Lincolnshire Books
by the late Dr John R Ketteringham MBE


Following the death of John on 24/12/2015 it is not yet known whether any of his books will continue to be available, or from where.

When this is known, this page will be updated.

The Church that Moved
The Parish and Church of Saint Giles, Lincoln

This little book was the first with which I was involved and is, in fact, an expansion and revision of A Brief Outline of the History of St Giles' Parish, Lincoln which was published in 1947. It was published I believe in 1985 and is now sold out.

The Lincolnshire Hotchpotch Series

The following three books have been published in the Hotchpotch series.

A Lincolnshire Hotchpotch appeared in 1989 and was reprinted in 1998. It is now out of print. A Second Lincolnshire Hotchpotch was published in 1990 and is also out of print.

A Third Lincolnshire Hotchpotch was published in 1999 and is available in bookshops or by post from me at £4.50 per copy. A contribution towards the cost of postage and packing would be appreciated.

Although the first two books in the series are out of print some copies may still be available from retailers. I may be able to suggest sources for anyone wishing to obtain a copy. I do have a few slightly damaged copies of A Second Lincolnshire Hotchpotch which could be made available at half price!

All three books contain items of Yellow Belly Humour, Ghost Stories, Witches, Remedies, Epitaphs, People and Places. David Robinson OBE in the final paragraph of the Foreword to the first volume said ‘Hotchpotch’ means I find, a medley of ingredients. ‘Hutch’ as a dialect word on its own means to jog along or trot slowly. So here is an entertaining collection to enjoy at your leisure. Steve Race in his foreword to the second volume commented "that’s the nice thing about this book; you never know what to believe. Was it really her dislike of our local M.P., which prevented Queen Victoria from dismounting from her train at our station in 1851? Or was she just feeling 'mardy' that day? Another question is there really a prison cell in the very heart of Lincoln Cathedral?"

The cover design of all three books is by David Vale and constitutes a montage of places and objects in the county. David has also provided several other illustrations including in volume two a strip cartoon history of Lincoln. In the third volume Harold Addison illustrated several items of Yellow belly Humour.

The following pages are taken from A Third Lincolnshire Hotchpotch to give a flavour of the contents of all three volumes.

Some extracts from the 'Lincolnshire Hotchpotch' series can be found here.



There have been bells at Lincoln Cathedral since its consecration in 1092 and the rules for ringing them survive from circa 1260. The names of those who rang the bells for the daily services are recorded from 1283 and the earliest surviving Company of Bell Ringers in the country is that of Lincoln Cathedral which can trace its foundation to 1595 although not formally constituted until 1612. All this is recorded in this book, which, although technically a second edition of the book first published in 1987, has been considerably expanded to include a comprehensive study of bell ringing in a diocese, which, before the Reformation, stretched from the Humber to the Thames.

The book contains a total of 128 pages with 53 illustrations including 19 in colour. The book is printed on good quality art paper so that the illustrations reproduce well. The card cover is also printed in colour. It is perfect bound and sewn.

As the reviewer said in the Ringing World of 11 August 2000: 'there is a wealth of material...[and this is a book] that is well worth having on the shelves of anyone interested in church bells and the wider background.

The first edition of this book was published in 1987 to mark the 375 anniversary of the Cathedral Company of Bell Ringers. This second edition, which was published in 2000, has been considerably revised and expanded.


1. Bells in the early Christian Church
2. Bells and the building of the towers at Lincoln Cathedral
3. The maintenance of the bells
4. Religious change and bells

PART ONE. The Use of Church Bells in the Diocese of Lincoln.

