Historic day at West Rasen

HISTORY was made in West Rasen last week when villagers gathered around the newly refurbished 14th century packhorse bridge.

They unveiled a plaque to celebrate completion of the 20,000 refurbishment of the 700 year old bridge - one of only three left in the county.

Harry Manuel was given the honour of unveiling the plaque as at 82 he is the oldest resident of West Rasen.

County Coun Lewis Strange said: "This is a wonderful day. You have done something here which is priceless - the bridge will be here for your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

"One thinks of the thousands of good Lincolnshire people who have wandered across this bridge on horse or on foot.

"Let's hope it looks as good in the next 700 years."

The plaque tells the history of the bridge - it is thought to have been built in 1310 by Bishop John Dalderby (Bishop of Lincoln from 1300 to 1320).

It was probably built so packhorses could carry wool on to the Bishop's land - wool production was the main source of income for the religious establishments in Lincolnshire back then.

Bishop Dalderby built another bridge over the Rase near to the outfall into the River Ancholme - although that bridge was long ago replaced the site is still known as Bishops Bridge.

The County Council paid for the refurbishment which was carried out by

Hirst Conservation, based near Sleaford.

The next project on the agenda for West Rasen is the transformation of the old Roman Catholic Chapel into a Heritage Centre.