Caistor,North Lincolnshire, UK

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Nearly as far north as you can go without falling in the Humber

An English village (officially a town, but fewer than 3,000 people live there) If you draw a line between Lincoln and York, you'll find it about half way along. This is because it was built as a Roman camp about a day's march from either larger settlement and hence its name (castra is the Latin for camp) An aerial photograph still shows the outlines of this camp and it's pleasant to think of Roman soldiers marching between the bus stop and the (very recently installed)ATM.


The Roman walls lasted quite a long time (there's still a visible fragment next to the church) and a market was set up outside them in the early middle ages. The town also had a horse market and a butter market, which are commemorated in its street names, but very few stalls now survive on Saturday mornings.Remains from various times in its history have been unearthed, but the best this researcher has managed was a birdcage and a miner's helmet when the cellar was resurfaced,

A place of worship each

The Anglican church has a Saxon tower and seems always to have been too big for its congregation. Caistor was a centre of dissent and people like the Wesleys made a great impression when they stayed there. So there's a big Methodist church and there used to be thriving Congregationalist church and a chapel. (The former is now a youth club and the latter the school library) Surprisingly the Catholic church is less than fifty years old and was built for the local Irish families who came originally as farm labourers after the war. This large number of places of worship used to be more than balanced by a very large number of pubs, but now there are only four, one of which serves only bottled beer.


Two of the pubs do excellent food cheaply and there is also a wine bar which does wonderful steaks and gammon from local pigs. You can also get fantastic fish and chips(the fish comes from just down the road in Grimsby) and reasonable Chinese takeaway. There are occasional knees-ups in the town hall (including amateur dramatics) or actually in the Market Place: for example there was a Caribbean evening there in June.


Many of the houses were built in the seventeenth century and have pantiled roofs and sash windows and the Grammar School, which tops 'A' level and GCSE leagues, dates from the same period. All in all, it's very pretty.Also the traditional barber sells maggots for fishing and his wife sells penny sweeties from big jars

Would you like the house agent's name?

It sounds like a very pleasant place to live, but actually it's dying. Every year there are fewer and fewer shops in the Market Place: the estate agents was a casualty five years ago and the wonderful old-fashioned ironmongers where they still sold nails by the pound went this year. The boarding section of the school closed five years ago, farming no longer needs year-round labour and since the local mental hospital closed, the only work is at Cherry Valley (which is the biggest duck farm in the world). Some people do go into Grimsby or Lincoln to work, but unless you have your own car, shift work is impossible. And even in recent winters Caistor has been cut off by snow.

The town needs a lottery winner to buy the Market Place and set up craft type things with mail order and the sort of computing work that can be done from home(The one shop that seems to go from strength is the railway model shop)


The schools are what keeps the "town going". Joint CofE/Methodist primary, a good secondary and an early seventeenth century Grammar school that hasn't been out of the top ten since league tables for O and A levels were started, but now that even the Red Lion has closed down.....

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