Kesteven County Council
Founded1 April 1889
Disbanded31 March 1974
Succeeded byLincolnshire County Council
Meeting place
County Offices, Sleaford

Kesteven County Council was the county council of Kesteven, one of the three Parts of Lincolnshire in eastern England. It came into its powers on 1 April 1889 and was abolished on 31 March 1974.[1] The county council was based at the County Offices in Sleaford.[2] It was amalgamated with Holland County Council, Lindsey County Council and the county borough of Lincoln to form the new Lincolnshire County Council in 1974.[3]


Grantham Guildhall, one of the council's two main meeting places.

Elected county councils were created in 1889, taking over the administrative functions of the quarter sessions. Lincolnshire's quarter sessions had long been held separately for the three parts of the county and the city of Lincoln, and so each part became a separate administrative county and Lincoln became a county borough.[4] Elections were held in January 1889 and the council came into its powers on 1 April 1889, on which day it held its first formal meeting at Grantham Guildhall. William Welby-Gregory, a former Member of Parliament for the Conservatives, was appointed the first chairman of the council. At the first meeting there was a debate on where the council should meet, with some advocating meeting solely in Grantham, others arguing for alternating meetings between Grantham and Sleaford, and others advocating a four way cycle of meetings between Grantham, Sleaford, Stamford and Bourne. The council decided to alternate between meeting at Grantham Guildhall and Sessions House, Sleaford.[5]

Sessions House, Sleaford, the council's other main meeting place.

In 1925 the council bought Lafford Terrace, a row of 1850s houses on Kesteven Street in Sleaford, converting it to become their main offices.[6] Plans to add a council chamber to the building were considered but not pursued, and council meetings continued to alternate between Grantham Guildhall and the Sessions House in Sleaford throughout the council's existence.[7]

Chairmen and vice-chairmen


Chairman Party From To
William Welby-Gregory Conservative 1889 1898
John Thorold[8] Conservative 1898 1921
Charles Welby Conservative 1921 1934
Robert Pattinson Liberal 1934 1954
Frank Jenkinson Conservative 1954 1962
Henry William Newman Fane Conservative 1962 1967
John Hedley Lewis Conservative 1968 1974


Coat of arms

Kesteven County Council received a grant of arms in 1950. The Lincoln green shield bears an ermine pale, representing the Roman Ermine Street which runs the length of the county. This is charged with an oak tree for the ancient forests, among them Kesteven Forest.[11]

The crest shows a heron with a pike in its beak. The dexter supporter is a Roman legionary which recalls the Roman settlements of the county. The sinister supporter is a poacher, recalling the song "The Lincolnshire Poacher", an unofficial anthem of Lincolnshire.[12][13]


  1. ^ Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. ISBN 0-11-750847-0.
  2. ^ "Archivists' Report 18". Lincolnshire Archives Committee. 1967. p. 4. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Historical Background". Lincoln Family History Society. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  4. ^ Local Government Act 1888
  5. ^ "Kesteven County Council: The place of meeting decided". Grantham Journal. 6 April 1889. p. 3. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  6. ^ "Kesteven County Council: Scheme for increased accommodation. Property bought for new central offices at Sleaford". Grantham Journal. 20 June 1925. p. 5. Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  7. ^ "£10,000 scheme for County Council chamber". Grantham Journal. 19 November 1938. p. 12. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Death of Sir John H. Thorold, Bart.", Grantham Journal, 7 October 1922, p. 5
  9. ^ a b "Kesteven County Council", Sheffield Independent, 31 March 1904, p. 8
  10. ^ a b "Kesteven County Council", Grantham Journal, 15 May 1909, p. 6
  11. ^ "Coat of Arms of Kesteven". Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Lincolnshire - Parts of Kesteven". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  13. ^ Joan, Varley (1974). The Parts of Kesteven. pp. viii.