Kettlethorpe is a village in Lincolnshire, England, some 12
of the county town of Lincoln and 8 miles south of Gainsborough.
The village consists of 13 dwellings with a population of
A history of Kettlethorpe
The earliest documentary evidence to the existence of the
Kettlethorpe appears within documents relating to the lands of the
of Lincoln dated to c1225, (Cameron 1998). The prefix "thorpe", meaning
a small outlying settlement of 9th or 10th century, indicates that it
earlier origins although it is not mentioned in the Domesday records of
As its name suggests, Kettlethorpe was originally a Danish
probably dating from the 9th century. In 1356, the manor of
Kettlethorpe came into the hands of Sir Thomas Swynford, who also owned
the manor of Coleby in Lincolnshire.
The settlement achieved some fame in the medieval period
medieval Kettlethorpe Hall was home to Lady Katherine Swynford
ancestress to the present Royal family by the Beaufort line and the
wife of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. The hall was rebuilt in
18th century and again in 1863 and all that remains of the medieval
is the stone gateway, with battlements, and the 14th century sunk
Earthworks representing moats dating to this period can also be seen to
the east and south of the present building.
Sir Hugh, who succeeded his father in 1361 and died 10 years
gave Kettlethorpe its place in history by marrying Katherine Roelt, who
became the mistress of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the third son
of Edward III. In 1396 John married Katherine, a remarkable proof of
in the days of dynastic marriages. the historical novel "Katherine", by
Anya Seton, chronicles her extraordinary life
Katherine's sister, Philippa, is believed to have been the
Geoffrey Chaucer. Katherine's four children by John of Gaunt were
under the name of Beaufort. Katherine appears to have been treated with
due respect by both Richard II (John of Gaunt's nephew) and Henry IV
son). Richard granted her the right to enclose a deer park of 300
which survived until 1830. But it was a strict term of the legitimation
of her children that neither they nor their heirs should ever lay claim
to the throne.
This condition was simply ignored by Henry VII, whose
Lady Margaret Beaufort, great-grand-daughter of Katherine and John and
Henry's only claim to be in the direct line of descent.
Katherine died on 10th May, 1403, and was buried
south side of the Angel Choir in the Cathedral in Lincoln. The Swynford
line continued at Kettlethorpe until the late 15th century.
Only the gateway, some of the original stone wall of the manor tower,
of the moat and cellar remain from this time.
The next owner of importance was Charles Hall, in the early 17th
century. Charles's ownership lasted throughout the Civil War, when on
26th July 1645 a skirmish took place at Kettlethorpe, at
(according to Roundhead accounts) the Royalists were routed, suffering
four casualties and being chased to within three miles of Newark.
was returned to the Commonwealth Parliament in 1654. The brick walls
the garden date from this period, and his arms feature on one of the
pillars, which shows a talbot together with the initials CH.
In the 18thcentury, Kettlethorpe passed from the
to the Amcotts family, whose arms are displayed over the door. In this
period Kettlethorpe became a very large house, and the obituary for Sir
Wharton Amcotts (another MP) in 1807 asserts that "...at no place
the old English hospitality kept up with greater spirit than at
But shortly thereafter it fell into disrepair, and the
was essentially reconstructed out of the old manor by Weston
(who represented mid-Lincolnshire in Parliament) in the 1860's. The
St Peter and Paul, was rebuilt in the early 19th century.
The house remains something of a history lesson in
some remarkable features preserved. As well as the medieval gatehouse,
walls and some curious carved heads, there is a small oak-paneled room
dating from the 17th century. A paneled dining room situated
in the old tower dates from the early 18th century, with a
marble fireplace from later in the same century. The drawingroom has a
particularly beautiful stucco ceiling from the end of the eighteenth
while the library and front hall are Victorian.
In the 1980's, Kettlethorpe passed back into the hands of a
the Rt.Hon. Douglas Hogg, QC, MP. In the 1990's his wife was given the
title of Baroness Hogg of Kettlethorpe in recognition of her work in
Street. It is a curious coincidence that the Hogg arms, like the
consist of a shield bearing three boars' heads.
Last updated : 5th July 2006