Horningtoft Heritage Society
In November 1999 the Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council invited everyone from the village to a meeting to discuss the conifers surrounding the church, which had grown very tall and wide and obstructed visibility on the crossroads. It was agreed that safety on the crossroads was the main concern and it was decided to remove the conifers and hopefully restore the churchyard wall, which only extended a few feet either side of the gates. A group was formed to pursue this project and church records researched to find more information about the wall. This group became the founding members of Horningtoft Heritage Society.
The conifers were removed in December 1999. Feed back from villagers was excellent, everyone was pleased to see the church again and found visibility on the corner very much improved. As a result of the interest in the wall further activities were proposed, such as research into the history of the village and its inhabitants. The Parochial Church Council wanted to involve the children, they had undertaken a project the previous summer and were keen to do more.
A committee was formed and a red rose adopted as the society emblem, a red rose because this was the rent for a cottage in Horningtoft in the 1600s. A note in the First Parish Register dated 1598 was made by Elizabeth Forth the Lady of the manor, she provided a house on the common for poor people and as a token the village had to pay a Red Rose on Midsummer Day to the Church Curate.
The committee searched grant schemes to find one that covered both the wall, the research and other ideas. The Local Heritage Initiative arranged grants through The Countryside Agency which fitted the society needs. An application for just over £13,000 was submitted and was successful and also awarded a grant from the Nationwide Building Society for an additional £2000. The agreements were signed in January 2001.
The project included a Heritage Weekend in June 2001, a Model Saxon Village, a St. Edmund Evening and the collation of information, photographs and maps of the village and its residents,
More information was collected and displayed at a further exhibition in 2003.
Links to each exhibition since will be added