- The villages around Bourne, Lincolnshire, England -

Corby Glen

Photograpged in 1999
 

THIS IS A SIZEABLE community seven miles north west of Bourne on the A151 and the first thing you see on entering the square is the ancient market cross, erected in the reign of Edward III (1312-1377), while around the corner is the old village pump, although heavily restored. Corby Glen once had the status of a small market town and even now is big enough to boast two medical practices and three public houses.
 
The Church of St John the Evangelist dates back to the 12th century and is famous for its mediaeval wall paintings discovered under nearly 1,200 sq ft of plaster when the church was being restored in 1939. These paintings are among the most significant mediaeval remains in the country and preservation work was carried out in 1992, financed with funds from English Heritage. The original church had no aisles but they were added 200 years later when the chancel was enlarged and a short tower built.

The nave roof was raised during a major rebuilding programme in the 15th century and the tower was then heightened. Much of the chancel was rebuilt in 1860 while the altar was given in 1976 in memory of John Hedley Lewis, landowner, sportsman and the first chairman of the Lincolnshire County Council. It stands behind 17th century rails erected as a safety barrier for communion tables after William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, decreed in 1634 that they should be moved against the east wall and protected in order "that doggs may not gett in".
 
Trade has always been a feature of life in Corby Glen and the church registers reveal a variety of occupations down the ages, apothecaries, peruke and stay makers, saddlers and tailors while the village once boasted nine public houses to cater for a busy trading community but the market has long since gone and only three of the hostelries survive, the Fighting Cocks, the Glaziers Arms and the former Woodhouse Inn, now the Coachman Inn, which appears to be quite sufficient for a village of under 600 electors.

The village has had several schools in the past, the most illustrious being Reads Grammar School, a picturesque stone building founded in 1669 under the will of Charles Read. For 240 years, this school educated the more prosperous sons of the countryside until it closed in 1909, being unable to compete with larger schools made accessible by modern transport. The building is still in a fine state of repair having been restored and rededicated in 1965 and it now houses the Willoughby Memorial Library and Art Gallery.
Corby Glen Primary School occupies the old stone-built premises that once housed the village Board School, built in Station Road in 1878 and still the focus of primary education in the parish. It currently has a staff of five and over 100 pupils aged from four to eleven. The declared approach to discipline is: "We live by a shared code of conduct, respecting each other's persons, feelings and property."

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