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Crowle is a populous community in the civil parish of Crowle and Ealand, on the Isle of Axholme in North Lincolnshire, England. The civil parish had a population at the 2011 census of 4,828. It lies on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal and has a railway station. The place has a further named neighbourhood, Windsor.

Market Hall, Crowle

St. Oswalds Church, Crowle

Crowle is situated on one of a series of hills which form the Isle of Axholme, left exposed when the area emerged from the Glacial Lake Humber after the last Ice Age, and is separated from the main raised area to the south by a low-lying strip of land.


The Isle of Axholme was formerly surrounded by several rivers, and much of the low-lying marshland was regularly inundated by water. The River Donflowed in a north-easterly direction just to the west of Crowle, to join the River Trent at Adlingfleet, but the hydrology of the area was radically altered in the seventeenth century, when Cornelius Vermuyden was appointed by Charles I to drain Hatfield Chase. Major rivers were diverted, and the numerous canals and drainage ditches that cross the fields give the whole area a Dutch character.

Archaeological evidence for early settlement suggests that there were occupation sites scattered throughout the area, rather than a village or town. There is evidence of Neolithic settlers in the form of stone axes and arrowheads, as well as the waste left by tool-making. Shards of Early Bronze Age pottery have been found, and in 1747, a hoard of spearheads and bronze rapiers were found on Crowle Moor, suggesting that settlement continued through the third, second and first millennia BCE.


It continued through the Romano-British period, with finds in the parish suggesting a number of farmsteads, similar to those found in excavations at nearby Sandtoft during the construction of the M180 motorway. The grouping together of individual settlements to form a community probably took place in the Anglo-Saxonperiod.

Market Place, Crowle

Epworth is a small town and civil parish in the Isle of Axholme, North Lincolnshire, England. The town lies on the A161, about halfway between Goole and Gainsborough. As the birthplace of John Wesleyand Charles Wesley, it has given its name to many institutions associated with Methodism. Their father, Samuel Wesley, was the rector from 1695 to 1735.

The Old Rectory, Epworth

Epworth is situated in the Isle of Axholme. The Isle is so called because, until it was drained by the Dutch engineer Sir Cornelius Vermuyden in 1627–1629, it was an inland island surrounded by rivers, streams, bogs and meres.

A grant of the common land to the freeholders and other tenants, made by deed in 1360 by John de Mowbray, Lord of the Manor, gave privileges and freedoms over the use of common land, reed gathering, rights over fish and fowl and such wildlife as could be taken by the commoners for food. The deed caused repercussions in the reign of King Charles I (1625-1649) when Vermuyden was granted the task of draining the Isle and he and his Dutch partners came under regular attack in their stockade at Sandtoft.

The Old Rectory, a Queen Anne style building, rebuilt after the fire of 1709, has been completely restored and is now the property of the World Methodist Council. It is maintained as a museum. It is also the site of supposed paranormal events that occurred there in 1716, while the Wesley family was living in the house.[4][5]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew is on a hill overlooking the town. Its architecture suggests that its oldest part may have been built in the late 12th century with later additions in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Rev. Samuel Wesley, father of John and Charles Wesley, was Rector here (and is buried in the churchyard).

Wesley Memorial Church, Epworth is described as the 'Home of Methodism' and there is a Methodist church in the centre of the town. This was built in 1888 (opened for worship in 1889) and continues to be a busy hub in the centre of the community. The church (along with the town as a whole) attracts hundreds of visitors from around the world each year tracing the history of the Methodist movement. There is a trail around the town linking the sites which were significant for the Wesley family.

An example of the Dutch influence on local architecture can be seen in the building now used as the Post Office, situated in the High Street.

Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, Epworth

High Street, Epworth