Welcome to Helpston

Helpston Village Sign

Direct link to Helpston Parish Council

for Agendas, Minutes, etc.


A real welcome to Helpston, a delightful village with a wonderful rural and historic heritage.  Be part of it !

Welcome to the Helpston website. If you are new to the village or to this website its intention is to help residents and visitors find out about the amazing range of things that happen in this fantastic village. If you have events to publicise or suggestions to improve the website or just want to know more please contact us.

Helpston is a flourishing village between Peterborough and Stamford with a real sense of community. It was home to John Clare, the countryside poet, and his name and work are a proud part of our heritage. We have a primary school, numerous clubs and societies, and many local businesses. This web site is provided by the Parish Council to share information about the village and its community.

You can also find a library of photos of the village past and present and information about the wildlife and countryside around the village.

There are some suggested walks and of course plenty of links to information about John Clare – you can even listen to readings of his poems and sounds of the natural world.

If you have any suggestions to improve this site or would like to add information please contact us

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Roy Hinchliff April 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Dear Mike,
Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been away.
The Stables is within the Helpston Conservation Area. I would suggest you contact Peterborough City Council’s Conservation Officer, Jim Daley, on 01733 453522. He should be able to advise on what kind of windows would be acceptable.
Kind regards,
Roy Hinchliff, website administrator


Marie Wray April 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Dear Mr Hinchcliffe, I am a member of a U3A poetry group and I will be reading some of John Clare`s poems on Mpnday.
I know I am going to be asked about the meanings of two words and wonder if you can help.On the internet it states that they are not known and I wonder if they could be dialect words. I know that here in North Yorks there are many words which are dialect words. In John Clare`s poem about turkeys he mentions the words `nauntles` and `nauntling`. Can you help please?
Kind regards and thanks in anticipation of your reply. Marie Wray.


Roy Hinchliff April 19, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Dear Marie,
Thank you for contacting Helpston.net. What a challenge! Like you, I turned to the interweb after checking the few books on Clare that I have, and “A Bibliography of English Etymology” by Anatoly Liberman, Ari Hoptman & Nathan E. Carlson defines ‘Nauntle’ as ‘to toss up the head in scorn’ (Celtic origin) and quotes their source as D IV 11 but as I was looking at a Google Books search result I could not see further into that particular book without paying for it! If the source turns out to be Clare I guess you will just have to settle for that. It doesn’t mean that Clare was just making words up because he liked the sound of them, though he would have been perfectly entitled to do so. Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, in ‘The Meaning of Liff’ invented an entire lexicon of names for nameless but universally known things, using obscure but suggestive British place names, and what a joy it is to make up your own! Anyway, you are probably right about Nauntle being a Northamptonshire dialect word. I have never heard it used, but now that I know about it I will try hard to use it whenever I can. Unfortunately that means going round annoying people just to provoke a reaction so I can say “Don’t you nauntle at me, young lady/man/person”. Good luck with your U3A group! Maybe the John Clare Society can give you a more sensible answer.
Roy Hinchliff


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