Grantham has a long history of discovery, invention and innovation. The town has been shaped by its ability and willingness to embrace change, and this has created a fascinating tapestry of buildings and stories stretching back beyond the doomsday book to the modern day, encompassing world changing ideas and events.
The town is dominated by the glorious medieval stone spire of St Wulfram’s Church. Towering 282ft above street level, when it was built in the 1300s, the spire was the tallest on any parish church in England.
At the time the elegant spire was a technological wonder, and was used as a model for other spires across the country, including that of St James Church in Louth, which, at 295ft. currently holds the record for tallest spire on a parish church.
The grandeur of St Wulfram’s, a parish church with the soul of a cathedral, never fails to inspire. You can only wonder what inspiration it could have been to a young Isaac Newton as he attended the neighbouring Grantham Grammar School (now the King’s School). Perhaps he may have visited the Trigge Library, an incredible and important chained library, originally created in 1598, which still resides, as it has since its creation, above the South Porch of the church.
Above all Grantham is a town of firsts, alongside the Trigge library – the first public library in Britan, sit the first female police officer to be given full arrest powers, Edith Smith. Several decades later Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was born and grew up in the town.
Richard Hornsby and Sons manufactured the first diesel powered engine, which would later be used to power the UK’s first tractor, along with the lights of the Taj Mahal and to light the torch of the Statue of Liberty.