Castle Bytham

Castle Bytham

Castle Bytham is a picturesque village of around 300 houses in South Kesteven in south Lincolnshire at . Overlooking the village is an 11th century Saxon castle, which was destroyed by Henry III in 1221, even though he was only fourteen.

The church is dedicated to St James and is one of a group of parishes, the Vicar living in Essendine. There was at one time a Methodist chapel in High Street, now a private house, served by visiting ministers from Stamford. Between the village and Clipsham is a Yew Tree Avenue maintained by the Forestry Commission, the trees cut into large topiary forms. There are two remaining pubs in the village - the Fox & Hounds and the Castle Inn. Others, such as the New Inn in station road, were converted to housing in the 1960s.

The village had a Castle Bytham railway station on the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, the remains of which can still be seen. This station was rather unusual, being a single platform in a cutting through the village. The station was not originally planned by the railway, but was added after considerable local lobbying. It remained open, as did the goods yard on the other side of the road, until the line closed in 1959. Outside the village the line of the railway now forms a road crossing under the A1

The village also has one remaining shop in Pinfold Road, but the post office was closed in 2008 despite local opposition. This post office had served a number of smaller villages nearby without such ameneties; these include Creeton, Swinstead, Swayfield, Little Bytham and Clipsham - it has now been replaced by a once-a-week 'outreach' service. As recently as the 1960s there were two forges and two other shops in the village, a TV repairer and another general store. The fish-and-chip shop at the top of Pinfold road had closed just before. The primary school was closed in the 1970s, and it's branch of the Public Library service was replaced by a mobile service.

Nearby is Little Bytham. The two villages used to be called West and East Bytham. To the west is South Witham near the source of the river Witham, on the other side of the A1. Between the Village and the A1 road the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust maintains an important wildlife sanctuary at Tortiseshell wood and some of the road verges are protected for wildlife by the county council.

At one time the village was an important commercial centre for the surrounding agricultural communities, but is now largely a dormitory although a number of larger local farming families remain with a much reduced workforce.

The nearest town is Stamford, even though it is in the Grantham postal area, with a Nottingham post code.

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