Alford, Lincolnshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Alford Windmill
Alford is located in Lincolnshire
Location within Lincolnshire
Population3,459 (2011)
OS grid referenceTF454758
• London120 mi (190 km) SSW
Civil parish
  • Alford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townALFORD
Postcode districtLN13
Dialling code01507
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
53°16′N 0°11′E / 53.26°N 0.18°E / 53.26; 0.18Coordinates: 53°16′N 0°11′E / 53.26°N 0.18°E / 53.26; 0.18

Alford (pronounced /ˈɒlfərd/ OL-fərd) is a town in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, which form an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The population was recorded as 3,459 in the 2011 Census and estimated at 3,789 in 2019.[1] It lies between the towns of Mablethorpe, Louth, Spilsby and Skegness and acts as a local retail centre.


An electoral ward of the same name exists. This stretches east to the coast, with a population of 4,531 recorded in the 2011 census.[2]


Alford's retail outlets cater mainly for local demand. Shops include a pharmacy, a grocery, two butchers (the later one opened in November 2016) and DIY and hardware stores. There are three supermarkets, in Church Street, West Street and Hamilton Road. The five public houses are the Half Moon Hotel, Windmill Hotel, George,[3] Anchor and White Hart. Four of these still operate as such – the Half Moon has a tea shop attached and is a venue for local activities. The Anchor has been renovated as a bed-and-breakfast establishment. The Windmill is now a hotel, while the White Hart is still a traditional pub.

The town has no banks, as the last, Lloyds Bank, closed in September 2018. There is still a Yorkshire Building Society office. Banking facilities are available at the Post Office, which operates in the Quicky Supermaket in West Street.

H & M Ducos Pottery, established in London in 1972, moved to Alford in 1973 and became the Alford Pottery. It acquired premises in Commercial Road in 1978 to manufacture tableware that is exported worldwide. The firm set up the Alford Craft Market, the Alford Festivals of arts and crafts, the Alford Folk Club (now an acoustic club), the Alford Morris Dancing club, the former Alford Jazz Festival, the former Alford Film Society, and other organisations. Alford Craft Market Centre is a cooperative venture selling works from local and regional craftsmen. With help from a substantial National Lottery grant, it provides various classes and workshops to allow the public to experience art and craft activities on a regular basis.

There are National Health private dentists in South Street and a doctor's surgery in West Street. A crematorium opened at the entrance to the town in 2008.

The charter market day is Tuesday. The main market is run by the town council in the Market Place, with stalls for groceries, greengroceries, fishmongery and other items, and a popular auction. The Alford Craft Market has been held in the Market Place every late Spring and August bank holiday since 1975, in the grounds of Alford Manor House. The summer weekly Craft Market now takes place in the Corn Exchange and the Christmas Extravaganza at the Manor House on the first Friday in December. The cattle market closed in 1987 and the site became the Co-op Car Park. In February 2019, the Alford Promotions group was set up by shop-owners and councillors to organize community events, including a Christmas Market, the first of which was held on 30 November 2019.

Employment and transport[edit]

Most factories have closed in the last few years. The main sources of employment are newer businesses on the Safelincs industrial estate in West Street and the schools, nursing homes and smaller firms.

The former railway station

Beeching's Way Industrial Estate in the south-west of the town includes printing and manufacturing firms, a builders' merchant and a postal sorting office. It was built on the disused lines of the East Lincolnshire Railway from Grimsby to Boston, which closed on 5 October 1970, along with the local station. The naming of the industrial estate as Beeching's Way is a wry reminder of Richard Beeching, who masterminded the nationwide rail cutbacks under publicly owned British Railways at the behest of the Department of Transport.

The town's previous largest employer was C. S. Martin, later Finnveden Powertrain Ltd, closed its doors in 2010. After redundancies, the factory now operates as Gnutti Carlo UK Ltd.[citation needed]

There is a daytime Monday-to-Friday bus service to Skegness,[4] a single Wednesday service to Boston,[5] and occasional local and school bus services open to other passengers.[6]

Alford also has bus connections to Mablethorpe and Spilsby, and one service a day to and from Louth. The nearest railway station is in Thorpe Culvert.


