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Horncastle, Lincolnshire (England)

English Town

Last modified: 2021-06-12 by rob raeside
Keywords: horncastle | lincolnshire |
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speculative image by Pete Loeser, 6 November 2020
Based on information received from Amanda Bushell, Town Clerk, Horncastle Town Council, 2 November 2020

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Introduction: The Town of Horncastle

The following information is provided on the Horncastle Town Council Website:

  • The Romans built a fort at Horncastle, which possibly became a Saxon Shore Fort. Although fortified, Horncastle was not on any important Roman roads, which suggests that the River Bain was the principal route of access.
  • Roman Horncastle has become known as Banovallum (Wall on the River Bain). This name has been adopted by several local businesses and by the town's secondary school - but in fact the actual Roman name for the settlement is not definitely known: Banovallum was suggested in the 19th century through an interpretation of the Ravenna Cosmography, a 7th century list of Roman towns and road-stations; Banovallum may in fact have been Caistor.
  • As a former Roman settlement, there are above ground remains of the Roman wall to be found in various parts of the town. The best preserved sections are on display within the Library where it is a major feature within the building.
  • The Saxons called the town Hyrnecastre, from whence its modern name arose.
  • Horncastle is mentioned in Domesday Book of 1086, when it was listed as consisting of 41 households, including twenty-nine villagers and twelve smallholders, and had 100 acres of meadow and two mills, all belonging to King William.
  • Horncastle has been a Historic Chartered Market town since 1231 and was once the venue for the world's largest horse fair. At its peak in the 1800s, buyers and sellers were arriving from all over Europe to trade. Unfortunately the horse fair slowly declined over the years until ceasing in the mid 1900s. Despite this, trade still continued in the streets of the town, and today we still hold markets on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • You can read more about the history of Horncastle on the Horncastle History and Heritage Society website.

The book A History of Horncastle by J. Conway Walter, is available free from the Gutenberg Project. You can download the book for free here.

I add some additional information I discovered in an old 2013 Lincolnshire Tourist Guide during my research:

  • "Horncastle has held the market town charter since the 13th Century. It is located 17 miles east of the county seat (county town) of Lincoln. It is situated south of the Lincolnshire Wolds, where the River Bain meets the River Waring, and north of the West and Wildmore Fens."  A part of the ancient Roman wall that runs through the town and Saint Mary's Church are British Heritage sites.
  • "However, the town's current claims to fame are perhaps a little unusual to say the least. It is currently home to the World's Largest Salt Shaker."
  • "Also, from about 2003, it has been at the centre of multiple alleged sightings of a big cat thought to be an escaped leopard or panther. The local press has daubed this mysterious big cat the 'Lindsey Leopard' or 'Beast of the Wolds', but it has yet to be proven whether this is indeed an urban (or perhaps rural) myth or for real! So beware when visiting Horncastle!"
  • "The town is also a record-holder, when, on 7 October 1960 it entered the UK Weather Records with the Highest three-hour total rainfall of 178 mm. That having been said, the town is well-known locally for its floods, the big ones being in 1920 and 1960 respectively, with three minor ones between 1981 and 1984. Local folklore has it that the floods coincided with a change of the town's vicar the previous year, something which happened each year. However, there were no floods in 2000 to mark the change of town's vicar in 1999."
I have written the Horncastle Town Council and local newspaper asking for more information on a possible town flag.
Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020

The Search for a Flag for Horncastle

"Horncastle News" announced on 15 October 2008: "Horncastle Town Council would like the town to have its own flag and will be asking the town's young people to come up with some exciting designs. Over the next few weeks the council will be contacting all Horncastle schools and inviting pupils to take part in a competition to find the best design for the flag. The competition will be for three age groups with prizes for the best three designs from each age group. The top four designs from each group chosen by Horncastle Town Council will be displayed in the library during December. This will give the public a chance to choose their favourite design and determine the overall winner. Entry forms with more details and design parameters will be distributed later this month."
More on the town on Wikipedia: Wikipedia: Horncastle.
Ivan Sache, 14 October 2008

