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Alford shown within Lincolnshire
|OS grid reference|
|– London||120 mi (190 km) SSW|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Louth and Horncastle|
Alford (pronounced "Olford") is a town in Lincolnshire, England, situated about 11 miles (18 km) north-west of the coastal resort of Skegness, at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, which are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Alford's population is about 3,500 (3,459 in the 2011 Census).
Alford's retail outlets are mainly convenience stores to cater for local people. Shops include a pharmacy, a grocery, and DIY and homeware stores. There are two supermarkets, one in Church Street and the other in West Street. The five public houses are the Half Moon Hotel, Windmill Hotel, George, Anchor and White Hart. Alford has a branch of Lloyds Bank and an office of the Yorkshire Building Society.
National Health and private dentists are located in South Street and Merton Lodge, and there is a doctors' surgery in West Street.
A crematorium opened on the outskirts in 2008.
Market day in Alford is Tuesday. The market varies in size depending on the time of the year but is generally small. The main market takes place in the Market Place, with stalls of groceries and small items such as greeting cards.
Alford's Craft Market has taken place every August bank holiday since the 1970s. The market is held in the grounds of the manor house, and includes stalls selling locally-crafted products. Musical entertainment usually takes place in a marquee. A smaller weekly market is held in the Corn Exchange every Tuesday and Friday.
The estate is built on the right-of-way of the closed East Lincolnshire Railway line from Grimsby to Boston. The line (and Alford Town railway station) were closed on 5 October 1970 by Dr. Richard Beeching as part of the then government's nationwide plan to make cut-backs to the then publicly owned British Railways during the 1960s and early 1970s. The naming of the industrial estate was named "Beeching's Way" to serve as a lasting reminder of Dr. Beeching's decision.
The town's former largest employer, previously known as C.S. Martin and later Finnveden Powertrain Ltd. closed its doors in 2010. Following the redundancies, the factory now operates under the name Gnutti Carlo UK Ltd. though sadly, not with any recompense in terms of prospects for those that were made redundant.
|Population of Alford Civil Parish|
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 was capable of grinding 4 to 5 tons of corn per day. The mill operated until 1955.
After two years' standing idle, it was restored to full working order in 1957. It is used commercially to produce stone-ground organic flour and cereal. It is the only windmill surviving in Alford. In 1932 there were three, each with a different number of sails (four, five and six).
Alford Manor House
The town's Manor House is one of the largest thatched manor houses in the country. In 2006 it was refurbished through National Lottery funding in association with English Heritage; interactive exhibits were installed and accessibility increased for disabled visitors. The manor house has a tea room and open gardens.
The medieval Anglican parish church of Alford is dedicated to St Wilfrid. Built in the 14th century, with restoration and additions from 1860, it is situated at the junction between Church, South and West Streets. It includes St Lawrence Chapel. Original features include a 14th-century screen, a Jacobean pulpit, traces of 16th-century glass, and a 17th-century tomb in the chancel. In the Elizabethan era, it hosted a local primary school.
The church holds a variety of worship services, and annual community events such as a flower show. Alford also has a small Methodist church, an Independent Congregational church, and Alford Christian Fellowship.
Approximately 4 miles (6 km) from Alford, in the village of Markby, is St Peter's Church, the only remaining thatched church in Lincolnshire. It is used for religious services, weddings, christenings and funerals.
Primary education is provided by Alford Primary School.
Alford secondary schools are Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and John Spendluffe Technology College. The Grammar school was judged as "Outstanding" in the Ofsted inspection of 2007; the Technology College received an "Outstanding" report from Ofsted in 2010.
||Aby with Greenfield, Muckton, Louth||Saleby, Strubby, Saltfleetby||Markby, Sutton on Sea, Mablethorpe|
|Haugh, Calceby, Lincoln||Bilsby, Huttoft, Anderby|
|Well, Ulceby, Horncastle||Willoughby, Welton le Marsh, Spilsby||Mumby, Hogsthorpe, Chapel St Leonards|
- Captain John Smith (1580–1631) lived in Great Carlton, 4 miles (6.4 km) to the north and went to school in Alford from the age of 8.
- Anne Hutchinson, born Anne Marbury (1591–1643), Puritan settler and religious reformer in the British New England colonies
- William Wentworth (1616–1697), born in Alford, was a follower of the Puritan John Wheelwright and an early settler in New Hampshire.
- Susanna Cole (1633 – c. 1713), born in Alford, was captured aged eight by Indians after her family was massacred at New Netherland, raised by them, and traded back to the Dutch governor, who restored her to her friends.
- Eardley Norton, clockmaker, was born in Ashby by Partney and apprenticed to Robert Dawson, a clockmaker in Alford. His astronomical clock made for George III in 1765, is in the Royal Collection. A musical clock made for Catherine the Great is in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
- William Charles Ellis (1780–1839), born in Alford, became a pioneer in the treatment of mental illness.
- Elizabeth Dawbarn (died 1839), born in Alford, was a religious pamphleteer.
- George Manville Fenn (1831–1909), novelist, taught in Alford.
- "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Photograph of the Market Place
- "Vision of Britain". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "St Wilfrid's Church, Alford" (includes photos), Alford Group of Parishes, 2010-2014, accessed 7 August 2014
- Alford Primary School
- John Spendluffe Technology College
- Barbour, Philip L: The Three Worlds of Captain John Smith, pp. 5-7. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 1964.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- Royal Collection Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Hermitage Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- ODNB. Retrieved 15 May 2014, pay-walled.
Media related to Alford, Lincolnshire at Wikimedia Commons