Population of Alford Civil Parish
Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Population[7] 2,894 2,843 2,478 2,394 2,194 2,227 2,218 2.139 3,231 3,459




Alford is known for its Grade I listed five-sailed windmill, a tower mill built in 1837 by Sam Oxley, an Alford millwright. In its heyday it ground 4–5 tons of corn a day. It ceased to operate in 1955, but after two years' idle, it was restored to full working order in 1957 and is used commercially to produce stone-ground organic flour and cereal, as the only surviving windmill in the town of the three in 1932, each with a different number of sails (four, five and six).[8][9] Other working windmills in the county remain at Lincoln, Heckington, Boston, Waltham, Kirton in Lindsey, Sibsey, Moulton, and Burgh le Marsh.

Manor House[edit]

Alford Manor House

Alford Manor House is one of the country's largest thatched buildings of its kind. manor houses. In 2006 it was refurbished with National Lottery funding through English Heritage. Interactive exhibits were installed and accessibility increased for disabled visitors. It has a tea room and open gardens.[10]

The Manor House has two permanent exhibitions. "Alford Remembers" has First World War memorabilia and a photography exhibition by Edwin Nainby, who was born in Gedney in January 1842 and died in Alford in July 1908. The youngest son of a Quaker, he was first in business as a photographer in Long Sutton and moved to Alford in 1873. There are over 750 glass photography plates exhibited. The annual events at the Manor House include a Christmas Tree exhibition, a tractor rally and a threshing day. There is a local museum at the back of the Manor House (Hackett's Barn), displaying the time when Alford thrived as a Victorian market town.

Corn Exchange[edit]

The Alford Corn Exchange was given by East Lindsey District Council to a specially instituted body composed solely of volunteers, as a centre for cultural, social and community activities[11]


Alford has a primary school,[12] one of England's few remaining grammar schools, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, founded in 1566, and John Spendluffe Technology College.[13] The grammar school received a mixed Ofsted day-inspection report in 2007.[14] The technology college was gauged as "requiring improvement" at a full Ofsted inspection in March 2019.[15]

Religious sites[edit]

St Wilfrid's church

The Anglican Parish Church of Alford is dedicated to St Wilfrid, a 7th-century English bishop. Built in the 14th century, then restored with additions from 1860, it stands at the junction of Church, South and West streets. It includes St Lawrence's Chapel. The original features include a 14th-century screen, a Jacobean pulpit, traces of 16th-century glass and a 17th-century tomb in the chancel. The church founded a school in the Elizabethan period.[16] Regular services and some annual community events such as a flower show are held. The war memorial in the churchyard commemorates local victims of the two world wars and in Northern Ireland.[17]

Alford has a Methodist church, an Independent Congregational church, and Alford Christian Fellowship.

Some 4 miles (6 km) from Alford, in the village of Markby, is St Peter's Church, the one remaining thatched church in Lincolnshire.[18]

Notable people[edit]

In order of birth:


Coat of arms of Alford, Lincolnshire
Originally granted to Alford Urban District Council on 1 October 1965. Transferred to successor parish on 16 April 1975.[23]
On a wreath of the colours in front of a demi lion Ermine holding between the paws a book Or charged with a rose Gules charged with another Argent barbed and seeded Proper seven mascles conjoined Gules.
Barry wavy Argent and Azure a lion rampant queue fourchee and on a chief Sable a windmill sail of five arms Or between two Lincoln Red Shorthorn Bulls' heads caboshed Proper ringed Argent.
Foursquare To All Winds

See also[edit]


  1. ^ City Population. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ George.
  4. ^ Bus Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ Hunt's Retrieved 22 August 2016. Archived 23 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Hunt's Retrieved 22 August 2016. Archived 23 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Vision of Britain". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  8. ^ Family Services Directory site. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  9. ^ Town commercial website. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  10. ^ Museum site. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  11. ^ Corn Exchange site. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. ^ Alford Primary School
  13. ^ John Spendluffe Technology College
  14. ^ Day's report. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  15. ^ Full report. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  16. ^ "St Wilfrid's Church, Alford" (includes photos), Alford Group of Parishes, 2010-2014, accessed 7 August 2014.
  17. ^ Roll of Honour Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  18. ^ Retrieved 11 October 2018. A short history of Markby Church with photographs.
  19. ^ Philip L. Barbour, The Three Worlds of Captain John Smith, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1964, pp. 5–7.
  20. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  21. ^ ODNB Retrieved 15 May 2014, pay-walled.
  22. ^ Terry Frost (1988). Bradford City A Complete Record 1903–1988. Breedon Books Sport, p. 405. ISBN 0-907969-38-0.
  23. ^ "East Midlands". Civic Heraldry of England. Retrieved 8 March 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Alford, Lincolnshire at Wikimedia Commons