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WELCOME TO STAMFORD!

Plan your visit with the help of our information below!



BEST DAYS TO VISIT

AND WHERE TO PARK!


Weekdays Monday to Thursday tend to be less busy for car parks and shops. Please check that your favourite shops, restaurants and places of interest are open 

when you plan to visit. 

Friday is the main market day and many of the 

smaller car parks are filling up rapidly by 10 am.

Arrive early for a truly great market town experience!

Saturday is also a busy day in Stamford with a smaller market and some scattered stalls. Again, car parks can fill quite quickly. Sunday sees a great many shops open, and the town and car parks are usually 

more accessible the earlier you arrive. 

Stamford is particularly busy during the Spring and Summer months 

and leading up to Christmas.


BEST CAR PARKING FOR THE TOWN CENTRE:

Broad St. (except Fridays) restricted to 1 hour

North Street car park (medium, long stay)

St. Leonard's Street car park (small, short stay)

Wharf Road car park (large, long stay) Preferred

Bath Row car park (large, long and short stay) Preferred

Scotgate car park (small, long stay)

Cattle Market car park (very large, long stay) Preferred

This car park provides a pleasant scenic stroll into town in full view of cafes for refreshment.

Many shops have their own individual pick up points 

so do enquire.

ACCESSIBILITY PARKING:

All car parks have some disabled parking spaces, mostly free. Also available on many streets within the town.

PICK UP AND DROP OFF:

You can drive into the High Street precinct before 10am and after 4pm any day to drop off and collect items/passengers

ALL ABOUT THIS ANCIENT 

MARKET TOWN & ITS SIGHTS

Sir Walter Scott called it "The finest stone town in England", and John Betjeman "the most attractive in England". Many would agree! In 2013, The Sunday Times was singing the town's praises by declaring it to be the best place to live, and in 2019 it came into

The Sunday Times' top 10 places to reside.

It is worth noting that Stamford (possibly named after the local "Stone Ford" or river) is one of England's mediaeval walled towns. Although the wall only exists in a few places and the town has expanded greatly beyond its original boundaries, ancient maps show the existence of a walled enclosure with postern and toll gates. The town has many historic and listed buildings, some constructed of warm cream-coloured stone and local slate roofs, others include timber-framed constructions. 

Original cobbles and "setts" can still be seen.

Situated in the South of Lincolnshire, on the edge of Rutland, Stamford has the River Welland and lush green meadows at its heart. Originally it had its own castle, and no less than 14 churches (possibly 7 was the largest number at any one time), with numerous other religious institutions in addition. Add to this a possible 64 hostelries (all at one time, although the number could be much higher),

a market and fairs charter, and a once vast wool-growing industry, it has been a thriving community through the ages.

Stamford became a Conservation Town in 1967, and its main thoroughfare which had once been part of the old Great North Road, was replaced by the A1 bypass, easing the traffic flow through the town. While many of its original inns have now disappeared, and there are now 5 of the original churches, there is still a delightful mix of surviving medieval, Georgian and Victorian buildings, the meadows and river, a history of several famous residents,

and the legacy of being a film set for popular films and television series.

With all this taken into account, Stamford is certainly a very special town in which to live!

Antique Buildings and Signs of the Past

You don't just have to stay with the antiques shops to see old and interesting things! Take a look at the images below of ancient buildings and some tell-tale signs of a bygone Stamford!



Famous People of Stamford

You'll recognise many of these famous people who have either been born in Stamford, resided here, or have had a more fleeting connection with the town!

Sir Malcolm Sargent

Composer

Harold Malcolm Watts Sargent, world famous musician, composer and conductor, was born in 1895 in Kent while his mother was visiting family members. The family home was in Wharf Road, Stamford, the house bearing a ***blue plaque***.

A Stamford School Scholarship winner, his earliest interests were in amateur music events, greatly encouraged by his father. Malcolm was a talented pianist and organist and conducted at the Proms and the Royal Choral Society. He was a hard task master and was quite outspoken, alienating many British Orchestra members with his views. He died in 1967 at the age of 72 after a serious illness and is buried in Stamford Cemetery.

Daniel Lambert

The Largest Man in England

Daniel Lambert was not originally a Stamford man, hailing from Leicester where he was an animal breeder and keeper of Bridewell gaol. It was while he was staying at The Waggon and Horses Inn in

High Street St. Martins, Stamford, in June 1809, he became ill and suddenly died. It is reported that part of the front of the building had to be removed for Mr. Lambert's body to be taken out into the street. He is buried in nearby 

St. Martin's churchyard.

So what lead to his untimely death at the age of 39, and why wasn't his body returned home to his native Leicester?

