About the Linton and District Historical
Until the formation of Parish and District Councils in 1894
Linton had always been regarded as a town. It’s prosperity
had been based on the establishment of a flourishing Market
in 1246 which became the centre of local economic activity.
The town expanded it’s own trades and cottage industries
but all were still dependent on the wealth generated by a
thriving agricultural industry. The beautiful timber houses
along the High Street and Lanes which give our old village
its attractive appearance, were all built from this income.
Early in the 19th century the whole basis of Linton’s
prosperity was threatened by economic, political and social
change. Vibrant coaching inns succumbed to the railways, leather
and textile trades failed to compete with both local and North
country mills, the Napoleonic Wars crippled agriculture and
the doubling of the population overstretched local housing
resources. Some new cottages were built outside of the corps
Village in the Bartlow Road, but poverty was too widespread
to encourage real investment in housing or communal amenities.
Linton responded to these new economic conditions and prosperity
returned between 1840 and 1880. Farms were enclosed to boost
productivity, the malting trade flourished based on local
barley, the railway came in 1865 and a new river bridge was
constructed in 1867. However, from the 1880’s a long
term agricultural decline set in caused by the importation
of cheap overseas food. The population fell from 2061 in 1851
to 1530 in 1901, and only recovered to the 1851 figure by
1961. People moved to London or emigrated further a field
and local farmers could not afford to build cottages to renew
the deteriorating housing stock.
Villages must adapt to changing circumstances if they are
to survive and Linton did. Parish and District Councils built
our council estates on the fringes of the village providing
cheap modern accommodation which enabled people to stay in
the locality. Industry was encouraged to replace jobs lost
in the continuing agricultural depression of the 20’s
and 30’s.The provision of electricity in 1935, water
in 1936 and sewerage in the 1950’s laid the basis for
future expansion. Post war subsidies to support farming, together
with the successful establishment of local trading estates
attracted new people and new money to the village. The car
enabled commuters to reside in Linton and it is largely their
money which saved and restored our historic centre.
All these changes to preserve and breathe new life into our
village depended on the expansion of local housing, good local
planning initiatives such as seen in the 1968 Village Plan
and meaningful local consultative procedures. Linton has changed
over time and it has only survived and prospered because local
people were sufficiently far sighted to adapt to new circumstances.
About the Linton and District
Linton and District Historical Society was founded by Garth
Collard in 1984 following a series of evening classes on Linton's
history which he delivered in 1983. The Society has flourished
since that time and now has around 100 members. Garth
Collard was awarded an MBE in the 2008 Honours List for his
services to local history.
are nine talks a year and meetings are held at the Village
Hall in Linton at 7.30 pm on the third Tuesday of every month,
from September to May. The annual subscription of £8
has been kept low because of the large membership. Visitors
are always welcome and the fee is £2 per session. Garth
gives two talks per year on aspects of Linton's history and
the other sessions are related to local and national
In 2006, the Society published 'A History of Linton
in Photographs'. More information and details of
how to purchase can be found here.
All proceeds will be used for new publications and research
on local history.
The Society has an extensive archive and within the next two
years is likely to acquire a room in the Village College which
will serve as an archive centre and allow young and old to
research the history of Linton and the surrounding villages.
The Society welcomes enquiries and is especially interested
in copying local photograhs, examining artefacts and researching
house deeds. Garth is writing an extensive history of every
village property and this already contains over 600,000 words.
Chairman: Garth Collard
Secretary: Andrew Westwood-Bate
Treasurer: Frank Appleyard
To contact the Society, please use the contact
form on this website.
A History of
Linton in Photographs (2006)