Alford, Lincolnshire

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Alford Windmill
Alford is located in Lincolnshire
Location within Lincolnshire
Population3,459 (2011)
OS grid referenceTF454758
• London120 mi (190 km) SSW
Civil parish
  • Alford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townALFORD
Postcode districtLN13
Dialling code01507
AmbulanceEast Midlands
EU ParliamentEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
53°16′N 0°11′E / 53.26°N 0.18°E / 53.26; 0.18Coordinates: 53°16′N 0°11′E / 53.26°N 0.18°E / 53.26; 0.18

Alford (pronounced /ˈɒlfərd/ OL-fərd) is a town in Lincolnshire, England, about 11 miles (18 km) north-west of the coastal resort of Skegness. It lies at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the population of the town was recorded as 3,459 in the 2011 Census.[1]


An electoral ward of the same name exists, it stretches east to the coast, with a population of 4,531, as recorded in the 2011 census.[2]


Alford's retail outlets cater mainly for local demand. Shops include a pharmacy, a grocery, two butchers (the latest one opened in November 2016) and DIY and hardware stores. There are three supermarkets, in Church Street, West Street and Hamilton Road; the five public houses are the Half Moon Hotel, Windmill Hotel, George,[3] Anchor and White Hart. Four of these still operate – the Half Moon has an attached tea shop and is the venue for many local activities. The Anchor has been renovated and is now a bed-and-breakfast establishment. The Windmill is also a hotel, while the White Hart is still a traditional pub.

The town has no banks as the last one, Lloyds Bank, closed in September 2018. There is still a Yorkshire Building Society office. Banking facilities are available at the Post Office, which is now incorporated into the Quicky Supermaket in West Street and open from 7 am to 10 pm on weekdays.

H & M Ducos Pottery, established in London in 1972 moved to Alford in 1973, became the Alford Pottery, and acquired premises in Commercial Road in 1978, where it has been manufacturing tableware and exporting worldwide, it was responsible for establishing the Alford Craft Market, the Alford Festivals of arts and crafts, the Alford Folk Club (now an acoustic club), the Alford Morris Dancing club, the Alford Jazz Festival (now closed), the Alford Film Society (now disbanded) and many other organisations. The Alford Craft Market Centre is a cooperative venture selling works from local and regional craftsmen, and with the help of a substantial grant from the National Lottery, providing many different classes and workshops to give opportunities to the public to experience art and craft activities on a regular basis.

National Health private dentists are located in South Street and the Doctor's surgery is in Merton Lodge on West Street. A crematorium opened at the entrance of the town in 2008.

Market day in Alford is Tuesday, it is a charter market. The main market is organised by Alford Town Council and held in the Market Place,[4] with stalls of groceries, greengrocery and a long-established fishmonger and other small items, as well as a popular auction; the Alford Craft Market has been held on the Market Place since 1974 and every late Spring Bank Holiday and August bank holiday since 1975 in the grounds of the Alford Manor House. The summer weekly Craft Market is now held in the Corn Exchange; the cattle market closed in 1987.[5][citation needed].[citation needed]

Employment and transport[edit]

Most factories have closed in the last few years; the main sources of employment are a number of newer businesses on the industrial estate, Safelincs in West Street, and the schools, nursing homes and other smaller firms.

Former railway station

Beeching's Way Industrial Estate in the south-west of the town includes companies for printing and manufacturing, a builders' merchant, and a postal sorting office, it was built on the line of the East Lincolnshire Railway from Grimsby to Boston, which closed on 5 October 1970, along with the local station. The naming of the industrial estate as Beeching's Way is a wry reminder of Richard Beeching, who masterminded the nationwide rail cutbacks under publicly owned British Railways.

