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Lincolnshire, Parts of Kesteven
The arms of Kesteven County Council
 • Created 1889
 • Abolished 1974
 • Succeeded by Lincolnshire
Status Administrative county
 • HQ Sleaford

The Parts of Kesteven (/ˈkɛstəvən/ or /kəˈstvən/) are a traditional subdivision of Lincolnshire, England. This subdivision had long had a separate county administration (quarter sessions), along with the other two parts, Lindsey and Holland.


The word Kesteven is supposed to have derived from two root words: the Celtic ced meaning wood (cf. Modern Welsh coed) and the Old Norse stefna, a meeting place. The earliest record of the place name is from about 1000AD (in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire) and was spelt 'Ceostefne', developing into 'Ketstevene' by 1194.[1]

Administrative areas[edit]

Local Government Act 1888[edit]

The three parts were given separate elected county councils in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888, and recognised as administrative counties.[2] These separate county councils were abolished in 1974 and Lincolnshire (minus the northern part of Lindsey) had a single county council for the first time, although the name survives in the districts of North Kesteven and South Kesteven. Kesteven lies in the south-west of Lincolnshire. It includes the towns of:

Kesteven was historically divided into the wapentakes of Aswardhurn, Aveland, Beltisloe, Boothby Graffoe, Flaxwell, Langoe, Loveden, Ness, and Winnibriggs and Threo. Grantham and Stamford were administered separately.

Local Government Act 1894[edit]

Under the Local Government Act 1894 Kesteven was divided into a number of rural district and urban districts based on earlier sanitary districts:[3]

The urban districts and boroughs were:

Bourne Urban District was abolished in 1920, with Bourne becoming a parish in Bourne Rural District. Bracebridge became part of the county borough of Lincoln that same year, becoming associated with the Parts of Lindsey.

Local Government Act 1929[edit]

The rural districts were re-organised by a County Review Order in 1929, to create four new districts named after points of the compass:[4]

Local Government Act 1972[edit]

Most recently, in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the four rural districts, along with the boroughs and urban district, merged into two district councils:[5]

County council[edit]



Coat of arms[edit]

Kesteven County Council received a grant of arms in 1950. The Lincoln green shield bears an ermine pale, representing the Roman Ermine Street which runs the length of the county. This is charged with an oak tree for the ancient forests, among them Kesteven Forest.

The crest shows a heron with a pike in its beak. The dexter supporter is a Roman legionary which recalls the Roman settlements of the county. The sinister supporter is a poacher, recalling the song "The Lincolnshire Poacher", an unofficial anthem of Lincolnshire.[9][10]


The barony Baron Kesteven existed from 1868 until 1915. Former Prime Minister (and Kesteven native) Margaret Thatcher took 'of Kesteven' as the territorial designation for her peerage.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Local Government Act 1888 (51 & 52 Vict. c.41)
  3. ^ The Local Government Act 1894 (56 & 57 Vict. c. 73)
  4. ^ Local Government Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo V c.17)
  5. ^ Local Government Act 1972 (1972 c. 70)
  6. ^ a b "Death of Sir John H. Thorold, Bart.", Grantham Journal, 7 October 1922, p. 5
  7. ^ a b "Kesteven County Council", Sheffield Independent, 31 March 1904, p. 8
  8. ^ a b "Kesteven County Council", Grantham Journal, 15 May 1909, p. 6
  9. ^ "Lincolnshire - Parts of Kesteven". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  10. ^ Joan, Varley (1974). The Parts of Kesteven. pp. viii. 
  11. ^ Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°55′00″N 0°38′00″W / 52.9167°N 0.6333°W / 52.9167; -0.6333