- The villages around Bourne, Lincolnshire, England -

Pointon

Photographed in 1999

THE DOMESDAY BOOK of 1086 refers to Pointon as Pochinton or "the farmstead associated with or called after Pohhr", from the Old English. The village is seven miles north of Bourne on the B1177 and although overshadowed in historical interest by its illustrious neighbour Sempringham, there is much to attract the curious. Some of the old thick-walled houses hereabouts are reputed to have been built with stone from the priory at Sempringham and there must have been some grand houses in past times because water from the Car Dyke, the Roman waterway that runs past the village to the east, was once used to fill a mediaeval moat around one of them.

The population in 1881 was 438, although it is much less today, and the village was noted for its sheep, particularly the Lincolnshire long-wooled variety that had been bred here for the past 100 years and which fetched high prices at the annual sales. One of the biggest breeders of these sheep during the late 19th century was local farmer Mr Thomas Russell Casswell.

A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1842 down an alley off West Road and is still used while the Mormons, the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-Day Saints, also had a preaching house there. On Religious Census Sunday in 1851, 78 people attended the chapel and 35 the preaching house but others from the village walked across the fields to attend services at St Andrew's Church at Sempringham. Christ Church, pictured above, is a recent addition to the village, having been erected in 1893, and is one of England's few remaining tin tabernacles, tucked away in a side lane yet still serving the community as a place for worship after more than a century although its construction was an early form of prefabrication, made elsewhere from corrugated iron and erected on site for less than 400.

One of the biggest but most unprepossessing buildings is the village hall which stands on land donated by a local haulage contractor. A plaque over the door records his philanthropy: "The hall was built by voluntary labour upon the site given by Mr. Thomas Bates of Pointon. Erected 1954." The building has been modernised in recent years at a cost of 17,000 and although there was once a shortage of volunteers to run it, these problems have been resolved and so the hall continues to function as a valuable amenity and the centre of village life.

Farming has always been the main business in this village but during the 19th century, it also supported a wide variety of trades including a grocer and draper, a carpenter and wheelwright, a butcher, baker, cobbler, an agricultural engineer and a post office.

The village school was built in 1863 at a cost of 500 that was raised by public subscription and had room for 150 children although the average attendance was only 84. It was known as the National School and was maintained with an annual donation of 25 from the Crown, a government grant, a voluntary rate and fees that were paid in certain cases. The school was particularly important to village life because it also contained a parochial library of 180 books. The headmaster at this time was Mr William Hornby and his wife Emma was the mistress. It is now known as St. Gilbert of Sempringham Church of England Primary School and has a stone plaque on the end gable bearing that date. At the front of the building is the village pump, installed in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria A D 1897.

Today, Pointon enjoys a reputation for holding the biggest car boot sales in the area and on these occasions it is impossible to park unless you are an early riser but if you do manage to find a space, you will never be disappointed by the bargains on offer.

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