The Parts of Kesteven (/ˈkɛstəvən/ or /kəˈstvən/) are a traditional division of Lincolnshire, England. This division had long had a separate county administration (quarter sessions), along with the two other Parts of Lincolnshire, Lindsey and Holland.

Lincolnshire, Parts of Kesteven
Kesteven - Lincolnshire Brit Isles section.svg
 • Created1889
 • Abolished1974
 • Succeeded byLincolnshire
StatusAdministrative county
 • HQSleaford
The arms of Kesteven County Council


The word Kesteven is supposed to have derived from two root words: the Celtic *ceto- meaning wood (compare Modern Welsh coed) and the Old Norse stefna, a meeting place. The earliest record of the place-name is c1000 and was spelt Ceostefne,[1] developing into Ketsteuene by 1185.[2]

Administrative areasEdit

Wapentakes and SokesEdit

Historically, Lincolnshire was divided into wapentakes, hundreds and sokes.[3] The following made up Kesteven:

Local Government Act 1888Edit

The three parts were given separate elected county councils in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888, and recognised as administrative counties.[4] Kesteven lies in the south-west of Lincolnshire. It includes the towns of:

Local Government Act 1894Edit

Under the Local Government Act 1894 Kesteven was divided into a number of rural district and urban districts based on earlier sanitary districts:[5]

The urban districts and boroughs were:

Bourne Urban District was abolished in 1920, with Bourne becoming a parish in Bourne Rural District. Bracebridge became part of the county borough of Lincoln that same year, becoming associated with the Parts of Lindsey.

Local Government Act 1929Edit

The rural districts were re-organised by a County Review Order in 1929, to create four new districts named after points of the compass:[6]

Local Government Act 1972Edit

These separate county councils were abolished in 1974 and Lincolnshire (minus the northern part of Lindsey) had a single county council for the first time, although the names of the Parts survive in some of the names of district councils. Under the Local Government Act 1972, the four rural districts in Kesteven, along with the boroughs and urban district, merged into two district councils:[7]

Kesteven County CouncilEdit



Coat of armsEdit

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. A drawing of the arms of Kesteven County Council can be found here.

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.[11][12]

Titles of nobility associated with KestevenEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Chronicle of Aethelweard, ed. A.Campbell, London, 1962, quoted in Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names, Cameron, English Place-Name Society, 1998 (p.72)
  2. ^ Pipe Rolls, quoted in Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names, Cameron, English Place-Name Society, 1998 (p.72)
  3. ^ Parson, William (1826). The History and Directory of the Towns and Principal Villages in the County of Lincoln. Leeds: William White & Co. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ The Local Government Act 1888 (51 & 52 Vict. c.41)
  5. ^ The Local Government Act 1894 (56 & 57 Vict. c. 73)
  6. ^ Local Government Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo V c.17)
  7. ^ Local Government Act 1972 (1972 c. 70)
  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. ^ "Lincolnshire - Parts of Kesteven". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  12. ^ Joan, Varley (1974). The Parts of Kesteven. pp. viii.
  13. ^ Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990
  • Youngs, Frederic A (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  • Youngs, Frederic A (1991). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol2: Northern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-86193-127-0.

External linksEdit

  • Map of Kesteven on Wikishire

Coordinates: 52°55′00″N 0°38′00″W / 52.9167°N 0.6333°W / 52.9167; -0.6333