Sleaford in 1839
Sleaford is in the wapentake of Flaxwell, in the parts of Kesteven, 115 miles from London on the road to Lincoln. It is on the little river Slea, or Sleaford, which flows into the Witham, and is called New Sleaford to distinguish it from the adjacent village of Old Sleaford. Stukely conjectured, but on insufficient grounds, that the Romans had a station here. Roman coins have been dug up. The bishops of Lincoln had a castle here, which is now quite levelled with ground. The parish comprehends 1,800 acres, with a population in 1831 of 2,450, scarcely any of it agricultural, beside the hamlet of Holdingham, 1,360 acres, and 137 inhabitants, chiefly agricultural. The town has been much improved of late years : the streets are paved and lighted. The church consists of a nave with side aisles, and a large chapel or transept on the southside, and another transept on the north, and a chancel without aisles : there is a tower surmounted with a spire rising to the height of 144 feet. The steeple is the most ancient part of the church, and is of early English character, the upper part and the spire being of somewhat later date than the rest ; the aisles and the north transept are of decorated character, and the piers and arches of the nave, the clerestory, and the chancel chiefly of perpendicular date. The west front is very fine : and the design and execution of most parts of the church are excellent. There are some Dissenting places of worship ; and a town-hall of modern architecture. The market is on Monday. The Sleaford canal is cut from this town to the Witham. The living is a vicarage, exempt from the archdeacons visitation, of the clear yearly value of £170, with a glebe-house. There were in 1833, in the parish, an endowed day-school with 40 children ; seven other day-schools with 388 children ; and three Sunday-schools with 311 children.