Brief History of Burgh le Marsh

ancient pot

Burgh's history goes back to Roman times and beyond. Many coins and examples of pottery from the era have been found, how many more are still to be unearthed? In the early days, Burgh was just marsh land. Using drains and ditches the land was drained and the rising ground on which the town stands would have been considered a 'safe place' hence the name Burgh-in-the-Marsh. Later the name was changed to Burgh le Marsh because of French and Norman influences.

Cock Hill Not far from the church is a Saxon burial mound, the tumulus was excavated in 1933 by students from the Burgh Theological College, where Saxon burial remains were found. There is a dip in the top of the mound where it is said that cock fighting used to take place, to this day it is known as Cock Hill.



  burgh parish church


One of Burgh's most famous landmarks is the 14th century church of St. Peter and St. Paul









Another is Dobson's five-sailed windmill, built around 1813, still working today!







Baptists - Baptist Christians first met in Burgh in 1612, but the Five Mile Act forced them to withdraw from the town. In 1701 they built a chapel at Monksthorpe to resemble a farmhouse, to enable them to carry on meeting. They later returned to Burgh and the present chapel was built in 1836.

1910 - photo contributed by Nancy Sorfleet

Education - there have been a number of schools in Burgh le Marsh and even once a theological college St Peter & St Paul's College


burgh railway station


Railway Station - It was opened in 1848, and played an important role in the life of the community. During its heyday it would bring in loads of animal feeds and coal. Irish cattle would also arrive in the Spring. Farm produce including hay, potatoes and sugar beet, would leave the town from the station. During the war the line was used by armoured trains for coastal defense. It was closed in 1970 by Dr. Beeching. Sadly, the last train left Burgh station on 4th October 1970. More>



Markets - The cattle market once was an important part of life in Burgh le Marsh. Many hundreds of cattle would change hands on market day. The cattle market closed on 1961 September 07. The site is now used as flats and the Dobson Court Warden controlled complex.

jabez good portrait



Jabez Good - a barber and local historian of the nineteenth century






Wartime - The town was surrounded with trenches and dug outs, shrouded with barbed wire and camouflaged netting. Road blocks were set up at all entrances to the town. Burgh, being on a hill could be an effective strong point of defense. A search light unit was established on Station Road and a radar station at Orby Road. Farmers were made to plough up much of their grassland to sow grain or potatoes. Farms were inspected, if a farmer was incompetent he would lose his farm. Potatoes were also grown on grass verges that were ploughed up. During the war Burgh played host to a plague of rats. A danger to people and to food stocks, they had to be destroyed. As an incentive, the local government gave 2d for each rat's tail handed in. In just two months over 1000 tails had been collected. Local people welcomed soldiers and gifts of pies, cakes and eggs were given to boost their army rations.

Nicholas Falkinder, Norman Cragg and Frank Stevenson of the parish gave their lives in the war of 1939-45.

Growth Since the late 60's many new properties have been built attracting people from other areas into the town. New shops and businesses have been established also. Over the years, Burgh le Marsh has been shaped and developed by many people who have shown a great sense of pride in their community.

Burgh le Marsh Frank Skeltons Presentation