A bit of a 12 year "no progress" report. As of this date it remains unclear if any flag contest was held, or any flag for the Horncastle Town Council was considered or adopted. There is still no known flag for Horncastle.
Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020

image provided by Amanda Bushell, 6 November 2020

I'm afraid I don't know anything about a competition to design a flag. I have only worked for the Council since 2011, so this was before my time. The only flags that I have seen have the town council logo on them, but this was designed much longer than 12 years ago.
Amanda Bushell, Town Clerk, Horncastle Town Council, 2 November 2020

My e-mail to the Horncastle News has never received a response. I've also contacted their historical society to see if they have anything, again no response. Amanda Bushell, the current Horncastle Town Council Clerk, sent me the picture of the Horncastle Town Council logo she says they are now using. She also recalled it was placed on a light blue background on the flags she has seen. Hopefully more details will be provided in the future.
Pete Loeser, 2 November 2020

Wyevale Garden Centre Flag Contest

image located by Pete Loeser, 10 June 2021

Apparently the local Wolds View (Wyevale Garden Centre) in Horncastle announced the winner on 26 July 2016 of a flag design contest for their business held in the local primary school and this may have been what started this whole thing about a flag for Horncastle. This awards photo appeared in The Lincolnshire World.
Source: Lincolnshire World: Chloes Winning Flag.
Pete Loeser, 10 June 2021

The Horncastle Town Council Logos

Facebook     Website
images located by Pete Loeser, 10 June 2021

I found these two logos on the Horncastle Town Council Facebook page and on their website page. Still have nothing about a matching flag.
Pete Loeser, 10 June 2021

Horncastle Rural District Council Coat Of Arms

[Horncastle Rural District Council Coat Of Arms] image located by Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020

Horncastle was a rural district between 1894 and 1974 in the Parts of Lindsey, a subsection of Lincolnshire today. It was formed under the Local Government Act of 1894 from the earlier Horncastle Rural Sanitary District. It entirely surrounded the town of Horncastle, which was then an urban district town city. The rural district was abolished under the Local Government Act of 1972 and merged with other districts to form the district of East Lindsey. However in 1956 Horncastle was granted its own coat of arms.
Some of the symbols in the arms refer to the following: The double-towered castle refers to Tattershall Castle, one of the District's most famous landmarks. The two bulls' heads identify the district's cattle raising industry. The golden mitre refers to the area's monastic history and to the fact that Archbishop Stephen Langton, who presented Magna Carta for King John's signature in 1215 was born in the Horncastle district.

  • ARMS: Or a Castle of two Towers Gules on a Chief wavy Vert a Mitre Gold between two Lincolnshire Shorthorn Bulls' Heads caboshed proper.
  • CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours out of a Wreath of Laurel Vert a dexter Arm embowed in Armour the hand grasping a dexter Gauntlet all proper the upper arm charged with a Sun Or.
  • Motto: "DEFEND THE RIGHT".
  • Granted: 30th January 1956.
Source: Civic Heraldry of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: Horncastle.
Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020

Horncastle Town Football Club

[Horncastle Town FC #3]      [Horncastle Town FC #2]
images by Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020

The Horncastle Town Football Club is an amateur football club and has a proud history dating back to when the club was founded in 1873. They previously played in the Boston & District League Premier division, but now "The Wongers" 1st team competes in the Lincolnshire Football League and have done so for the past 18 seasons. Their home ground is The Wong and the team colors are red and white.
Like most towns with English football clubs, more attention to flags representing the community exist in their sporting world than their community in general. The Horncastle Town Football Club fan flags presents an example.
My drawings based on this photo and this photo.
Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020

HTFC Sunshine Mountain Banner and Team Logo

[Horncastle Town FC #1]      [Horncastle Town FC Logo]
images by Pete Loeser, 21 October 2020