Grantham Civic Society column: Take a peek back at the heritage of our town

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Heritage open days fall around the second weekend in September and this year Heritage Lincolnshire has asked us to adopt a Tudor theme where we can.

We start on Friday 11 Sept at Finkin St Christchurch when at 7.30pm our Treasurer historian Ruth Crook will give a talk on ‘Tudor Grantham’.

On Saturday 12 Sept the Old King’s school in Church Street will be open between 9.30am and 2.30pm. There will be a display from the school archives and at 10.30am children from the National School will assemble for a special Tudor lesson given by Dr John Manterfield. We hope Bishop Fox the schools founder will make an appearance.

St Wulfram’s church will be open from 10am until 4pm with the coffee shop, the north porch visitor centre and tower tours – your first opportunity for some years to climb the steps and get the best view in Grantham. The Trigge chained Library will be open and for the first time, the Clergy Vestry. This 
was originally a chapel built by the Hall family of Grantham House and was used in Tudor times. Grantham Danserie will be putting on costumed historic dance sessions in the church during the day.

On Sunday the 13th between 1pm and 4.00pm you can visit the Manthorpe Road burial ground where burials took place between 1813 and about 1857. This is a peaceful and little known part of the town. Civic Society member Janice Webb has been working for some time on a history of the burial ground and her fully illustrated 80 page book will be on sale at £10 per copy at all the weekend’s events.

Grantham House has its own Tudor history, and in common with all Heritage openings, there is no entry fee on Sunday afternoon between 2pm and 4.30pm when you are invited to tour the wonderful gardens and enjoy teas and cakes. Some historical Grantham characters will be in the garden in Tudor costume to tell you their stories and show you how to play games that children in those times would have enjoyed, so do bring your own children to let them have a go.

Most of us value Grantham’s history and heritage as they give our town its distinctive character and sense of place. Some planning applications are fiercely contested because of concerns over whether new buildings fit in properly to their surroundings. Grantham Civic Society is all for new development to bring more houses, shops and employment but we want the new to respect and even draw from the old so we have harmonious development that can compliment what we already have. You can join the Civic Society during the weekend; it is only £10pp per year or contact Hon Secretary John Manterfield, as shown, to learn more. Check us out on Facebook or via our web site.

Heritage open days are held all over the country and in Grantham if you have not seen Isaac Newton’s school room, for example, then here it is on Saturday 12 September. Come and hear how he might have been taught at 10.30am.