Mr. Lambert was already famous for his unusually large size, later earning him the title of England's largest man. He weighed in at 52 stones and 

11 pounds at the time of his death. But Daniel was no ordinary obesity case. Not only did he refrain from eating and drinking excessively, he had led an active early life and, worrying about his increasing size and risk to his health, continued to exercise regularly, often appearing fitter than his average middle-aged counterparts. The circumference of his calves was said to be in excess of 3 feet and his waist 9 feet. With his height of 5 feet 9 ins he must have been quite a sight to behold. In fact, in order to make a living, he put himself up for exhibition and it was fashionable to visit him "at home" for a small payment, and to become his friend. This was the reason for his Stamford visit in that fateful year.

In 1809, transport would not have allowed for the 112 square feet of coffin to transport Daniel home to Leicester. It took 20 men to aid the wheeled coffin down the specially-prepared sloping approach to Mr. Lambert's grave situated in the nearest graveyard.

Daniel Lambert's last habitation  is now immortalised in a **blue plaque** erected in September 2019 on the wall of the building in St. Martin's where he died.

John George Haigh

The Acid Bath Murderer

Commonly known by his grisly title, John George Haigh was born in Kings Road, Stamford on July 24th 1909, although the family moved to Yorkshire when Haigh was around 4 years old. His family home still stands, although it remains without a blue plaque perhaps for obvious reasons!

Haigh murdered a total of 6 people before forging their papers to collect large amounts of money. He had previously been imprisoned for fraud where it is said he learned about sulphuric acid as an agent for dissolving bodies, knowledge that he would use in his later crimes. The use of acid was his undoing as the chemical did not dissolve everything, and he was subsequently betrayed by the remnants of body parts including gallstones. He was hanged in 1949.

Passing through:

Dick Turpin

Highwayman

Richard Turpin (?1705-1739) was a butcher, thief, poacher, torturer and murderer. Hailing from Essex, he used parts of the Great North Road between London and York as his hunting ground. He is said to have frequented The Ram Jam Inn, a (now disused) public house on the A1 outside of Stamford. There are numerous stories about how the Inn got its name, including a prank played by Turpin involving the landlord RAM-ming his thumbs into holes in a damaged beer barrel to JAM the flow of ale whilst Turpin escaped without paying his ale bill!

He was hanged in York for horse theft aged 33 years and it is only posthumously that Dick Turpin (in the saddle of Black Bess) has become the romantic Highwayman of books and films.

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Passing through: Macready, Kean and Kemble

Actors

The Stamford Theatre was built in 1768 and was used as such for more than 100 years seeing many famous actors tread its boards. One famous thespian visiting Stamford's theatre, William Charles Macready (1793-1873) had made his first appearance in Covent Garden, adding numerous Shakespearean roles to his repertoire. He acted in many famous English theatres as did Edmund Kean (1787-1833) also famous for his Shakespearean characters, including those performed in Stamford. Edmund's son, Charles Kean (1811-1868) followed in his father's footsteps, often performing with his wife Ellen at the Stamford Theatre.

Charles Kean was mentor to the actress Ellen Terry (1847 -1928).

John Philip Kemble (1757-1823) brother of the famous Sarah Siddons, immortalised by Gainsborough, also achieved acting fame and visited the Stamford Theatre to perform there. He mainly undertook Shakespearean roles, working alongside his sister in Drury Lane and Covent Garden. The Irish actor, poet and playwright, James Sheridan Knowles (1784-1862) also performed in Stamford. Sheridan Knowles was a qualified medical doctor and Baptist preacher in addition to his role as actor.

There is an original 1920s plaque on this building outlining the above.

The Fair Maid of Kent

Royal Matriarch

Joan of Kent (1328-1385), mother of King Richard 11 (2nd) of England, is buried in Stamford. Edward the Black Prince and father to Richard 11 (2nd) was Joan's third marriage alliance. She had 5 children with her late first husband Thomas Holland and through this line her descendants included Lady Margaret Beaufort (mother to King Henry 7th), Elizabeth of York and Catherine Parr.

Upon her death, she was buried beside her first husband at her own request at Greyfriars, the present hospital site in Ryhall road, although the actual site is unknown and no grave marking exists.

Harry Burton

Photographer to the Egyptian Expedition

Harry Burton was born in Burghley Lane, St. Martin's, Stamford in 1879 and later grew up in Church Lane. He was one of 11 children. He became a protege of Hobart Cust, heir to the Belton estate in Grantham, although how they met is unclear, Harry later acting as Cust's personal secretary. While in Italy with his employer it is thought that Harry worked on his talent for photography and by 1914 had secured a position in Cairo working with the New York Metropolitan Egyptian Expedition. So when Howard Carter came to excavate the Valley of The Kings, Burton was well on the way to stardom! He was taken on by Carter as photographer to the expedition and his images of Tutankhamun's tomb are what he is best remembered for. Harry Burton died in Egypt aged 59 years.

