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Fleet Archive compiled by Joan Woolard

Joan WollardJoan has lived in Fleet for a number of years and has contributed to the community including researching Fleet’s history.

Wikipedia summaries it history as follows: In 1086, Fleet was listed as Fleot (Old English: the stream, estuary or creek), in the wapentake of Elloe in the Parts of Holland of Lincolnshire. Fleet Grade I listed Anglican church, dating from the late 12th century, is dedicated to St Mary Magdalene. The 120 feet (37 m) church tower with spire is detached from the nave by 15 feet (4.6 m). The fabric is mainly Decorated in style, with Early English arcades and a Perpendicular west window. According to Cox (1916), the church was restored in 1860, when the chancel was rebuilt, although the canopied sedilia was retained. In 1964 Pevsner noted 1798 repairs and considered the church “over-restored”. He dated a chancel rebuild to 1843, questioned if it was “done correctly”, and recorded Victorian tracery in the aisle windows, a blocked doorway to a previous chapel in the chancel, “fine busts of great variety”, a Decorated-style sedilia and piscina with ogee arches and crocketed gables, a reredos dated 1790, and a defaced 14th-century effigy. Pevsner also recorded an 1854 red-brick rectory designed by Benjamin Ferrey, and a motte south-west of the village where 11th- and 12th-century pottery has been found. The English Heritage record for the now ploughed-down motte site details finds from the Iron Age to the 18th century.


Description of Fleet

Document transcripts fleethistory

Fleet Parish Council Minutes 1924 to 1953 Click the link to view fleetpc

Appendix 1 NMR by kind permission of

App 2 Castle Acre cartulary by kind permission of British Library with transcipt

App 3 Jekyl article

App 4 1603 Sewers survey by permission of LRS

Terrier for 1731  App 5 1731 Fleet Terrier

Appendix 6 Auctions

Fleet Parish Church guide St Mary Magdalene. Click here for Part 1 & Part 2

Further Resources:

Resources on this website click here

Genuki resources Fleet click here


Since 2009 many changes have occurred. Despite two earlier successful battles to save it, the historic and ancient Bull Inn finally succumbed to market forces and became a private house. The smaller, more intimate, Rose & Crown (call 01406 422165) survives despite Covid as the last remaining public house out of five at Fleet Hargate, originally 10 overall at Fleet. Similarly Whaplode lost two pubs, the Star and Lamb & Flag, Templar relics, only a pub sign remaining. In common with many other villages Fleet lost its Post Office under the aegis of the notorious Paula Vennells, market forces again dominating the rural economy skewed by false allegations and criminal investigations.

Two day nurseries now serve the area, one of them close to Holbeach, the other replacing The Willows café. In place of the fish and chips shop on the Hargate, a mobile chipper stops on Tuesday evenings at Hocklesgate/Charles Road at 6pm. A new bus stop replaced one built to celebrate the coronation in 1953 outside the former Fleet School/Reading Room, now converted to apartments. Buses may run post-Covid to different timetables; official plans to improve public transport may or may not materialise. Sadly the church now has no resident priest but it is hoped services may resume monthly post-Covid. Information may be found in The Mid-Elloe Villager or at gill.graper@googlemail.com or m4rk44@hotmail.com

Another loss pre-Covid was the Leonard Cheshire nursing home, also community groups Fenland Flywheelers and Fleet Preservation Trust. Peter Day of Battleford Hall, former Rectory, founded theTrust and raised funds for the church, school and village. His death was a great loss. Also greatly missed is the late Tony Worth of QV Foods, a Lord Lieutenant of the county who served his local area with distinction. A brief resident of Fleet was distinguished eco-architect Dr Jerry Harrall with projects in Hong Kong as well as nearer home. Other notable characters in the area are Paralympian Sally Reddin, archaeologist Dr Francis Pryor, Afro-poet Benjamin Zephaniah, and The Rt Hon.John Hayes MP, now The Rt Hon.Sir John Hayes CBE MP. Local government is still in the hands of South Holland District Council and Fleet Parish Council which still meets every two months, if only virtually during the pandemic.

Sadly, unlike the British Library, British Museum and others, Cambridge University is still unable to give permission to reproduce their aerial photo of the ancient Tumulus site of the Fleet  ‘motte and bailey’. However, recent research at Ickworth, former seat of the notorious Earls of Bristol/Hervey family, suggested a better side in the 18th century presentation of a glass candelabra from tenant farmers as a token of thanks to their landlord. The candelabra stands to one side of a fireplace in the rotunda with another similar gift on the other side, both dwarfed by the huge centre lighting fixture hanging from the ceiling. No more details so far are available but time spent at Bury St Edmunds archives might yield interesting data on the tenant farmers. A local history group is thriving thanks to Zoom. Contact michael.gilbert@woadman.co.uk or freyatrotman58@gmail.com

A silver lining to the pandemic has been the work of the East Elloe Good Neighbour Scheme begun in October 2020 which provided food and flowers to the locked-down disabled and elderly as well as help with shopping, form filling, dog walking etc. The Fleet Residents Events Committee ran a Cheerfulness Campaign over Christmas 2020 to the delight of local children and elderly. They also organised a big Christmas raffle which brought in £1000 for the parish church. Friends of Fleet Facebook group continues to grow with over 600 members and is a great place for local community to share ideas and news. Information is shared with the Parish Council which makes for a good liaison. Contact eileen.eegns@gmail.com or call 0800 999 1894 Mon-Fri 9-4.The group also encourage supporting local business and have a local business pages section.

Successful community events were held pre-Covid on the parish field. New play equipment and a dog-proof fence make the field safe for toddlers. Adult exercise equipment will add to the attractions. The roots of Rowan trees planted along the Hargate caused trip hazards now flattened with huge tarmac patches. Tarmac coats much of the village as residents eradicate lawns for parking and new homes are built, more than 50 since 2009 but with fewer amenities. From the richest and busiest medieval vill in the area, Fleet has become but a sleepy, peaceful hamlet. The economy remains rural with many crops grown for large supermarkets. Daffodils are now very important as their bulbs contain galamanthine, a drug used in the treatment of dementia. Fleet is definitely Dementia Friendly and Lincolnshire definitely a Dementia Friendly county!  DVDs of Fleet at the turn of the millennium and a decade later may be available on request from joanwoolard38@gmail.com or call Joan Woolard on 01406 426508.  JW 2021

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