West Rasen Heritage Centre Group Membership



When we are back to normal ..

Meetings at 1st Tuesday of the month
Commencing at 7.30pm
West Rasen Centre


Please join us for our coffee morning in the West Rasen Heritage Centre on Saturday 5th November from 10am – 12 noon. Everyone is very welcome..


President       ..........................
Chairman      ..............................
Secretary       .......................... ( tel )
Treasurer       ...........................

The programme of events is available from

Liz Margrave (844047) or May Bennett (843206).

Our monthly coffee morning is being held on TBA 10am – 12 noon. Everyone is welcome . 


Annual Show & Fete

Green Man Day

Monday May 25th 2020 – West Rasen Heritage Centre

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m .

This makes an enjoyable afternoon out for all family members. Home-made refreshments served in the Hall all afternoon. A local art group will have a display in the hall. Come and buy from a range of vegetable plants, including tomato plants, flowering plants etc. to start your summer garden. Can also purchase cakes and cheeses to take home, and also home-made cards etc. There will also be an excellent raffle, and tombola. Traditional games for all the family – including ones for small children. We would not be without Hot Dogs and Ice cream. Look out for more details in next months magazine.


No one knows the origins of the Green Man image but they can be found in many churches and cathedrals around the country. There is even one on the font at Snarford Parish Church.

It is a symbol of renewed life and one which West Rasen Heritage centre used for their project of renewing the old school building into a centre of community for West Rasen residents and to celebrate the amazing heritage of this small village. Each year they hold their Green Man Day to celebrate their achievements and to raise funds for their ongoing project. On each May Bank Holiday Monday between 1pm and 4pm, there are games, stalls selling local produce, and refreshments and a chance to look at some of the local history from West Rasen. It always promises to be a fun day, so come along and see how many Green men you can spot!

The Green Man or Woman are usually created on willow frames and decorated with greenery. Seen in winter, it signals the comming spring, but when decorated it becomes symbolic of regeneration in the yearly cycle.


Green Man Day

I would sincerely like to thank everyone that donated prizes and other items towards our recent “GREEN MAN DAY” at West Rasen . Also, many thanks to everyone that helped in anyway to make the day such a success. We could not have done it without the help of so many members and friends.

The weather was beautiful and the day was made special with the music provided by the U3A Ukulele Group and the folk group De Capo. Thank you to both groups. Many people have said that the music made their day.

Total profit from the event was £1,000.63, which is for the upkeep of the hall. Once again many thanks to all.

John Bennett, Chairman.(2018)


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West Rasen Village Hall & Heritage Centre is now available for hire. It can accommodate up to 45 people for parties and functions and up to 30 people in a theatre style layout. Display boards are available for exhibitions. There are modern kitchen and disabled toilet facilities and access for the disabled. It is centrally heated with ample car parking. For further details and prices contact Liz Margrave (844047).


Annual General Meeting

West Rasen Centre.

Contact Maureen Sowray.



Albert Richards Bennett's Water Cart

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A very interesting and informative extraction from West Rasen Parish records. The Local Government Act 1894, a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical parishes had responsibility for all Parish agenda, this originated in the feudal system of the 8th century. Since 1894 every parish with less than 200 electorates have a Parish Clerk who keeps the records.1909 The first mention of the gravel pit. This was given to the village by the Lord of the Manor for road repairs. 17.11.1912. A survey on property in West Rasen. 46 houses, living rooms 144 sq ft. Yes! I thought they were all one up and one down. 26.3.1915 Mention of sewage works question asked, would there be enough water for the sheep dip. The sheep dip I am told was near the present Sewage works.4.2.1931. Mention of laying on water to the village. Unanimously rejected. 29.10.1934. It was decided not to raise any objections to Caistor R.D.C. with the proposed scheme of water to the village. 1937. The estate was sold by the Duke of Norfolk's estate. 3.10.1937. The roman Catholic Chapel given to the village.23.07.1943. Draft Deeds for the chapel. 6.2.1964. Coronation. West Rasen had a party, and hired a T.V. luckily electricity had been installed the previous week. Back to the running water. John Bennett remembers water being laid to his home. His father Albert Richard Bennett had a cart. On this cart was a huge enormous barrel, Albert used to take this down to the beck and fill the barrel with a bucket. This water was for everything, from cooking washing and the animals. I have a beautiful picture of the cart and the barrel. When running water arrived at the house the tap was fitted to the outside of the house, yet I would imagine his mother Sylvia was overjoyed . M Sowray

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West Rasen & Heritage Centre

Since 1994 Heritage Lincolnshire has championed the annual programme for our county. This year the theme is Trade & Travel. There are over 100 special openings and events taking place across Lincolnshire and all are free of charge. In our area, West Rasen Heritage Centre will be open on Saturday & Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. The village was a Roman Catholic Enclave and the hall was originally a Roman Catholic Chapel. Places of interest are the Saxon Church , the Packhorse Bridge and a thatched cottage. Facilities include parking, generally suitable for wheelchair users, refreshments and toilets.


