|The Town of Market Deeping|
|Market Deeping, now a town with its own Mayor, is usually referred
to as a Village in documents and records. A Royal Charter was presented
to the town on September 8th 1304 through the person of Joanna, wife of
John Wake. His burial stone is outside the Church Vestry Door, set
into the ground. The Charter stated:- "I grant at the instance
of Margaret the Queen, to Joan wife of John Wake that she shall have for
the term of her life on Wednesdays a weekly Market at her Manor of
West Deeping and have a yearly fair there on the Vigil and Feast of St
Michael and the six days following". So the present
day market though quite different had a Royal beginning, and the granting
of a Charter would change the name from East to Market Deeping.
The History of the Deepings is centred around the family of Wake. In Saxon times, 868 A.D. Beorred, King of Mercia gave to the Abbey of Croyland, the village of Deeping consisting of four hundred cottages, two hundred houses and two churches. The Wakes became Lords of the Manor of Deepings, until by marriage of Joanna Wake to the Black Prince, it passed to the Crown. One of her sons became King Richard ll. Originally it was surrounded by marsh and fen, the drainage and enclosure of which was begun by Richard de Rulos, a knight in the service of William the Conqueror who was given the title to the area for his services. Richard developed the area with considerable thought and skill and his example was followed a century later by the monks of Crowland and Thorney. Its situation now is in the extreme south of Kesteven in the County and Diocese of Lincoln, some 44 miles from the mother Cathedral and has some 5500 inhabitants. A stone village, it has a large curtilage area, and its housing development has been outside that area.
The Old Town Hall, well situated in a prominent position in the Market Place was erected in 1839, the cells and dungeons have now disappeared as has the old Fire Engine which was housed there after being removed from the Church. This building is now used by the Town Council. In 1482 a stone was inserted in to the new stone bridge over the River Welland to mark the boundary line with Northampton.
A new Church Aided Primary School was completed in 1966 replacing the two nineteenth century buildings in Church Street, the Endowment School and the Green School. The latter was given by the former Rector, the Rev. William Hildyard and so called because the girls who attended were obliged to wear green dresses and tippets. The new school was given the name William Hildyard, and the County Primary School was erected one year later. The Old Curiosity Shoppe in Church Street formerly the Old Tannery, is probably the oldest house in the town apart from the Medieval Rectory which is described a little later one. Also in Church Street are six Alms Houses, built in 1877, the gift of Miss Mary Ann Scotney.
The Bull Hotel in the Market Place is named after the Latin "Bulla" meaning a seal, a written mandate of the Pope of a "serious and weighty measure". This inn, together with the Deeping Stage are old coaching inns and an old coaching sign of 1830, still to be seen, describes the routes taken and shows that Market Deeping about that date was a well patronised Coaching Halt. The Old Cottages and Houses are built of local stone, probably brought down by river and canal from nearby Barnack and Clipsham. Roofing slabs from Colleyweston are still in use. In 1620, at Stamford it was "enacted and devised that a new cut "for the passage of boats be made from Hudd's Mill to the North Sea". The old crafts have long disappeared and the town now is mainly a gentle place of living for industries outside its boundary.