|Middle Rasen Parish Council - Middle Rasen, the people, history and place in Lincolnshire|
|Page managed by Mrs Jo Trotter ...|
Early history records a Roman settlement on Osgodby Top Road, to the north of the Parish.
For governance the parish of Middle Rasen was in the ancient Walshcroft wapentake, a political unit similar to a Hundred in Anglo Saxon England. The wapentake is a collection of parishes and is a term used in former Danelaw region of England. It derives from words meaning “show your weapon”, that is all in favour would raise their swords/axes to show agreement.
In Henry I's time, the 14 th century, a certain William Paynell was lord of the manor in Middle Rasen and he built and endowed St Paul's church. Having also built Drax Priory in Yorkshire, he gave St Paul's church to that Priory. St Peters church was built by the monks of Tupholme Abbey around the turn of the 12 th century. By the 19 th century both churches were in a state of disrepair and in 1860 St Peters was thoroughly restored using some parts of St Pauls in restoration.
According to the book 'Like a Rasen Fiddler' by Mary Shipley, “In 1539, Middle Rasen was able to supply forty nine able men for the wars - archers or billmen. With two churches and two vicars, many farms, outlying cottages, two water mills and a pottery, it was an important place.”
During the reign of Henry VIII churches in the main Lincolnshire towns were extremely rich and possessed very valuable treasures which they thought to be under threat of confiscation by the king. This resulted in the Lincolnshire Uprising in November 1536, when there was general unrest and people marched from Horncastle, Louth, Caistor and other large towns to try to resolve the matter. On their way to Lincoln, marchers camped on Hambleton Hill.
In 1720, John Wilkinson, who owned property in the parish, stated in his will that the interest from one hundred pounds and the remainder of his personal estate shall “cause to be taught with reading and writing sixteen poor children… eight to be chosen out of the parish of Rasen Drax and eight out of Rasen Tupholme…“ This resulted in the setting up of the first schooling in the village. The school, originally known as the ‘Middle Rasen John Wilkinson's Charity School' was built in 1874 to hold 120 children. In 1911 the average attendance was 79. The Charity still supports the school.
In the 19 th century there were Wesleyan, Primitive and Reformed Wesleyan Methodist chapels in the parish. The Primitive Methodist church (1838-1956) was opposite the Nags Head pub on Gainsborough Road. The other two were on Church Street . The present site of the Methodist chapel on Mill Lane was purchased from the Brown Cow pub and the building was erected in 1911 at a cost of £1350. Forty thousand bricks from another village chapel were used in its construction.
Middle Rasen mill on Mill Lane was built circa 1827 and was a working mill until the 1920‘s. Losing its sails by 1931 it was then engine driven. When the last miller died in 1932 it became disused and was later dismantled.
In the early 1900's a villager remembers that “church and chapel were well attended. There were two butchers shops, four general stores, a post office, two cobblers, one bootmakers shop, a tailors shop, one windmill, one watermill and about nineteen thatched cottages.”
More recent memories recall a Canadian bomber, struck by lightening, that crashed in a field behind the church during the Second World War, resulting in the death of its crew.
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