Village History

You can find a number of articles about the history of Helpston and the surrounding area on this page.

There are also a number of historical documents about Helpston at the foot of this page including the 1820 enclosure award of 1820, the school master’s diary from 1891-1906 and a land indenture from 1813.

Did you know?
Shirley Martin recently sent in this information on the Royal Oak Inn.

“My father, Reginald Martin, was born at The Railway Hotel, Helpston, and then lived at the Royal Oak Inn, Helpston, so I thought you might like some additional information.

Mark Sanderson (and his wife Phoebe) moved to The Railway Hotel, Helpston in 1908. The spirits register notes he received spirits from G. & H. R. Hunt of Stamford. He then died in 1914, age 73, and after Mark’s death his wife, Phoebe Sanderson, took over the licence of the Royal Oak Inn, Helpston, in 1916.  [She took over from Mr. and Mrs. William Frisby].

Phoebe was still the landlady of The Royal Oak Inn in 1927 but it finally closed in September 1929. The brewery then sold the house to Phoebe. It evidently used to be crowded at Helpston feast time but before it closed it was down to only about 2 – 3 people coming in during the evening.

Phoebe died at the Royal Oak Cottage, Woodgate, Helpston, on 1.3.1946, age 99 years. Phoebe’s daughter, Alice Maud Sanderson had married Charles Martin in 1912 at Helpston Parish Church and they had lived at The Railway Hotel with her parents, and then moved to the Royal Oak Inn with her mother after Mark died.

Charles and Alice Maud Martin had five children, the first two being born at The Railway Hotel and the other three at The Royal Oak Inn.  After the Royal Oak Inn closed as a pub the whole family continued to live there.  Charles Martin died in 1948 and his wife continued to live there with their daughter, Violet.

When Violet died in 1967, Alice Maud Martin felt that she could no longer cope with living there on her own and the house was sold to Mr. Cocks, the present owner.”

Did you know?
The Rev John David Paulett was the notorious vicar of St Botolph’s from 1888 to 1892, when he left in disgrace.

He was unmarried and lived in the vicarage with his sister, Isabella Paulett, who had been the matron of a home in London. She moved to Helpstone with her maid, Lydia Barnett.

In 1892 Rev. John David Paulett was aged 58 and the maid Lydia was aged 31 when they married down in London on January 28th. His sister took off to York with embarassment! They went on to have another son Robert and lived together in Peterborough until the ex-Reverend died in 1900!

The Lincolnshire, Rutland and Stamford Mercury dated May 13th 1892 gives a report of an ecclesiastical enquiry against John Paulett as he had not adequately performed the duties of his office. He failed to hold two full services on Sundays and neglected to visit the sick and dying!

No mention of his ‘friendship’ with the maid was made!

There is a slight reference to this on page 4 of the our Helpston School Master’s Diary (see historical documents), as the enquiry was held in Helpston School.

Historical Articles
The History of Woodcroft Castle, by Tony Henthorn
Helpston’s pubs and beer houses, by George Boyden
Memories of pig killing in the 1920s by Phyllis Crowson
The Origins of Helpston Paper Mill by Eric West and George Boyden
The Day War Broke Out by Martin Jackson
A Helpston Holiday 1927 by Douglas Britton
Helpston’s Market or Butter Cross by the Rev Christopher Seal
Sir James Bradford and the Almshouses by George Boyden
The Langdyke Hundred Court by Richard Keymer
The Langdyke Bush by Avril M Morris MA
The Rules of Helpston Pig Club
St Botolph’s – the blocked north door by George Boyden
Helpston in 1831 by the Rev Christopher Seal
Margaret Ruddy and 25 years at Helpston Post Office by Joan Hancock
The Great Fire of Helpston 1995

If you would like to add any articles to this page, please contact the Barn Manager at info@botolphsbarn.org.uk

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