Welcome to Ketton
We hope you will enjoy living in our community
The style and age of much of the housing tells its own story of Ketton being a community with a long history. The residents are like the houses: some have been here for many years whilst others are newer to the village. It is because we are aware of the number of people moving into a growing community that it has been decided that a welcome pack will be helpful in enabling newcomers to discover the riches of the area more easily.
This welcome pack has been prepared by members of the Parish Council with the help and knowledge of other residents. The contents include contributions from the County Council, Parish Council and other organisations in the village and we hope you will find them useful in helping you settle in and become part of village life. This welcome pack has been prepared by members of the Parish Council with the help and knowledge of other residents.
The contents include contributions from the County Council, Parish Council and other organisations in the village and we hope you will find them useful in helping you settle in and become part of village life. The Parish Council Office is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays and is located just off Stocks Hill. All details of Parish Council meetings and those of its sub committees are posted on village notice boards.
Communicating with each other is important and the village has its own website where details of all local societies and activities are included. We invite you to register your e-mail address on the web site and you will be able to be informed of events in the village including up to date police alerts in a timely manner. “Chatterbox” published three times a year is our village magazine and is full of useful and interesting articles and adverts for local people providing a wide variety of services.
Ketton Church is the parish church of St Mary, which continues to be available to serve the whole community and where everyone is welcome. You will find an equal welcome in the Methodist Church in Bull Lane.
The Church of England primary school has many excellent facilities and provides a modern approach to learning by an able team of teachers who welcome parental involvement. There is a privately run pre-school on the school’s site and there is a play group for younger children which meets in the Methodist Church.
The Ketton Centre on the High Street, adjacent to the school hosts the Ketton Library, the Doctors Surgery and the Ketton Hub where you can meet friends and have coffee and biscuits, use the Wi-Fi and the computers, while you source village information.
We are delighted to have a shop in the village and hope you will enable them to keep trading by giving them your support. The Post Office is far more than just a post office and stocks an amazing range of produce including fresh food from local suppliers. It makes a great contribution to the village. The local public houses, The Railway Inn, Northwick Arms, and the Ketton Sports and Community Centre all provide refreshments and are regular meeting places.
Ketton is fortunate in having a Sports Centre in Pit Lane. Clubs based at the sports centre offer a range of activities including football, cricket, bowls and tennis for both junior & senior players – please do join and use these wonderful sports and social facilities. The Scout and Guide headquarters have a modern purpose built hall in Pit Lane, where groups supporting all age groups meet regularly. There are many different clubs and societies for you to join and their details are published monthly in the Parish newsletter which is delivered to all households.
As you walk round the village you will see that we have some lovely areas – some of these belong to the Parish Council and some to the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. Hall Close is open to everyone and has two play areas; one for younger children, and one for slightly older children. There is also an all-weather Multi Use Games Area. Please enjoy using these areas and help us maintain them to the standard you would like to see. Walking dogs is part of village life but please ensure that dogs are kept under control and that you clear up after them using the dog bins provided round the village. The village also hosts a very popular walking group. There are a number of public footpaths radiating out from the village, which are all well signposted. There are 3 long distance footpaths, the Round Rutland Way, the Jurassic Way and the Hereward Trail, passing through the village.
The Parish Council is active in maintaining a pleasant quality of life for all who live in Ketton, Aldgate and Geeston. We are sure you will be given a warm welcome and hope that the village will prove a happy place for you to live and where you will make many new friends.
Ketton is an attractive limestone village sited in the valley of the River Chater, comprising the main village of Keton on the north side of the river and 2 associated hamlets of Aldgate and Geeston on the south side. It stands at the intersection of the main road from Stamford to Uppingham with a secondary road running from Empingham to Collyweston. The secondary road crosses the Chater and the nearby Welland by ancient bridges and no doubt, before the bridges were built the rivers could be forded at Ketton.
The Domesday Book of 1086 provides the earliest written record of Ketton. At that time “Chetene” was “held by the King” and the population consisted of 12 Freemen, 24 villagers, 5 smallholders, a priest and 3 slaves.There was a mill in the village and the fact that there was a priest suggests there was also a church.
However, the story of Ketton commenced many years before Norman times. Archaeologists have found evidence of a settlement in Ketton dating from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age and a number of finds have confirmed that Ketton was occupied in Roman times – remains have been identified as Roman dwellings, quarrying and burials.
Almost all the older buildings in the village have been built with limestone which has been quarried locally. This stone, known as Ketton freestone, is recognised as one of the finest building stones in Britain. Originally many of the buildings would have been covered with thatch but now only two thatched roofs remain and most of the roofs are covered with limestone slates quarried at Collyweston. The remains of several of the old stone quarries can be seen about the village. For many generations there have been skilled stonemasons in the village and today this skill is being continued by the company known as Ketton Architectural Stone and Masonry.
The limestone lies under thick seams of clay and the abundance of these two materials led to the establishment of the Ketton Cement Works in 1928. At the time it was recognised as one of the most up-to-date cement works in Britain. Today, eighty five years later, a policy of continuing modernisation and improvement has ensured that the works are still a modern and efficient cement works. The works have had a number of names over the years, Ketco, Castle Cement and are now known as Hanson Cement Ltd.
The oldest building in the village is the magnificient church of St Mary. This dates from 1190 but there is evidence that there was an earlier church. A leaflet outlining the history of St Mary’s is available in the church. The Congregational Chapel was established in the village in 1829 and five years later the first Methodist Chapel was opened in Bull Lane.
In the 19th century the village was a self sufficient community. It is recorded that in 1846, when the population was 951, the residents included 13 farmers, 3 butchers, 5 bakers, 3 shopkeepers, 3 blacksmiths, 4 boot and shoe makers, 2 saddlers, 4 tailors, 8 inns or beer houses, 4 joiners, 2 wheelwrights and 5 stonemasons.
Until this century, farming had always been the main source of work for the community. In the 19th century the main crops were turnips, barley with clover and wheat. About three fifths of the land was maintained as pasture for sheep and cattle, with a small number of horses. Cottagers were encouraged to produce their own food and 65 acres of land in four fields were let as allotments. Many cottagers kept their own pig, and some kept a cow. There is a copy of the 1768 enclosure map in the library and the parish office showing who owned each field in the village.
It is not known when the first school was established in the village but there was a boys’ school in the 1780’s. Early in the 19th century a girls’ school was established after a bequest of £1000 was used for “the education of the poor female children of Ketton”. In 1857 the two schools were amalgamated into a new school which provided accommodation for 120 boys and girls. This school, with some additional class rooms, served the village until 1969 when the present school was completed. The old school was demolished in 1973 and the Library was erected on the site.
The railway line through the village, with a station at Ketton, was opened in 1848, and is on the line from Cambridge to Leicester, but in 1966 the railway station was closed to passengers and in 1973 the station building was demolished. The nearest station is now in Stamford.