- The villages around Bourne, Lincolnshire, England -


Edenham village and cedar trees

THE STATELY CEDAR TREES in the churchyard at Edenham, three miles north west of Bourne, were planted more than a century ago and the largest that overhangs the main A151 as you drive into the village from the south is thought to be over 150 years old. It has a good straight trunk persisting high through the crown to a spreading, flat top and the canopy is so immense that its branches obscure the first sight of the church’s fine pinnacled tower, 84 feet high and dating back to the 15th century. 

The cedars here are given added height because the church stands on a man-made plateau in which Roman remains have been found and nearby are signs of earthworks, indicating the possibility of Saxon habitation and defences and it is even possible that an earlier British settlement stood here in this loop of the River Eden that runs through the parish.

Not all of our apparently historic public houses are as old as they look and a good example is the Five Bells at Edenham. It enjoys a reputation as one of our old English inns but it is in fact Victorian and was not built until 1880. There was however a temperance hotel on the site prior to that, most probably a religious hostel similar to those built in the vicinity of many parish churches to provide accommodation for visitors and built within the sound of their bells. The name indicates that St Michael’s and All Angels had five bells when the inn was opened in the late19th century, the oldest cast in 1636. They were augmented to six in 1909 and to eight in 1931 when the 18th century tenor bell was also recast. A further two treble bells were added in 1985 following the death of the last Earl of Ancaster two years before and one of them is inscribed with his initials as a memorial.

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