Historic Woodhall Spa

Development of the Spa

Woodhall Spa had its beginnings in the dream of John Parkinson Esquire to sink a coal mine and develop the city of New Bolingbroke. His speculation was a failure as no coal was found. However, the accidental discovery of ‘salt water’ at his coalmine shaft near Coal Pit Wood in Woodhall eventually led to the erecting of a Bath House in 1834 by Thomas Hotchkin, the local squire. Mr Hotchkin later built the Victoria Hotel in 1839 and the spa’s mineral-rich healing waters became a magnet for the treatment of ailments such as rheumatism. The full story is told in the following pages beginning with a time line illustrating the growth of the Spa.

Origins of the Spa: The Watery Jewel
Richard Adolphus Came and the Syndicate of Woodhall Spa
Came Village Walk

The Railway Age

In 1853 a group of far-sighted men local men formed a company to construct a railway from Kirkstead (on the Boston-Lincoln line) to the market town of Horncastle with Woodhall spa as an intermediate station.

Woodhall Spa station
The Horncastle and Kirkstead Junction Railway Company
Paintings of railway scenes circa 1855

The Tower on the Moor

Modern-day scenes of the tower portray an evocative scene of ancient splendour now slipping into decay. The Tower which is now on private land still sits regally and has become one of the hallmarks of the village. Once part of a much larger building it is all that remains.

The Tower was probably built around the time that Tattershall Castle was being rebuilt in brick (1430 and 1455). Ralph Cromwell, third baron was treasurer of England and was an extremely wealthy man. It is possible that the Tower was part of his hunting lodge since it was originally in a large lake surrounded by marshland.

In 1530 it was recorded by Leland that the Tower was in a ‘great ponde or lake bricked about’. During excavations part of a stone causeway was found leading to the assumption that this would have been laid to give firmer footing for horses. The overseer of the building of the Tower was probably William of Wainfleet. He was involved in the building of Tattershall Castle and the Tower has similarities one example being that the Tower has handrails in the spiral staircase.

Jackie Goodall