Market Deeping and Deeping St. James are small towns located to the south of the county in South Kesteven, they were second in the order of running and was surveyed June – August 2019. The survey area of Market Deeping and Deeping St James is a combination of the two parishes. Although the two settlements are considered historically as separate, in present day the towns are recognised as being one in local planning terms as they have merged into one settlement in the 20th century, this has resulted in a combination approach for surveying the area.
The EUS has been working with Deepings First–the neighbourhood planning group for the Deepings and Deepings Heritage – custodians of the Deepings' past.
Market Deeping and Deeping St James have an extensive history. The area was intensively occupied in the prehistoric period; settlement and activity evidence from the Mesolithic through to the Iron Age is well recorded in the area immediately surrounding the towns.
Archaeological remains from the Roman period have been found with earlier prehistoric remains demonstrate that many of these settlements continued and transitioned from the Iron Age into the Roman period. Generally, these settlements did not endure into the early medieval period, and there are no early medieval finds recorded at these sites, suggesting that the
settlements moved elsewhere. There is early medieval evidence for the Deepings, however, predominantly within Market Deeping and to the west and north of the town. This indicates activity at this time, possibly situated around St Guthlac’s Church, where remains of an early medieval cross are recorded. Charters granting the Deepings to various parties demonstrate that there was a settlement where the town now is from this time. It is possible that early medieval archaeological remains, where present, are beneath medieval and post-medieval buildings in the heart of the town where little recent development has taken place and opportunities for archaeological work have been limited. This has led to a gap in our archaeological knowledge of the Deepings in this period.
The Deepings expanded rapidly in the medieval period; the street plan of both of the historic centres suggest they were carefully planned, with long thin burgage plots extending back to a connecting back lane, and a wide market place in the centre. The remains of these settlement components are mostly well preserved in the present day street plan. While the town plan is largely medieval, the buildings remaining in the town (apart from the churches) mostly date to the
post-medieval period. The buildings at the heart of the two towns are built of local limestone, demonstrating that the towns were prosperous throughout this period, likely partly due to their proximity to the navigable River Welland. A small amount of new expansion occurred at this time although most of the development took place within the predefined medieval settlement boundaries.
The 20th century has seen the largest amount of development within the towns since the medieval period. New residential developments in both Market Deeping and Deeping St James have taken place and have produced one large town in place of two smaller, distinct settlements. The new developments are mostly residential in nature, however schools and amenities have also been built as part of the expansion.
The historic centres of both Market Deeping and Deeping St James are constructed mainly of locally quarried limestone. Market Deeping's centre comprises post-medieval commercial buildings of two and three storeys, arranged around a wide market place which has been altered in the 20th/21st centuries to accommodate the traffic requirements within the town. Deeping St James’s historic core is more residential in character with limestone houses and cottages lining the main street. The suburban expansion which has taken place to the north and east of the settlements has generally been of 20th century fashion in a myriad of styles, characters and housing types and does generally not conform to the historic character. However, both Market Deeping and Deeping St James maintain their pleasant, small town characters and are an asset to the heritage narrative within South Lincolnshire. The historic environment is evocative of a long past.
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Keep checking back to read our report on Market Deeping and Deeping St James or view the interactive mapping on the town. You can also visit our Calendar page to find out if anything is going on near you, alternatively you can keep up to date through social media!