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Alford, Lincolnshire facts for kids

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Alford Windmill
Alford is located in Lincolnshire
Population 3,459 (2011)
OS grid reference TF454758
• London 120 mi (190 km) SSW
Civil parish
  • Alford
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ALFORD
Postcode district LN13
Dialling code 01507
Police Lincolnshire
Fire Lincolnshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Louth and Horncastle
List of places
53°16′N 0°11′E / 53.26°N 0.18°E / 53.26; 0.18

Alford (pronounced OL-fərd) is a town in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, which form an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The population was recorded as 3,459 in the 2011 Census and estimated at 3,789 in 2019. It lies between the towns of Mablethorpe, Louth, Spilsby and Skegness and acts as a local retail centre.


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 homeware stores. There is also a large shop (The Tiger Lily) which specialises in doll's houses and their contents. There are two supermarkets, in Church Street and West Street. The five public houses are the Half Moon Hotel, Windmill Hotel, George, Anchor and White Hart. Two of these still operate - the Half Moon having an attached tea shop and is the venue for many local activities. The Anchor is in the process of being renovated. The town has branches of Lloyds Bank and the Yorkshire Building Society.

National Health and private dentists are located in South Street and Merton Lodge, and there is a doctors' surgery in West Street. A crematorium opened on the outskirts in 2008.

Market day in Alford is Tuesday. The main market is held in the Market Place, with stalls of groceries and other small items. Alford's Craft Market has been held every August bank holiday since the 1970s in the grounds of the manor house. The cattle market closed in 1987. A smaller weekly market is held in the Corn Exchange every Tuesday and Friday.

Employment and transport

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

Alford Town railway station-by-Richard-Croft
The former railway station

Beeching's Way Industrial Estate in the south-west of the town includes printing and manufacturing firms, a builders' merchant and a postal sorting office. It was built on the disused lines 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 at the behest of the Department of Transport.

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

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

Alford also has bus connections to Mablethorpe and Spilsby, and one service a day to and from Louth. The nearest railway station is in Thorpe Culvert.


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



Alford Windmill - - 99372

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 was capable of grinding 4 to 5 tons of corn per day. The mill operated until 1955.

After two years' standing idle, it was restored to full working order in 1957. It is used commercially to produce stone-ground organic flour and cereal. It is the only windmill surviving in Alford. In 1932 there were three, each with a different number of sails (four, five and six).

Alford has one of several working windmills in Lincolnshire. Others can be found at Lincoln, Heckington, Boston, Waltham, Kirton in Lindsey, Sibsey and Burgh le Marsh.

Alford Manor House

Alford Manor House - - 386834
Alford Manor House

The town's Manor House is one of the largest thatched manor houses in the country. In 2006 it was refurbished through National Lottery funding in association with English Heritage; interactive exhibits were installed and accessibility increased for disabled visitors. The manor house has a tea room and open gardens. The Manor House has two standing exhibitions. These are: Alford Remembers which 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.


St Wilfrid's church

The medieval Anglican parish church of Alford is dedicated to St Wilfrid. Built in the 14th century, with restoration and additions from 1860, it is situated at the junction between Church, South and West Streets. It includes St Lawrence Chapel. Original features include a 14th-century screen, a Jacobean pulpit, traces of 16th-century glass, and a 17th-century tomb in the chancel. In the Elizabethan era, it hosted a local primary school.

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.

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.


Alford has a primary school, one of England's few remaining grammar schools, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, founded in 1566, and John Spendluffe Technology College. The grammar school received a mixed Ofsted day-inspection report in 2007. The technology college was gauged as "requiring improvement" at a full Ofsted inspection in March 2019.

Notable people

In order of birth:

  • Captain John Smith (1580–1631) was an explorer of New England, whose name he coined. His life was reputedly saved by the Native American "princess" Pocahontas. He lived in Great Carlton, 4 miles (6.4 km) to the north and went to school in Alford.
  • Anne Hutchinson, born Anne Marbury (1591–1643), Puritan settler and religious reformer in New England.
  • Edward Hutchinson (1613–1675), Alford-born son of Anne Hutchinson, became prominent as a soldier and a politician in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
  • William Wentworth (1616–1697), born in Alford, was a follower of the Puritan John Wheelwright and an early settler in New Hampshire.
  • Bendix Hallenstein, shopkeeper, married here in 1861
  • Susanna Cole (1633 – c. 1713), born in Alford, was captured and raised by American Indians after her family was massacred at New Netherland.
  • William Charles Ellis (1780–1839), born in Alford, was a pioneer in the "humane treatment" of mental illness.
  • Elizabeth Dawbarn (died 1839), born in Alford, was a Baptist religious pamphleteer.
  • George Manville Fenn (1831–1909), novelist, taught in Alford.
  • Enid Stamp-Taylor (1904-1946), film actress, is buried in Alford parish church.
  • Tony Richardson (1943–2007), footballer born in Alford, played for Nottingham Forest, Cheltenham Town and Bradford City.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Alford (Lincolnshire) para niños

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