William Cecil

Lord Burghley

William Cecil, later Lord Burghley (1520-1598), was chief adviser to Queen Elizabeth 1, Lord High Treasurer, Lord Privy Seal and twice Secretary of State. He built Burghley House in Stamford between 1555 and 1587, as a leading example of fine Elizabethan architecture and subsequently the residence of his descendants, the Marquesses of Exeter. The house is built in the form of a capital "E" in honour of the Queen who never actually visited.

Lord Burghley's death in 1598 was sudden, following a collapse, and he is buried in an elaborate tomb with effigy within St. Martin's church.

Through the years, the existence of Burghley House has meant that many famous visitors would pass through its doors including Queen Victoria, members of the present Royal Family, and the various artists responsible for the creation of the house and gardens including Lancelot "Capability"  Brown, Antonio Verrio and Grinling Gibbons.

Burghley Park is home to the world famous Burghley Horse Trials, and has been the location of numerous TV and cinema films.

William Stukeley

Historian and Antiquarian

William Stukeley was a doctor, archaeologist, antiquarian and author. He was born in Lincolnshire in 1687, residing in Stamford between 1729 and 1747 at No.9 Barn Hill which exhibits a ***blue plaque*** in his name. During this time he was vicar of All Saints Church. He had not previously added the clergy to his other professions but being a close friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury he was able to fast-track his theological training to take up the post.

As an archaeologist earlier in his life Stukeley had a passion for stone circles such as Stone Henge and Avebury, and a particular interest in Druidism. A prolific writer, he published several academic papers on a variety of subjects including his field work, and studies in his former medical career. In Stamford he became interested in the local architecture and designed and built in the town, including elaborate extensions to his own property and eccentric additions to his garden, some of which are still in existence. He was described as being gregarious, cheerful and amiable, although eccentric and at times ridiculed for his views. He had a passion for animals and owned a cat called "Tit".

He died in London in 1765.

Cupid's Inspiration

Pop Music Group

Cupid's Inspiration was a famous pop music group at their height during the 1960s. The band was formed in Stamford and the original line-up of Stamford-residing members included: Terry Rice-Milton, James Laughton, Garfield Tonkin, George Wyndham and Roger Gray. Additional group members were present at this time.

Originally known as The Ends, the group renamed themselves and had two Top 40 hits in the singles chart in 1968:

"Yesterday is Gone"(no.4) and "My world" (no.33).

The group began to part company in 1970 with individuals joining other music greats like King Crimson. Since the split Cupid's Inspiration has had a long line of band members, with the band still touring but under two different names.

Colin Dexter

Author

September 29th, 1930, saw the birth, in Stamford, of novelist Colin Dexter, who went on to attend Stamford Boys School. Although he was a prolific writer, Colin is best known for his "Inspector Morse" books which were written from 1975 onwards. The stories were made into a drama series featuring many episodes which were, and still are, widely televised. Colin was also famous for his Hitchcockian appearance in each episode of "Inspector Morse" and in the spin-off series " Lewis".

Passing through:

Queen Boudicca (Boadicea)

Tribal Leader

Boudica (or Boadicea) was Queen of the British Iceni tribe of East Anglia, c. AD 60 or 61. When her reigning husband died she led an army in a fruitless attempt to defeat the occupying forces of the Roman Empire and was known to cross the River Welland at Stamford in her chariot hotly pursued by the Ninth Roman Legion. She is said to have died from wounds although there are no details of the specific cause of her demise. A stone pillar and plaque now commemorate the crossing which is in the third meadow close to where the A1 road now crosses.

Passing through: Charles the First

King of England

King Charles the First, escaping capture by the Parliamentarian New Model Army and seeking refuge with the Scottish army, travelled for 7 days through enemy territory from Oxford to reach his protectors in Southwell, near Newark. He spent the night of the 3rd May 1646 in Stamford, although there is some confusion as to the exact building in which he stayed. The king spent his last night as a free man in Stamford, being betrayed later by the very army recommended to protect him.

Passing through:

Lord Peter Wimsey

Fictional sleuth

Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is a fictional sleuth and peer of the realm in the books of Dorothy L. Sayers. In one particular storyline, Lord Peter was likely to be acting as a mouth-piece for the author who undoubtedly visited or knew the town of Stamford. Lord Peter, whose faithful butler and confidante, Bunter, expresses an inclination to visit Stamford "for a variety of reasons", "purred away through the picturesque streets of Stamford to the cottage by the bridge". He added that "(he) had always thought Stamford a beautiful town and now, with its grey stone houses and oriel windows bathed in the afternoon sunshine, it seemed to him the loveliest jewel in the English crown".

"Have His Carcase", Chapter 8.