High Street (A153)
Coningsby shown within Lincolnshire
Population 3,238 (Parish) OS grid reference District East Lindsey Shire county Lincolnshire Region East Midlands Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town LINCOLN Postcode district LN4 Dialling code 01526 Police Lincolnshire Fire Lincolnshire Ambulance East Midlands EU Parliament East Midlands UK Parliament Louth and Horncastle List of places: UK • England • Lincolnshire
Taking its name from the Old Norse 'konungr' meaning 'King' with an Old Norse suffix 'by' meaning 'the settlement of' which gives Coningsby the meaning 'The Settlement of the King'. Coningsby lies 8 miles (13 km) south of Horncastle on the A153 Horncastle to Sleaford road, with the Lincolnshire Wolds to the west and the Fens to the east. The B1192 Kirton to Woodhall Spa road passes through the town. At its western end it meets the village of Tattershall, demarcated by the River Bain. A railway line once passed through the village which opened on 1 July 1913 and closed on 5 July 1970. The Coldham Road Industrial Estate now occupies the site of the Former Railway Station. The Line was officially known as 'The Kirkstead and Little Steeping Railway' though it was universally known by the local people and the railway workers as 'The New Line'.
Coningsby St Michael's CE Primary School is on School Lane. The secondary modern school, the Gartree Community School, is just outside the Coningsby boundary in Tattershall, near the A153. Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle provides sixth form education with enrollment open to pupils graduating from both Gartree and other Secondary Modern Schools.
Coningsby is overseen by the tower of its 15th century parish church, ‘St Michael's’ with its unique one-handed clock face. One of the few in the country (there is another at St Andrew's in Holt, Norfolk), it is claimed by the Coningsby Parish Council to be the largest of its kind in the world. The face is painted directly onto the wall of the tower and was probably installed in the 17th century. It is 16.5 feet in diameter and its hand is nearly 9 feet long. The driving weights are large stones and the pendulum is so long that it swings only once every two seconds. The pendulum is not actually attached to the clock; it is some distance away, linked by a long connecting rod. There are only three wheels in the timekeeping mechanism but it keeps excellent time[says who?] and needs winding once a day. The tower on which the clock face is painted is quite unusual in that it is on the outside of the building. There is an arched passage under the tower which is part of a public footpath from the [A153] High Street to the School on School lane, through the churchyard.
Public houses include the Black Swan and the White Bull, both on High Street, and also the Lea Gate Inn on Leagate Road (B1192).
Half a mile (1 km) to the south of the village lies RAF Coningsby, one of the Royal Air Force’s most important stations, home of No. XI Squadron, No. 3 Squadron, No. XVII Squadron and No. 29 Squadron. The base is part of Britain’s heritage, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight formed in 1957 to commemorate the Royal Air Force's major battle honours, with a Lancaster, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes and a Dakota. These aircraft still fly and can be seen at air shows during summer.
From 1950 RAF Coningsby was home to three squadrons of Washingtons, the RAF name for the American B29 bombers, and for the first 18 months these were maintained by National Service technicians whose conscription was extended to 24 months because of their particular skills.
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