Join us from 10am - 12 noon on the first Saturday of the month in 2024 . Everyone will be made very welcome.



Rogation Sunday in 2021

Rogation Sunday is the oldest of the agricultural themed Church services dating back to the 5 th century. The word rogation comes from the Latin verb rogare meaning ‘to ask'. At a time when almost everyone would have made their living in some way from the land, Rogation Sunday was a day when the people asked for God's blessing of the harvest, earth, sea and for protection from natural disaster. Historically, the parish priest and people would have walked the parish boundary blessing the crops and animals as they went.  

Led by Peter Cook, from the Middle Rasen Ministry Team, parishioners from West Rasen and other local villages celebrated Rogation Sunday at All Saints Church, West Rasen on Sunday 2nd May. Due to the pandemic this was the first service held at All Saints since the carol service in December 2019. Parts of the Rogation Service took place in the 11th century Church with gospel readings and prayers. Honouring the tradition of beating the bounds part of the service was said outside at the River Rase, in sight of a wheat field and also at the heritage centre. The service remains a highlight in the Church year when we are reminded to reflect on the natural wonders of the environment and all life, reminding ourselves that we are stewards of creation.  

Chris Atkin and David Herring 

Church Wardens – All Saints Church West Rasen 


The West Rasen Thatching

Once again, what used to be the Post Office and village shop in West Rasen is looking resplendent with its new thatched roof, carrying on a tradition that started when the cottage was built in the 1600's only a few years after the Pilgrim Fathers left England for America .

Steve and Anna Hessey have owned and lived in the property for 33 years. For 24 of those years Anna ran the long serving Post Office and village shop their services and the cottage reverted to a private dwelling in 2008.

In 2017 Stewart Alexander, Lincolnshire's Master Thatcher spent 8 weeks removing 14" of old straw, (leaving 12" remaining) and replacing it I with more than 6 tonnes of new combed wheat reed all the way from Devon.

It takes a skilled thatcher to strip, renew, ridge, battern and rewire a thatched roof single handed using only raditional handmade tools such as a 'leggett' and cripples'. Simple tools that have been used for centuries and carrying out all of the work using no measuring devices other than the human eye. In thatching terminology, Stewart has fitted, 'skirts and yelms fixed with hazel spars and liggers' and all carried out in the rain, wind and occasional sunshine!

To watch Stewart demonstrate the skills of a thatcher in today's modern superfast world has given pleasure to many people, both locals and passers-by and the new roof at "Post Box Cottage" can now be enjoyed for at least another 30 years!



Maureen Sowray moved to West Rasen in 1994 from Yorkshire . At first her time was taken up with making their recently purchased house a home. After 2 years she was looking for something else of interest to keep her occupied. Maureen joined the village committee. She recalls the AGM when all the serving officers resigned their positions and so she became chair of the committee, John was treasurer and May secretary.

The village Hall, which had been given to the Parish by Mr. Place the landowner at the time, was in need of refurbishment. The committee and all of the residents of West Rasen pulled together and raised funds for materials and gave of their time to make it happen. Grants were applied for and eventually the low ceiling and hanging heaters were removed, plaster repaired, the outside painted and the West Rasen Village Hall and Heritage Centre was finished.

During this time Maureen and her husband had been visiting listed buildings around England . Whilst her husband was photographing the buildings Maureen was more interested in their history. Although Maureen was a trained accountant she had a passion for history. This passion was the start of her interest in the history of West Rasen and its landowners.

Initially she gathered "stuff", especially around Lord Mereswain, the landowner from the Saxon times. Struggling to find much information about him she turned to alternative sources. Hull archives were very helpful and supportive and along with many books from the library Maureen began. Over time Maureen realised that the "stuff" had grown into a large amount of information and so a filing system had to be used. The internet also became a great help with her research but phone calls to churches also provided good information. Standing in her office her files range from Lord Mereswain in the 11th century up to Lord Carrington present day. There are files relating to the families and farms in West Rasen .

