Spalding in 1839
Spalding is in the wapentake of Elloe, in the parts of Holland, 101 miles from London on the road to Boston. It was a place of some consequence even in the Saxon times. There was a monastic establishment here, which underwent many changes. Its revenue at the dissolution was £878, 18 shillings and 3 pence, gross, or £767, 8 shillings and 2 pence clear.
The parish comprehends 12,070 acres, with a population in 1831 of 6,497, about one-third agricultural. The town is situated on the banks of the river Welland, in a fenny district, not well drained ; the streets are clean and well paved, and the houses neat. The church, which is mostly of perpendicular character, has a fine tower and crocketed spire. There is a town-hall or court-house, a substantial brick building, in the market-place. There are assembly-rooms and a small theatre.
The town derives its principal support from being the emporium for the neighbouring agricultural district. The Welland is navigable for vessels of 40 or 50, or even 70 tons, up to the town, and there is a considerable coasting and carrying trade. The market is on Tuesday, and is very prosperous. Long wool is sent from this neighbourhood for the supply of Norwich and the manufacturing towns of Yorkshire.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Lincoln, of the clear annual value of £950, with a glebe-house. There were in 1823 a free grammar-school with 5 scholars ; another endowed free-school for 60 boys ; a free-school called "The Bluecoat-school," with 50 free and 24 pay scholars ; twenty-four other day-schools with 614 children ; and five Sunday-schools with 705 scholars.