Historical outing for town groups

Horncastle History and Heritage Society and the U3A History group joined forces for a trip to two of Spalding's most historical buildings EMN-170211-170658001

Horncastle History and Heritage Society and the U3A History group joined forces for a trip to two of Spalding’s most historical buildings.

The visit started at Ayscoughfee Hall and its extensive gardens.

The original owner of the spectacular 15thC Grade 1 brick building was Richard Ailwyn, a local wool merchant, father of Sir Nicholas Ailwyn Lord Mayor of London.

The house passed largely unaltered through a number private owners before being purchased on behalf of the people of Spalding to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 .

The hall had various uses, including housing a private school, before reopening in 2006 as a museum and civic centre after complete restoration.

The surrounding five-acre gardens are public amenity areas used regularly for craft fairs and concerts.

After lunch, the party walked the short distance across the River Welland to the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society’s building in Broad Street.

Founded in 1710, the learned society is the second oldest such club in existence.

It was started by Maurice Johnson, who was living at Ayscoughfee Hall. He had practiced as a lawyer in London where he greatly enjoyed the city’s coffee house society which he replicated on his return to Spalding.

The first members could join the Society in three ways - by paying £1, by giving a book or some other object of interest.

Today the building contains a unique collection of coins, stamps, weaponry, books, journals - in fact everything from Roman artefacts to Dinky Toys.

Horncastle History and Heritage Society chairman, Mary Silverton said: “It had been a fascinating day blessed with gorgeous autumn sunshine.”

For information about joining the HHH contact Mary on 01507 523091 or email horncastlecivic@gmail.com

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