The town's previous largest employer was C. S. Martin, later Finnveden Powertrain Ltd, closed its doors in 2010. Following redundancies, the factory now operates as Gnutti Carlo UK Ltd.[citation needed]

There is a daytime Monday-to-Friday bus service to Skegness,[6] a single Wednesday service to Boston,[7] and occasional local and school bus services open to other passengers.[8]


Population of Alford Civil Parish
Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Population[9] 2,894 2,843 2,478 2,394 2,194 2,227 2,218 2.139 3,231 3,459




Alford is known for its Grade I listed five-sailed windmill, a tower mill built in 1837 by Sam Oxley, an Alford millwright. In its heyday it could grind 4–5 tons of corn a day, it ceased to operate in 1955, but after two years' idle, it was restored to full working order in 1957. It is now used commercially to produce stone-ground organic flour and cereal, as the only surviving windmill in the town. In 1932 there were still three, each with a different number of sails (four, five and six).[10][11] Other working windmills in the county can be found at Lincoln, Heckington, Boston, Waltham, Kirton in Lindsey, Sibsey and Burgh le Marsh.

Manor House[edit]

Alford Manor House

The town's Manor House is one of the largest thatched buildings of its kind in the country. manor houses. In 2006 it was refurbished with National Lottery funding in association with English Heritage. Interactive exhibits were installed and accessibility increased for disabled visitors; the manor house also has a tea room and open gardens.[12]

The Manor House has two permanent exhibitions. Alford Remembers has First World War memorabilia and a photography exhibition by Edwin Nainby, who was born in Gedney in January 1842 and died in Alford in July 1908; the youngest son of a Quaker he was first in business as a photographer in Long Sutton and then in 1873 moved to Alford. There are over 750 glass photography plates exhibited. There are a number of annual events such as the Christmas Tree exhibition, a tractor rally and a threshing day. There is a local museum at the back of the Manor House (Hackett's barn) which has many exhibits from the time when Alford was a thriving Victorian market town.

Corn Exchange[edit]

The Alford Corn Exchange was given by East Lindsey District Council to a specially instituted CIC composed solely of volunteers, and is now a centre for cultural, social and community activities.[citation needed]


Primary education is provided by Alford Primary School.[13] In secondary education, Alford has one of England's few remaining grammar schools, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and John Spendluffe Technology College;[14] the grammar school was judged "Outstanding" in an Ofsted inspection of 2007;[citation needed] the Technology College received an "Outstanding" report from Ofsted in 2010.[citation needed]

Religious sites[edit]

St Wilfrid's church

The medieval Anglican parish church of Alford is dedicated to St Wilfrid, a 7th-century English bishop. Built in the 14th century, with restoration and additions from 1860, it stands at the junction between Church, South and West Streets, it includes St Lawrence's Chapel. Original features include a 14th-century screen, a Jacobean pulpit, traces of 16th-century glass, and a 17th-century tomb in the chancel, it founded a school in the Elizabethan era.[15]

The church holds a variety of worship services, and annual community events such as a flower show. There is a war memorial in the churchyard for local people who died in the two world wars and in Northern Ireland.[16]

Alford also has a Methodist church, an Independent Congregational church, and Alford Christian Fellowship.

Approximately 4 miles (6 km) from Alford, in the village of Markby, is St Peter's Church, the only remaining thatched church in Lincolnshire.[17]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ George.
  4. ^ Photograph of the Market Place
  5. ^ Alford Town Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  6. ^ Bus Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  7. ^ Hunt's Retrieved 22 August 2016. Archived 23 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Hunt's Retrieved 22 August 2016. Archived 23 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Vision of Britain". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  10. ^ Family Services Directory site. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  11. ^ Town commercial website. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  12. ^ Museum site. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  13. ^ Alford Primary School
  14. ^ John Spendluffe Technology College
  15. ^ "St Wilfrid's Church, Alford" (includes photos), Alford Group of Parishes, 2010-2014, accessed 7 August 2014.
  16. ^ Roll of Honour Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  17. ^ Retrieved 11 October 2018. Short history of Markby Church with photographs.
  18. ^ ODNB. Retrieved 15 May 2014, pay-walled.
  19. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  20. ^ Barbour, Philip L: The Three Worlds of Captain John Smith, pp. 5-7. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 1964.

External links[edit]

Media related to Alford, Lincolnshire at Wikimedia Commons