Grantham is a town in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It straddles the London–Edinburgh East Coast Main Line and the River Witham and is bounded to the west by the A1 north–south trunk road. Grantham lies about 23 miles (37 km) south of the county town, the City of Lincoln and about 22 miles (35 km) east of Nottingham.
The population in 2016 was put at 44,580.
Grantham was the birthplace of the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Isaac Newton was educated at its King's School, while Thomas Paine worked there as an excise officer in the 1790s. Grantham-born Edith Smith became the United Kingdom's first female police officer in 1914. The town produced the first running diesel engine in 1892 and the UK's first tractor in 1896.
Belton House, Grantham
Margaret Thatchers Birthplace, Grantham
Margaret Thatchers Birthplace, Grantham
Grantham lies close to an ancient Roman road. It was the scene in 1643 of Oliver Cromwell's first win over Royalists during the English Civil War, at Gonerby Moor.
The origin of "Grantham" is uncertain, although the name is said probably to be Old English "Granta+ham", meaning "Granta's homestead". It appeared as early as 1086 in the Domesday Book in its present form of Grantham, but was also recorded variously as Grandham, Granham and Graham. The place name element grand could possibly mean "gravel".
The name of the town is the origin of the Scottish surname, now often used as a given name, Graham.
Grantham House is to the east of the church, and a National Trust property.
Grantham has the country's only "living" public house sign: a beehive of South African bees situated outside the Beehive Inn since 1830.
Edith Smith Way is a road next to the Guildhall Arts Centre, on St Peter's Hill; it is named after England's first policewoman. Mary Allen and Ellen F. Harburn reported for duty on 27 November 1914. Mary Allen was a former suffragette and had been previously arrested outside the House of Commons and later went on to be the commandant of the UK's women's police force from the 1920s up to 1940. She helped to set up women's police forces in other countries, including Germany. Edith Smith became the first female with powers of arrest in August 1915.
Sandon Road is named after Viscount Sandon, also the Earl of Harrowby. The first person with the title was Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby; a road is also named after him. He purchased Harrowby Hall in 1754. The current incumbent is Dudley Ryder, 8th Earl of Harrowby.
The Blue Pig, one of many Blue pubs, is situated on Vine Street, near the Church of St Wulfram. The building is one of probably only four remaining Tudor buildings in the town and is a survivor of the disastrous fires of the 1660s. It was first mentioned as an inn in a trade directory of 1846, when the landlord was one Richard Summersby. The property was then owned by the Manners family (giving the derivation of Blue in the name).
The water tower on Gorse Lane is a local landmark for drivers. The nearby George Hotel (known as St Peter's Place, now the George Shopping Centre) was mentioned in Charles Dickens's novel Nicholas Nickleby. Many of the town's property and industrial estates have been owned by Buckminster Trust Estates since the time of the Earl of Dysart.
To the west of the town, near the A607, is Baird's maltings, formerly owned by Moray Firth until 1999, and before that, R & W Paul. Other maltings in the town have been converted for residential use such as Riverview Maltings near the river and formerly owned by Lee & Grinling’s.
Nearby are many historic houses including 17th-century Belton House (the Brownlows), early 19th-century Harlaxton Manor (the Gregorys), Stoke Rochford Hall (owned by the Turnors, and since 1978 is now the training centre of the NUT), and the 11th-century Belvoir Castle (the Manners), in Leicestershire. Much of the property and land to the south-west of the area is owned by the two estates of Belvoir and Buckminster. Further to the south of Stoke Rochford are the Cholmeleys of Easton Hall.
Isaac Newton Monument, Grantham