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St Hybald's Church, Hibaldstow
St Hybald's Church, Hibaldstow

Hibaldstow is a small village four miles south of Brigg, in North Lincolnshire. The deserted medieval village of Gainsthorpe is situated nearby.


[edit] Origins

Hibaldstow was founded as a Roman legionary 'roadside fort' on the road from Lincoln to the Humber. Later it became a 'posting station' on the same road. The earliest evidence for occupation suggests a date in the late first century. Occupation continued into the late fourth century. There is no Iron Age settlement evidence from the Roman site itself[1].

St Hybald's Church Tower
St Hybald's Church Tower

The name derives from Saint Hygbald - a Northumbrian missionary who came to the area in the latter part of the 7th century. Described as a 'shadowy figure' the missionary became Abbot of Bardney and later a saint. Three churches around the village - then known as Ceceseg - became dedicated to him when he was made a saint. The name 'Hibaldstow' comes from Old English Hygebald+stow, for "holy place where St. Hygebald is buried". From 1066-87 the village was referred to as "Hibaldestowa". It appeared in the 1086 Domesday Book as Hiboldestou. Variations in the spelling abound, even within a single document. Some writers have suggested that the name was originally Hubba, a Danish commander or leader.[2]

[edit] RAF Hibaldstow

RAF Hibaldstow was built as a satellite airfield for RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey in 1941. When the runways were constructed, some of the hardcore was made from material taken from demolished bungalows on the site.

The airfield was commissioned on 12th May 1941 when No.255 Squadron took up residence with their Defiant Night Fighters. These planes had been drawn from RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey and made one 'kill': an HE111 which was shot down near Louth on 5th June 1941.

In June 1941 the Defiants were replaced by Beaufighter IIs and on 23 September 1941 No.253 (Hyderabad) Squadron from Skeabrea, Orkney, arrived. In addition Havocs from Hunsden, Hertfordshire also came to the base.

By the start of 1943, the low risk of night attacks by the Luftwaffe lead to the closure of the airbase (23rd January 1943). The airbase re-opened on 9th May 1943 for No.53 OTU and once again closed on 15 May 1945. Shortly before closure WAAF Margaret Horton had an 'unexpected ride on the tail of a Spitfire' while acting as a tailweight: She was sat on the tail of the plane, as it was common practice in order to stop it overturning while it taxied to the end of the runway, due to design drawbacks, strong wind and bouncy grassfield. The pilot, anxious to be airborne, forgot about her and failed to stop to allow the WAAF to jump off the tail. As soon as the plane was in the air, the pilot realised that there was something very wrong with the handling of his aircraft. He radioed the control tower to report the problem. The emergency services were called out and the pilot talked back in without being told what had happened. The aircraft landed safely with Margaret Horton still in one piece. [3].

On 6th August 1947 the station finally closed and during 1960-61 it was sold off for use as agricultural land. It was also used for Sunday markets, as a skid-pan by Lincolnshire Police and by a local parachute club. The control tower was converted to a two storey house in 1976.

[edit] Hibaldstow Airfield

An Army cadet named Stephen Hilder plunged 13,000ft to his death in the British Collegiate Parachute Association Championships at Hibaldstow airfield in July 2003, now used as a skydiving club. Humberside Police launched a murder investigation after it was revealed that the bridle on his main and risers on his reserve parachutes had been cut. An inquest in Scunthorpe recorded an open verdict in March 2005.

[edit] Top Gear Train Crash

A local level crossing was the site of a staged train crash done by BBC motoring program Top Gear. The stunt involved a train crashing into a Renault Espace to show the dangers of jumping the red lights of level crossings. The stunt was done in conjunction by Network Rail for their "Level crossings - Don't run the risk campaign" - the first staged train crash in 10 years. The segment was presented by Jeremy Clarkson and the Espace was completely destroyed by the locomotive when it was shown on the 25 February 2007. The line was closed off for a whole day and a weekend to replace the track damaged by the stunt as a result.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ,
  2. , MILLS, A. D. (1991): A Dictionary of English Place-Names, Oxford University Press, Oxford
  3. , BBC - WW2 People's War - A W.A.A.F. at R.A.F. Kirton Lindsey 1944 by Mary Blood (Nee Pettit)

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 53°30'N, 0°32'W

(Source: Wikipedia)
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