Alford (pronounced “Olford”) is a historic market town at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is famous for the 17th century thatched Alford Manor House – now a museum and also its popular Craft Market and Independent shops.
Deep in the Lincolnshire countryside, not far from the golden sandy beaches between Mablethorpe and Chapel St.Leonards is the pleasant market town of Alford. A settlement was established here in or around 650 AD. The town is mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Alforde’ a small town, and it remained so for several hundred years. A charter was granted in 1283 and by 1530 the town had developed in size, it had a good market and some fine houses were being built.
The church of St. Wilfred was built here during the 14th-century and was much restored, altered and enlarged by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1869. It is a beautiful old church with a chambered south porch and amongst it’s many treasures shows fine monuments. One monument, with effigies dates 1668 and there is a 17th-century pulpit. Another fine building to be seen is Alford Manor House, given to the town by Dorothy Higgins. It is of timber frame structure, dates 1611 and considered to be one of England’s largest Thatched manor houses. The house once belonged to Dorothy Higgins Grandfather. Alford’s unusual windmill has five sails and dates 1813.
Noted past citizens include Captain James Smith (1580-1631) who was educated in Alford. He was a great explorer and was one of the founders of Jamestown in Virginia, USA. Thomas Paine, who once worked in Alford as an excise officer, played a significant part in the foundation of the United States of America.
A walk round this lovely old place reveals delightful houses and cottages from as far back as the 17th-century. There is a museum that tells much of the history of the town and surrounding villages. Nearby is the pretty village of Claythorpe where you will find an 18th-century Watermill and wildfowl gardens. These delightful riverside gardens are home to ducks, geese and other waterfowl. Exotic species include storks and the red-legged partridge can sometimes be spotted in the countryside beyond and at Rigsby there are delightful wooded areas. Words from www.picturesofengland.com
Reputedly the largest thatched manor house in the country, Alford Manor House was built to a traditional H plan in 1611. Includes Museum, Tea Rooms and Gardens open to visitors. Image by David Bennett
Alford’s Five-Sailed Windmill was built in 1837 and is often considered to be the finest working windmill in England, with the shop in the old engine house selling locally stoneground flour.
The ancient market town of Alford dates back hundreds of years and is steeped in history. It currently hosts its busy market every Tuesday & Friday with a varied range of stalls. There is also a Craft Market which happens regularly throughout the year. Image by David Bennett
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