Maureen is now in the process of putting all her findings online. She wrote to the archives but was disappointed to be told they didn't want her work. When I said how impressive all her research and documentation is she said "It's just history"

Maureen is very proud of the work the whole village did to refurbish the hall but knows they must keep find raising in order to keep the building in good repair. A new roof is next. If you haven't visited the Heritage Centre then they hold a coffee morning 10-12 on the first Saturday in every month. If you want a hall to hire with kitchen facilities, then the cost is £ 6 per hour. It is a great building for wedding receptions and birthday parties. There is plenty of car parking space and remember all of the money goes to the up keep of the building.


This traditional spring event in The organisers hold the event to raise money to help pay for the continuing refurbishment and general repairs and maintenance of the Heritage Centre. The event organisers plan a variety of activities to suit all age groups with lots of exciting things for kiddies, tempting treats for all in the tea rooms, and stalls selling lots of interesting goodies.


The weather was kind to us, when families came to take part in many games, have home-made refreshments and one family even had a picnic, giving a lovely atmosphere to the day. There were many stalls to browse around with availability to make purchases and also a Grand Raffle and Tombola. Ice Creams and Hot dogs were very popular too. I would like to thank the businesses and individuals that gave prizes, helped or gave in other ways to make the afternoon so successful.
£1,170 was raised to keep our historic building running for another year.
Many thanks to everyone. John Bennett, Chairman


SUN SHINES FOR 2012 WEST RASEN HERITAGE WEEKEND C:\Users\amforth\Pictures\2012-05-08 2012 Green Man Day\2012 Green Man Day 003.JPG

Richard Headland entertaining visitors on his Melodeon

The weather was perfect for the 2012 Heritage Weekend at West Rasen when lots of visitors, old and new visited the Heritage Centre. Brenda Coulson from Lincolnshire Family History Society, who is currently researching graves in West Rasen, left some interesting information that had been discovered through careful examination and research of the old graves. If you are interested in finding out more information about families in the West Rasen area please contact Maureen Sowray on 01673 844564 who will be pleased to show you the work left by Brenda Coulson.

Maureen V. Sowray explains how she became interested in the history of West Rasen .

I have always been interested in history and find it amazing that we human's who have made so many mistakes through out history, are still making mistakes. When I moved to West Rasen and received the deeds to our house, I decided to read them. Being the old type of deeds, with the history of the property recorded, all the previous occupiers and owners of the property were listed. So imagine my surprise when I read the name - Dowager Duchess of Norfolk . I wanted to know more. Having got to know Dorothy and Derek Fussey, I enquired about the Duchess and that is where it all started. Dorothy was very keen on the history of West Rasen , particularly the church and got excited every time I found out something new. On telling Brian Ayre about my research he looked at me and said, “I have just the book for you”. The book of course was the historical novel, “Like a Rasen Fiddler.” He also lent me numerous Kelly's Directories, and so I began listing all the farms in the area. At which stage Derek Fussey lent me an estate map to copy, which was produced for the sale of West Rasen in 1937. Once I got into the Paynell's family history, it became a challenge to find out more. A search that has led me to the House of Lords as well as, numerous archives throughout the country.

Everingham in Yorkshire, was the Country Seat of the families who through various marriages owned West Rasen up to 1937, besides various other estates. As all these families were Roman Catholic's, most of my research has been about the Roman Catholics of West Rasen . Up to the turn of the 1800's, there was a period of persecution of Catholics throughout the British Isles, affecting some of the people of West Rasen . Before the Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1872, the local Roman Catholic's met in a special room at the old Manor House. Fortunately after the First World War a lot of things changed. Father Bailey, the RC priest at Market Rasen, whose historical knowledge of the area was amazing, was a tremendous help and always had time to talk to me and put me straight. There was also a Methodist congregation in the village whose services were held in a special room at Poplar Farm. But it is really two buildings that tell the complete history of the village and make West Rasen what it is - The historic parish church of “All Saints” and Roman Catholic Chapel. Which is one of the reasons why we, the residents of the area, went to the trouble and all the hard work of restoring the Chapel. It is also why we altered the name of the village hall to West Rasen Village Hall and Heritage Centre.

We have a Heritage weekend every year so that anyone who is interested can come and see the Chapel and the Church. They can also see the endeavours of the people of West Rasen and the surrounding area, who are of various creeds and beliefs, trying to do their utmost to preserve these buildings.