Great Limber in Lincolnshire was where I found myself today.
There was a Knight Templar Preceptory there but I suspect there’s much more to the place than there may initially appear.
Today, Great Limber is a lovely little village but I imagine most people experience it only when driving through on the way to Humberside Airport.
The question is what was it like 100s of years ago ?
My attention was brought to something by Cartographic Guru Neville Sisson. Looking at Speed’s 1610 map of Lincolnshire the symbols denoting towns change in stature.
This seems reasonable enough as it reflects the status of the town one presumes - but why then is Great Lymberghe, symbolically, the size of Grimsby and Caistor ?
I took this picture quickly from the far side of the village for those abroad who visit the site. It’s a fairly typical rural village scene - the local church, probably 800 years old or so looking out over the landscape and village it has so beautifully molded itself into
We know the Knights Templar had a Preceptory there so to my mind that suggests an area of reasonable importance anyway - but is there more ?
As to the Templar Knights, below are the earthworks of the original preceptory what a feeling it was standing there.
Back in the 12th century the Templars held the second biggest estate in Lymbergh. It was, as most of their property was, let out to tenants and this continued until the 14th century when the order was famously dissolved with this estate then passing to the Knights Hospitallers
Below is a map of the entire site which is now a scheduled ancient monument and a beautifully kept site it is too.
There is public access and it has a superb ‘Conservation Walk’ so you can take in the whole place - really is worth a visit.
It’s on the left hand side of the road just as you enter the village heading towards the airport.
Here is the key to the spots marked on the map
A: Large rectangular banked enclosure thought to represent the site of the Hospitallers camera, where the main house, outbuildings, gardens and possibly a chapel were located between the 14th and 16th centuries The prominent wall foundations visible inside the enclosure mark the site of the 16th and 17th century house
B: Remains of a large, rectangular barn
C Closes defined by banks associated with the occupation of the Templars in the 12th and 14th centuries and reoccupied in the 14th - 16th centuries by the Hospitallers. The closes contain traces or earlier ridge and furrow cultivation. A further enclosure to the east is occupied by the farmyard.
D: Village remains marking the former eastern extent of Great Limber. This part of the village was depopulated gradually: only two houses were occupied in 1676, and the whole area had been abandoned by 1812.
E: Remains of houses and yards.
F: Former village streets visible as hollow ways.
G: Traces of late medieval ridge and furrow cultivation, known as Stone-Pit Furlong in the 17th century.
H: Site of Great Limber House and gardens, bounded on the south side by the earthwork remains of a ha-ha (a ha-ha is a sort of trench marking a boundary with spoiling a view), which formerly separated the gardens from adjacent pasture land.
The Domesday Book
Listed in the 1086 book as Limberge / Linberge it’s King’s Land and the only names mentioned are the Archbishop of York, Ivo Tailbois, Hugh FitzBaldric, Drogo de Beuriviere and Rayner de Brimou.
The only place noted is half a slaughter house so it’s clear in 1086 there wasn’t a great deal going on there - so why the status on some maps ?
The final shot above is an attempt to show you how impressive the earthworks are on the site. As always, in my experience, it’s very difficult to get this across in a photograph. The above shows it a bit better than normal so perhaps it gives you some idea.
Obviously there’s plenty more to go at here but I’m concerned this has already got quite long so I think it may be better to cover anything else in the form of comments.
If you know of anything else or you’ve visited the village then please do leave a comment - likewise subsequently there will be a lot more valuable information in the comments that will surely build over time so please do scroll down for more - thank you
All the best