Horncastle Parish Church

Church of St Mary, Horncastle © TAB

A pleasant little market town at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, located between the River Bain and the River Waring.

The town is known as the antiques capital of the county, and hosts a range of small independent and artisan shops, tearooms, cafes, cosy pubs and restaurants. Street markets are held on Thursday and Saturday and a farmer's market is held on the second Thursday of each month.

Horncastle is built on the site of the Roman fort of Banovallum, meaning walled place on the River Bain. Sections from the original Roman walls are still visible and a portion of it was incorporated in the structure of a library built in 1969. The rest of the town is mainly of 19th-c red brick.

The town was the scene of a decisive battle during the English Civil War in 1643. The restored Church of St Mary contains many relics from that period, including a collection of scythes said to have been used as weapons.

Sellwood House once stood in a corner of the market place. The residence of Henry Sellwood, who's daughters Louisa and Emily married Charles and Alfred Lord Tennyson. The Poet Laureate was born in nearby Somersby. The son of the local vicar, he lived in the rectory, known as Somersby House.

Joseph Banks Centre
Sir Joseph Banks Centre © Travel About Britain

The famous explorer and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, is celebrated in the restored Grade II listed 'Sir Joseph Banks Centre' on Bridge Street. He famously accompanied Captain Cook on his discovery of Australia, where he catalogued thousands of newly discovered plants and animals. The restored building houses part of his curated collections, including a Reference Library, Herbarium, gift shop and Tribute Garden.

The town once held an August Horse Fair that was famed throughout Europe, described by George Borrow in The Romany Rye.

Map of Horncastle


 • Festivals & Events  • Where to Stay  • What to Eat  • Walks & Trails  • Weather  • General Info  • News & Articles

UK Regions:

 • South East  • South West  • London  • East Anglia  • Midlands  • Wales  • North East  • North West  • Scotland