wainfleet market town near Skegness in Lincolnshire uk

Magdalen College Museum - History

William Patten, a native of Wainfleet was a powerful force in 15th Century. He later became Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England. He took his surname, like many clerics, of the place of his birth and would therefore be known as William of Waynflete (old spelling)

In 1484 William authorised the building of Magdalen College School in Wainfleet. The school was originally designed to take seven boys and educate them in Latin and Greek grammar and ultimately send them on to Magdalen College, Oxford. By 1755 the situation had changed and henceforth it became an elementary school for boys and girls totalling 30-60 pupils. By 1877 the number of pupils had fallen dramatically and the re-construction of a grammar school with new standards began. In 1933 the school was transferred to the new Skegness Grammar School and the building stood empty, apart for military use from 1939-1945. The building re-opened in 1951 and served again as a school until 1966.

The Grade 1 Listed building is a scheduled ancient monument, County No. 321. In 1992 local resident, Mr Cliffe Toyne, founder of the Museum started renovation of the large upstairs room and with voluntary help from dedicated local people, grants from the local council and fund raising events the Museum gradually came into being. Artifacts, china, farm tools, world war memorabilia, kitchenware, coinage, books and Victoriana have been donated or are on loan from residents in the area along with a display by the Wildfowlers Association. The Musueum has recently undergone further refurbishment and now displays a Victorian schoolroom.

The original interior of the room shows a large timber roof resting on stone corbels each carved as a human head. On two fireplaces the motto ‘Sicut Lilium’ refers to the lilies on the Wainfleet coat of arms. The two large windows are also decorated with the lilies. Since it’s ten years of conception the Museum has seen many changes, many visitors making a return visit. As a registered charity all monies received are used for the upkeep of the Museum.

Open from Easter until the end of September from 1-30 to 4.30 pm on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays weekends. Prior booking is advisable for larger parties and arrangements can be made for evening visits if requested.

Dave Henson (Museum Secretary)

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