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Louth in 1839

Louth is in the hundred of Louth Eske, in the parts of Lindsey, 148 miles from London by Boston and Spilsby. There were anciently three religious establishments (two ‘guilds’ and a ‘chantry’), the funds of which are now appropriated to the grammar-school. The parish comprehends an area of 3,620 acres, with a population in 1831 of 6,976. about one-eighth agricultural. The town is in a pleasant situation at the eastern foot of the Wolds, and on the bank of the little river Ludd, over which there is a bridge. It is well built ; the houses are of brick, and the streets are well paved and lighted. The church is one of the finest in the county : it consists of a nave, chancel, and two aisles, with a lofty and elegant tower, surmounted by a rich octangular crocketed spire, at the west end. The exterior presents a fine specimen of perpendicular architecture : the east window is remarkable for its beautiful tracery. The angles of the tower are supported by rich buttresses which terminate in octangular crocketed pinnacles; there are flying buttresses from the spire to these pinnacles. The height of the spire is 288 feet. The grounds of the vicarage-house are curiously laid out as if attached to a hermitage, and are interspersed with seats, cloisters, and other appropriate buildings.

There are a sessions-house and a house of correction for the division ;
a modern guildhall ; an assembly-room ; a small theatre ; and a public subscription library and news-room. There are some manufactories of worsted, carpets, rugs, and blankets, which give employment to about 100 people ; a soap manufactory, a paper-mill, and breweries. Trade is carried on in wool and corn. The Louth navigation extends from the town to the ocean just at the mouth of the Humber.

The markets are on Wednesday and Saturday, and there is a weekly market for cattle on Friday during the spring. The quarter-sessions for the division are held alternately here and at Spilsby. The town was incorporated by Edward VI : by the late Municipal Reform Act it was divided into two wards, and has 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. The borough is coextensive with the parish. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Lincoln, of the clear yearly value of £300, with a glebe-house. There are several Dissenting places of worship. There were in 1833 an infant-school with 130 children, a dame-school with 20 ; a free grammar-school, with a large endowment, with 80 children ; another endowed day-school with 25 children ; thirteen other day-schools with 322 children ; a national day and Sunday school with 284 scholars during the week, and 59 on Sundays ; and three Sunday-schools, with 580 children.