Website of the Laceby History Group

Geographical Description

The present village site defined in geographical terms is as follows:-

Laceby is a wet point spring line settlement site, situated near water in the form of streams (the beck) and springs, as can be found in Spring Lane. Presence of water was the main factor affecting the positions of settlements. Other factors include soil type, need for defence, crossing point of a river, need to build above marshy land (on a dry-point) site, a position sheltered from strong winds.

Laceby's position has little to do with defence; but the soil is quite fertile and suitable for crops and pasture; the area axound Laceby is flat, low-lying and clayey in soil type, and before drainage channels, might have been quite boggy and so the original village would probably have been built on the slight rises around the Church: the position of the settlement at :the foot of the dip slope of the Wolds would be largely sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds; and the beck is shallower at Laceby than for quite a way up or downstream and so would have probably been used as a fording point. So the site upon which Laceby stands offered a supply of fresh water, fertile soil, no building difficulties as the land was fairly flat, but yet on enough of a little rise to prevent it being waterlogged, a fairly sheltered position and a crossing point of the stream.

Laceby is situated on sedimentary rocks, mainly boulder clay and outward material deposited during the ice ages. The settlement lies at the foot of the dip slope of the escarpment of the Lincolnshire Wolds, on the eastern side. It is about four miles from the coast, and stands on what becomes the River Freshney further downstream. Laceby lies on the springline, probably the main reason for its siting in the particular place, as before the days of reservoirs and piped water supplies, if there was no water supplies in a place there would be no settlement there, as water is essential for life. In an area like Lincolnshire, this water supply would nearly always be in the form of springs or streams as the rainfall is relatively light - about 26 inches a year.

The origins of any settlement are generally found in the fact that man is a gregarious animal, that is, he likes to congregate with others of the same species. Settlements are usually founded because the surrounding countryside is rich enough to support them and because the population has grown so much that specialization such as milling and smithing etc., occurs, or because defence is needed from hostile neighbours. This is probably why invaders would settle in a village to start with and then as the country became more peaceful would move out to farm the surrounding land.

A village may also have been the market place for the surrounding area, especially when barter was used. Farmers would come and exchange their goods and make use of specialized services which would be situated in the village.