Chapter One - The Use of Bells in the pre-Reformation Church

1. Bell ringing at the first cathedral in Lincoln
2. The Cathedral timetable
3. The bell ringers
4. The appointment of bell ringers at Lincoln cathedral
5. Payment of the bell ringers
6. The night watch and curfew
7. Customs, legends and superstitions
8. Bell related income and expenditure
9. Secular bell ringing
10. Bell ringing on the eve of the reformation

Chapter Two -Protestant ascendancy and the secularisation of bell ringing

1. Dissolution of the monasteries and the use of bells
2. Bells and the later Tudors
3. Secular bell ringing and the introduction of change ringing
4. The patent ringers at Lincoln Cathedral
5. The cathedral company of ringers
6. Bells and turmoil
7. 'Political' and 'Pleasure' bell ringing
8. The effects of the English civil war and bell founding

Chapter Three - Decline and Reform

1. Bell ringing in the eighteenth century
2. Competitive bell ringing
3. The introduction of peal ringing
4. Ringers rules
5. Church and bells in the eighteenth century
6. Nineteenth century reform
7. Bell ringing during the twentieth century

PART TWO- The bells of Lincoln Cathedral

Chapter Four -'Great Tom'
Chapter Five - Quarter Bells.
Chapter Six - Saint Hugh's Tower.
Chapter Seven - Saint Mary's Tower.
Chapter Eight - The Lady Bells.
Chapter Nine - The 'Closing' Bell.

Chapter Ten - Seamen's Chapel
APPENDIX A : The Ordinances, Schedule and Letters Patent
APPENDIX B : The Lincoln Bellfounders
APPENDIX C : The Ringer’s Chapel
APPENDIX D : The Ringers' Jack
APPENDIX E : Masters of the Cathedral Company of Bell Ringers
APPENDIX F : The 'Patent' Ringers

APPENDIX G : Peals at Lincoln Cathedral

This book is only available from the Lincoln Minster Shop (click link). Chapter 10 and App G were published in 2014, and can be downloaded using the links above.

An amendment list dated 03/04/2014 which includes the above additional items can be downloaded here.


Two books have been published in the series about Lincolnshire People and a third is in preparation. Each book contains short biographies if people who have made their mark on the history of the county. Some where born here, others have made their home here and others have unexpected connections with Lincolnshire.

In these books is recorded the story of the famous and not so famous of Lindsey, Kesteven and Holland.  From the heroes of the uncharted days of Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normans, to the religious figures who raised up the heritage of Lincolnshire’s churches to the glory of God and broke the common skyline of wold, field, wood and dyke with their dazzling spires; the men with keen eyes and skilful hands that sketched pump and sluice and windmill-sail, planning their strategy in the endless battle between Lincolnshire, the wind and the sea; those who set out from Lincolnshire to explore and found and colonise literally every corner of the globe; those – also explorers in their own way – who trod new paths in religion and science, and beckoned others to follow; and those who ruled, cured, entertained, educated and even in some cases murdered, their fellow inhabitants of the county. Whether your interest is historical or genealogical, these informative guides are sure to become invaluable works of reference.

Lincolnshire People contains biographies of 108 people with 31 illustrations and 128 pages. It is a hardback and was first published in 1995. ISBN 1 872438 12 1. This book is now out of print.

Lincolnshire Women contains biographies of 56 ladies with 25 illustrations and 102 pages. It has a card cover and was first published in 1998. ISBN 1 872375 12 X

The launch of Lincolnshire Women by the Lord Lieutenant for Lincolnshire Bridget Cracroft-Eley December 1998

Left to right : Dr Joyce Skinner, Joan Varley, Councillor Graham Wheat, the Lord Lieutenant, JRK, Daphne Ledward, Catherine Wilson, OBE, Flora Murray OBE.


Lincolnshire Natives and Others was published in October 2002. The retail price is £14.75 and the book can be obtained from good book shops or from the author.

Details of the contents can be found here.


This book was published in 1995 to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Friends of Lincoln Cathedral. It consists of an Introduction which describes the work of the Friends and some of the projects which they have supported. There are 23 articles many of which were originally published in the Annual Reports of the Association. These are on a very wide range of subjects including the Organs, Clocks, Choristers and Chanters, the Duncan Grant Murals, Early Printers Marks.


