SEMPRINGHAM is a hamlet in the
South Kesteven district of
Lincolnshire , England. It is situated 2 miles (3.2 km) south from the
A52 road , 12 miles (19 km) east from
Grantham and 8 miles (13 km)
north from Bourne . The hamlet is in the civil parish of
Sempringham , and on the western edge of the
Lincolnshire Fens , the
closest village being
Billingborough , 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the
north on the
B1177 road .
Sempringham is noted as the home of Gilbert
Sempringham , the son of the lord of the manor. Gilbert is the only
English Saint to have founded a monastic order , the
Sempringham consists of a church and a holy well , with other houses
east from the church scattered along the B1177 between
Billingborough . The church stands at an altitude of about 52 feet (16
m), on land rising out of flat fenland.
Pointon is the chief township
of the civil parish, which includes Millthorpe and the fens of
Pointon, Neslam and
Aslackby , and a part of Hundred Fen at Gosberton
Clough . Formerly, Birthorpe, now part of Billingborough, was included
in the parish.
The parish church is a Grade I listed building , dedicated to Saint
Andrew and dating from 1170. It was restored and the chancel rebuilt
in 1868-69 by Edward Browning.
Sempringham is noted in the
Domesday account as "Stepingeham" in the
Aveland Hundred of
Kesteven . In 1086 the manor consisted of 35
households, 8 villagers , 2 smallholders and 14 freemen , with 4.3
ploughlands , a meadow of 11 acres (0.045 km2) and woodland of 7 acres
(0.028 km2). In 1066 Earl
Morcar was Lord of the
Manor , which was
transferred to Jocelyn, son of Lambert in 1086, with Tenant-in-chief
as Alfred of Lincoln.
In the early 17th century,
Sempringham was a centre of the Puritan
movement in Lincolnshire.
Samuel Skelton , curate of Sempringham,
Massachusetts Bay in 1628 with the first group of Puritan
settlers, who landed in Salem . Another member of the Sempringham
congregation at the time was the young Anne Dudley, later Anne
Bradstreet , the colony's first published poet.
Sempringham is the site of St Mary's Priory, a priory that was
founded by Saint Gilbert (also known as
Gilbert of Sempringham
Gilbert of Sempringham ).
The priory was built by
Gilbert of Sempringham
Gilbert of Sempringham , the only English
Saint to have founded a monastic order . St Gilbert established the
Gilbertine Order in 1131 by inducting ‘seven maidens’ who were his
pupils when young. Alexander,
Bishop of Lincoln , helped in
establishing the religious buildings to the north of the parish
church. Gilbert died at
Sempringham in 1189 and was buried in the
priory church. He was canonized on 13 October 1202 for the many
miracles noted at his tomb in the priory and
Sempringham became a site
of pilgrimage. Monument to Gwenllian
It became the enforced residence of
Gwenllian of Wales , the daughter
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd , Prince of Wales, and the granddaughter of
Simon de Montfort . In 1283 Gwenllian had been captured by King Edward
I 's troops. Edward sent Gwenllian 'in her cradle', to be held there
in security. In 1327, Edward III stayed at the Priory and granted
Gwenllian a lifelong yearly pension of £20, necessary to pay her
board and lodgings as she never became a nun, but was regarded as a
'paying guest' who was not permitted to leave. Gwenllian died at the
Priory after being held there for 54 years, on 7 June 1337. A memorial
stone has been erected in her honour.
Dissolution of the Monasteries ,
Sempringham Priory came to
the Clintons , who demolished it and reused the stone to build their
residence on the site. Today little remains of priory or residence.
* ^ A B Official site of Lincolnshire, p. 4
* ^ A B "Houses of the Gilbertine Order". British history online.
Retrieved 21 December 2010.
* ^ A B "Handling Pilgrims: Robert Mannyng and the Gilbertine
Cult". Quaestia: Journal Article. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
* ^ Historic
England . "St Andrews Church (1241280)". National
Heritage List for
England . Retrieved 7 August 2011.
Sempringham in the
Domesday Book . Retrieved 22 May 2012.
* ^ "Documents Online: Sempringham, Lincolnshire", Folio: 356r,
Domesday Book; The National Archives . Retrieved 22 May