, with a type of flower, the Tall Thrift, unique to this area of the UK.
The village's Grade I listed Anglican parish church is dedicated to St Martin, one of many churches on Roman sites which are dedicated to the Roman soldier who converted to Christianity and later became Bishop of Tours and a saint. St Martin's church stands slightly elevated on the Roman road Ermine Street, and on the probable site of a Roman temple. It is first documented in 1200 when Bishop Hugh's body rested overnight at the church while on the way to Lincoln. The church has decorated Norman arches and an Early English font. The corbels are decorated with medieval figurative imagery: a drinking nun, an old woman, and a farmer with medieval head-dress. There is also a Green Man 'mouth-puller' in the vestry, and the remains of a Sheila na Gig on the north side of the tower. On the wooden ceiling there are carvings of seemingly archaic figures.[vague] Two Roman relief sculptures were found in the East Wall of the church in the 1960s.
- "Neighbourhood statistics". 2001 census. Office for national statistics. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Civil Parish details".
- Margary, Ivan D (1973). Roman roads in Britain. pp. 224–30.
- "National Monument record for Ermine Street in Lincolnshire".
- "National Monument record for King Street".
- "National Monument record for the Roman remains".
- Eilert Ekwall,The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.9.
- "Romano-British cemetery site, west of Ancaster", HeritageGateway, English Heritage. Retrieved 13 January 2013
- Ancaster CE Primary School. Retrieved 28 June 2013
- "Ancaster/Wilsford Group P C C". Diocese of Lincoln. Retrieved 28 June 2013
- "Ancaster Parish Council"., Lincolnshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2013
- "Church of St Martin", National Heritage List for England, English Heritage. Retrieved 9 July 2011
- "National Monument record for the church".
Media related to Ancaster, Lincolnshire at Wikimedia Commons
- West Willoughby in the Domesday Book
- Time Team at Ancaster
- Ancaster historical summary (UK & Ireland Genealogy site)
- Richard Stillwell, ed. Princeton Encyclopaedia of Classical Sites, 1976: "Ancaster (Causennae), Lincolnshire, England"
- Moor Closes Nature Reserve
- Ancaster Valley Nature Reserve
- Ancaster Karting
- Table Tennis club
- Woodland Waters