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Making History
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Listen to the latest editionTuesday 3.00-3.30 p.m
Vanessa Collingridge and the team answer listener’s historical queries and celebrate the way in which we all ‘make’ history.
Programme 10
3 June 2008
Vanessa Collingridge and the team discuss listeners' historical queries and celebrate the many ways in which we all 'make' history.

Listen to this programme in full

The search for ‘a great castle at Killingholme’ in North Lincolnshire.

Making History listener Sue McLaren contacted the programme after discovering that the great antiquarian William Stukely made reference to a village in North Lincolnshire where her ancestors had a substantial home which she has never found.

She told us that her ancestor Admiral Henry Booth built the older part of the Manor at North Killingholme, near the south bank of the river Humber, in about 1482 and the house belonged to the family until it was sold in 1898.

The house is now derelict, despite its grade2* listing. In Stukeley’s grand tour of Great Britain, "Itinerarium Curiosum" published in 1724 he writes: "A mile east of Thornton are the ruins of another great castle called Kelingholme". When Sue visited the derelict house that stands on the site of her ancestor’s home in 2006 she found that in a wooded area adjacent to it and surrounded by a moat, the ground is very uneven and full of bumps and depressions. Is this Stukeley’s castle?

Making History consulted Dr Kevin Leahy, formerly Archaeologist at the North Lincolnshire Museum in Scunthorpe and now the co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme there.

Killingholme Moat

Killngholme Moat

One of the moats at North Killinghome and the derelict manor house in the distance.
Courtesy of Dr Kevin Leahy.

Dr Leahy visited the site but could find nothing which suggested there had been a ‘great castle’ there. He made the point that castles are quite rare in Lincolnshire because the area lacks good building stone. However, he decided to consult modern aerial photographs and the new LIDAR survey to be absolutely sure. Unfortunately, there would appear to be no sign of a ‘great castle’ at North Killingholme. So, did one of most respected antiquarians, the man whose work at Stonehenge and Avebury continues to inform modern research, get it wrong? Vanessa Collingridge spoke with Professor Roey Sweet from the University of Leicester to find out more.

Useful links

BBC History

BBC h2g2

North Lincolnshire Museum

English Heritage (LIDAR)

Professor Roey Sweet

Professor Sweet gives the Annual Lecture to the AGM of the British Association for Local History on Saturday 7th June.

British Association for Local History
Hampshire Tobacco Farming

Phyl Ralton a member of the Fleet and Crookham Local History Group, contacted the programme with information about research they have been involved in about a surprising crop that was grown in Hampshire between the two world wars – tobacco.

Phyl told Making History that tobacco growing was illegal until 1910 and soon after that, several people started experiments. The leader in this field was Arthur J Brandon who grew up to 35 acres of tobacco plants in Church Crookham, near Fleet in Hampshire from 1911 until his death in 1937. He harvested up to 800 lbs per acre and demonstrated that it was possible to grow, cure and sell good tobacco products but he could not make a commercial success of the business against cheaper foreign competition and the amount of duty levied on his crop.

This project has resulted in the illustrated publication of Mr Brandon's Tobacco Farm, Church Crookham, Hampshire as Fleet and Crookham Local History Group's Historical Paper No. 3. This is available at £3.50, including postage.

Useful links

Fleet and Crookham Local History Group

History Net
Academic Regalia

A university lecturer contacted the programme asking where the academic dress we see at graduation ceremonies originates from?

Making History consulted Father Philip Goff of the Burgon Society.

Useful Link

Burgon Society
    Contact  Making History
    Use this link to email Vanessa Collingridge and the team: email Making History

    Write to: Making History
    BBC Radio 4
    PO Box 3096
    BN1 1TU

    Telephone: 08700 100 400

    Making History is produced by Nick Patrick and is a Pier Production.
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    Making History

    Vanessa Collingridge
    Vanessa CollingridgeVanessa has presented science and current affairs programmes for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Discovery and has presented for BBC Radio 4 & Five Live and a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday, Scotsman and Sunday Herald. 

    Contact Making History

    Send your comments and questions for future programmes to:
    Making History
    BBC Radio 4
    PO Box 3096 Brighton
    BN1 1PL

    Or email the programme

    Or telephone the Audience Line 08700 100 400

    Making History is a Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and is produced by Nick Patrick.

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