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Location, geography and geology
1887 OS map
Since prehistory one of the strategic routes north-south is what we know as the A1, formerly the Great North Road. Since the early 1960s the A1 has bypassed Grantham, but hitherto travellers on this route passed through Grantham.
Anyone heading west from Grantham, towards Bingham and Nottingham and perhaps on to Derby, would use what is now the A52. Curiously Barrowby is situated just to the south of the A52. A small number of houses were demolished when the A52 was widened (the original route is followed by Grantham-bound traffic) but there seems never to have been any inns in close proximity to the road. Presumably travellers would seek refreshments or accommodation in Grantham or Bottesford so there was no need for such facilities in between.
The parish of Barrowby extends down the steep escarpment as far as the course of the Old Beck. This means there are two 'daughter settlements':– Casthorpe and Stenwith. And, until 1536, a third – Newbo – to the east of Sedgebrook (Barrowby parish boundary runs immediately to the east of Sedgebrook village). To the south are the adjoining villages of Harlaxton and Denton.
Just a few miles to the west lies both Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire – the boundary is confused by a 'pan handle'-shaped protrusion of Leicestershire to encompass Bottesford and Normanton.
Situated on a ridge some 300 feet (91 metres) above sea level, Barrowby is on the watershed between the Vale of Belvoir (part of the Trent valley) to the west and the Witham valley to the east. From vantage points to the west of the settlement the view extends across the Vale of Belvoir to the Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire borders. Depending which direction one looks it is possible to see Belvoir Castle, Lincoln Cathedral, and two power stations in the Trent valley (West Burton and Cottam; the latter is near Gainsborough over 40 miles [60 kilometers] away).
Looking north from near the church.
Telephoto view of West Burton and Cottam power stations.
The ridge on which Barrowby is situated was created by 'marlstone ' – iron-rich sandstone laid down in the early Jurassic (201 to 174 million years ago). This is used for the construction of many of the older properties and boundary walls in Barrowby, although the rock tends to crumble when exposed to frost.
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Copyright Bob Trubshaw 2021
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Articles about BarrowbyBarrowby's location and geology
Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Articles and web links for nearby places
rare seventeenth fonts at Muston, Bottesford and Orston from Project Gargoyle Newsletter 2020
Ironstone quarries of Leicestershire
The Grantham Canal
Croxton Kerrial manor house excavations