Visit Boston and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Boston, Lincolnshire. The name Boston is thought to be a corruption of “St Botolph's Town” and its earliest associations are with this Anglo-Saxon monk whose history is shadowy but whose relics are spread as far as Denmark and Norway. There are 80 churches dedicated to him in England, but Boston is the most famous with its Boston Stump rising to 272½ ft. said to be the second highest church tower in Great Britain.
By 1204, when King John granted a charter to Boston, its fame as a port was second only to that of London, and by the end of the 13th century it was paying more than London in customs duties. The great church, whose beacon-light shining from the octagon guided travellers over land and sea for centuries, was rebuilt on the foundations of the St Botolph's mentioned in the Domesday Book. The merchants, growing rich in the wool-trade with Flanders, fashioned it somewhat in the manner of Antwerp or Bruges. It was started in 1309, though the tower was not added until 1460, and for those with energy enough to climb 365 steps there is a splendid view of ships going down the River Witham to the sea. The interior, the oldest part, is magnificent with its high embossed roof. The elaborately carved and brightly coloured stalls with hinged miserere seats, all but two of the original 14th-century ones surviving, are among the finest in the land.
Plagues, floods, and the turning of trade towards new lands across the Atlantic with the subsequent super-importance of western ports like Bristol, turned Boston into a distressed area by the end of the 16th century. But in the years between, the nucleus of the first Pilgrim Fathers was arrested while trying to escape religious persecution and imprisoned in the Guildhall, where their cells can still be seen. In the following year, 1608, they finally sailed to Holland, reaching the shores of New England some 12 years later, 10 years after others had landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and founding the town of Boston. In 1633 John Cotton, Boston's famous Puritan vicar, sailed to America with Richard Bellingham, who became the first of five subsequent Lincoln-Boston Governors of Massachusetts. To this day the whole town flies the Stars and Stripes on 4 July, and Fydell House, built in 1726 and now housing the Pilgrim College, still keeps one room dedicated to the use of visiting American Bostonians.
Other famous Boston men are remembered by the Australians: Sir Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain Cook in the Endeavour, and George Bass, who sailed right round Tasmania and discovered the Strait which still bears his name. The town is proud of Jean Ingelow whose poem, “High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire”, written in the 19th century, describes the devastation of the floods of 1571 when the water reached halfway up the church. A remnant of her house still stands opposite the Guildhall, and the tune played on the church chimes was composed in honour of her poem. In the Market Place is a statue of Herbert Ingram, who founded the Illustrated London News, the first publication of its kind, in 1842.
There are many fascinating streets, ancient houses and old warehouses in Boston. Those who drive through too fast might later be sorry to have missed a significant part of our history.
Nearby towns: Donington, Holbeach, Horncastle, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding
Nearby villages: Algarkirk, Amber Hill, Benington, Bicker, Brothertoft, Butterwick, Carrington, Coningsby, Dogdyke, Eastville, Fishtoft, Fosdyke, Frampton, Friskney, Frith Bank, Frithville, Gosberton, Hubberts Bridge, Humby, Kirton, Langrick, Leake, Leake Common Side, Leverton, New Bolingbroke, New York, Old Bolingbroke, Old Leake, Quadring, Sibsey, Skirbeck Quarter, South Kyme, Stickney, Surfleet, Sutterton, Swineshead, Tattershall, Wigtoft, Wrangle, Wyberton
Have you decided to visit Boston or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Boston bed and breakfast (a Boston B&B or Boston b and b)
- a Boston guesthouse
- a Boston hotel (or motel)
- a Boston self-catering establishment, or
- other Boston accommodation