This book was also published in 1995 and records the purchase by James Arundel in 1921 of a simple Georgian farmhouse in the marshlands of east Lincolnshire and its conversion into a building which even Pevsner thought was Tudor! Arundel filled the house with a remarkable collection of artifacts including genuine medieval stained glass. The reproduction below of the front and back covers of this book give an idea of its contents. The book is now out of print. ISBN 0 9512738 3 3


The first edition and a reprint of this book sold out soon after publication and a second edition was published in 2009.

** NB: Click here for the second edition **

2523 bells have been recorded - 135 more than in the first edition. Most of these bells are hung in churches but the bells in many secular buildings have also been recorded.

Examining the bell installations for this book was a complex undertaking and I am most grateful to those who assisted in what was in many cases a difficult and unpleasant task.  The above photographs taken from the Ringing World of 16 February 2001 show David Burkitt helping to examining some of the most difficult bell installations.

An important addition to this second edition is an appendix of 59 letters from bellfounders and others relating to the bells of Lincoln Cathedral written in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These culminate in the recasting of Great Tom and make fascinating reading particularly to industrial archaeologists.

A chapter is included on the history of bell founding in the county in which archaeological evidence for casting 'on site' is recorded. The major bellfounding industries at Barton on Humber, Lincoln and Stamford have been thoroughly researched and recorded. There is also evidence of bell casting at other places in the county including Market Rasen, Snitterby and Spital in the Street. Brief details of founders of Lincolnshire bells from outside the county have also been included.

The recent interest in bell frames has been recognised. The county possesses a number of frames parts of which date back to the sixteenth century and earlier. 

Amendment List number 1 dated 31 December 2010 can be downloaded here.

A few copies of this book are still available. For details please telephone 01522 888897.

‘In Memoriam’, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Foreword by the Lord Bishop of Lincoln
Preface and Acknowledgements
Select Bibliography

The parts of a bell on which an inscription or decoration might be placed
The ways in which a bell can be rung
A bell with timber headstock and fittings
A bell with iron headstock and gear


(I) Bells and the pre-Reformation church
(II) Bellringing and the English Reformation
(III) Puritan bellringing and Restoration decline
(IV) Bells and Church reunited






(I) Early bellfounding
(II) The Medieval Lincolnshire Bellfounders
(III) Centres of bellfounding in Lincolnshire
(IV) Unknown bellfounding locations in Lincolnshire
(V) Bells cast by Brassfounders
(VI) Other founders of Lincolnshire Bells







For those of you that bought the First Edition, the appendix can be downloaded here*.

Further Amendments were published and are available for downloading below.

Amendment to First Edition list No 1 (2005) - published 31st December 2005

Amendment to First Edition list No 2 (2007) - published 1st May 2007

*You will need Winzip to extract the document.

The first edition and a reprint of this book sold out soon after publication and a second edition was published in 2009.

** NB: Click here for the second edition **

Participants in the Lincolnshire Rising of 1536
Some Inscriptions on Lincolnshire Church Bells as Sources for Genealogists

Published in November 2001 by the Lincolnshire Family History Society from whom it can be obtained.

Lincolnshire's Greatest Beekeeper

An appreciation of the life of Richard Watson Frow MBE. Available from:

  Northern Bee Books
  Scout Bottom Farm
  Hebden Bridge
  HX7 5JS

A Tribute to Rodney Meadows

£5 including postage

A Tribute to Jack Millhouse

£5 including postage



The following Order Form is for books which I am able to supply:

Please supply the following books : £.  p
....copies of A Third Lincolnshire Hotchpotch @ £4.50  ##  
....copies of A Cathedral Miscellany @ £4.50              ##  
....copies of Lincolnshire Women @ £5.50                 ##  
....copies of Lincolnshire Natives and Others @ £14.75 + postage & packing £2.25  
## plus 50p each copy towards the cost of post and packing  
....copies of A Tribute to Rodney Meadows  @ £5 including postage  
....copies of A Tribute to Jack Millhouse @ £5 including postage  
I enclose cheque in favour of John R Ketteringham for a total of:  
Please do not try to order for the time being - see note at top


Last updated: 03/01/2016