On a sunny Monday morning, 21st March 2022, I ticked off the 64th station on the East Midlands Ranger Area list when I visited Grantham, in Lincolnshire. I had never been to Lincolnshire before, and this was the furthest east I had been to on the challenge.
I caught the train at Burton on Trent, then changed at Nottingham to get to Grantham. It was a fine, sunny day and quite warm.
The present Grantham railway station opened in August 1852, two years after the town’s original station (Grantham Old Wharf) opened. Old Wharf was closed the same day as the new station opened. It has four platforms and is fully staffed. Unusually, the PA announcements are made by station staff, rather than the pre-recorded automated announcements used at most other stations. It is managed by London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), although trains from East Midlands Railway and Hull Trains also call there.
I left the station and headed to the town centre. Grantham is a historic old town, famous for being the birthplace of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and also where the scientist Sir Isaac Newton was educated.
There are many beautiful old buildings in the town centre, including the Grantham Museum (which was closed) and the Grantham Guildhall. There is also the Angel & Royal Hotel, which is said to be the oldest inn in England.
I walked from the town centre to St Wulfram’s Church, a Grade I listed Anglican church with the second-tallest spire in Lincolnshire (only Louth’s St James’ Church is taller). Within the church’s grounds is the local war memorial.
Near to the church is Grantham House, a National Trust-owned town house dating back to 1380.
Also nearby is The King’s School, a boys-only grammar school dating back to the 14th century. Isaac Newton was a scholar here from 1655-1660.
My next port of call was Wyndham Park, a large public park with many amenities and attractions, including a visitor centre (closed when I visited), a memorial shelter to those who died in the World Wars, along with a few war memorial sculptures. The park is named for Lt. Hon. William Reginald Wyndham, a local soldier killed in action in Ypres, Belgium in 1914 at the age of 38.
The model boat area seen above was formerly a skateboard park from the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, when it was filled with water. Pay-as-you-go model boats are available for budding sailors. I didn’t have any change on me, so I couldn’t show off my seafaring skills to the public.
Across the road from the park is a path next to the River Witham which leads up to Queen Elizabeth Park. Near the park entrance is a clever and funny sculpture of a clothes peg.
Many people were out and about enjoying the unseasonable March sunshine. The path leads up to Queen Elizabeth Park, named not for the present Queen Elizabeth II, but for her mother. It was created in 1980 to celebrate her 80th birthday.
At the park is the Diamond Jubilee wood, planted in 2012 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne.
On my way back to the town centre, I stopped at the Wyndham Park sensory garden, opened in 2010 and featuring a sculpture of ‘Isaac’s Apple’, created by Nigel Sardeson and depicting a hand holding an apple. Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head, in case you didn’t know.
After that, I just walked around the town centre for a while until it was time to go home. I did spot an interesting faded old sign on a wall on the way back to the town centre.
Thanks very much for reading.