large picturesque market town, bursting with brightly coloured tulips in spring
Spalding is the largest town in the district of South Holland, situated on the wide, river Welland.
For 55 years the town was host to an annual Flower Parade in springtime. The parade celebrated Spalding's heritage as a centre for the South Holland area's tulip industry. The last parade was held in 2013 but the area has continued to be at the heart of bulb production and the town is excited to announce that the parade is set to recommence in 2023.
Spalding has an incredibly rich history. Long before tulips the landscape was occupied by Romans. The Romans used the land for salt production. Finds at Wygate Park indicate that a combination of climate change and flooding caused the salt industry to die out in the 3rd century.
In the 6th century, long after the departure of the Romans, the Spaldingas tribe settled in the area, and the town takes its name from the tribe. The town expanded on either side of the River Welland as it makes its way to The Wash. Due to its connections with The Wash, Spalding also acted as an international port for centuries.
Tulips at Spalding Festival Gardens
Springfields Festival Gardens are a beautifully landscaped area, featuring Chelsea-style celebrity showcase gardens, including designs by Charlie Dimmock. During Spring the Gardens feature a magnificent display of daffodils, tulips and other bulbs celebrating the gardens close links to the bulb industry.
Ayscoughfee Hall is a grade I listed building over 550 years old. The Hall was primarily a family home from 1451 to 1902. Throughout the centuries the Hall changed, with each owner adapting the building to accommodate their needs and to reflect the fashions of the time. This is seen by the Gothic inspired Victorian frontage, the Georgian Adam style ceiling in the galleried Entrance Hall, and the many exposed Medieval features throughout the Hall.
The Great Explorers
Did you know...
The endeavours of three Lincolnshire men, Sir Joseph Banks, George Bass and Matthew Flinders, opened up the natural history and mapping of Australia. Banks sailed with Captain Cook on HMS Endeavour (1768-71) acting as the expedition's chief naturalist. Banks brought back huge collections from Australia, including over 30,000 plant specimens. Banks kept kangaroos on his estate at Revesby in Lincolnshire and clearly had sufficient stock to send a spare to Paris in 1789. Banks was influential in the mounting of Flinders's voyage on HMS Investigator, in particular ensuring there were plenty of naturalists on board. This led to the circumnavigation and mapping of the mainland, Flinders's 1804 chart being the first to show the complete coastline of Australia. Flinders had made a previous journey to Australia accompanied by his friend George Bass on HMS Reliance. Bass sailed in an open whaleboat down the coast of New South Wales and proved that Tasmania was wholly separated from the Australian mainland, by what is now known as the Bass Strait. He was also the first European to encounter and describe a wombat, "The wombat is about the size of a turnspit dog. It is a squat, short-legged and rather inactive quadruped with an appearance of great stumpy strength. Its figure and movements, if they do not resemble those of the bear at least remind one of that animal….".
Of these three great explorers, only one, Banks, ended his life in his home country at a ripe old age. Bass was last seen in 1803 when he left Sydney en route to Chile, he was buried at sea. Flinders died aged 40, his health broken by his gruelling voyages, his masterpiece, A Voyage to Terra Australis had just been published. The story does not end here, the coffin of Matthew Flinders, complete with its brass plaque, was found during the building of HS2 at Euston and its final resting place will be at the church where he was baptised, in his home village of Donington.