HOIINCASTLE, a market-town giving its name to a soku in Lincolnshire, England, is situated at the foot of a line of low hills called the Wolds, on an angle formed by the confluence of the Bain and Waring, and at the terminus of a branch line of the Great Northern Railway, 21 miles east of Lincoln. The principal buildings are the parish church of St Mary's (supposed to have been originally erected in the time of Henry VII., possessing a square embattled tower, many fine old monuments, and an old brass), Queen Elizabeth's grammar school founded in 1562, the dispensary opened in 1789, the corn exchange opened in 1806, with a room for public meetings, and accommodation fur the mechanics' institute, a library, and a news-room. There are also national and Wesleyan. schools, and an infant school for poor children. Among the charities is one for apprenticing orphan boys belonging to the parish. A few fragments still remain of the ancient fortification from which the town takes its name, and many Roman urns and coins have been discovered in the vicinity. Near the confluence of the rivers there at one time existed an ancient labyrinth called the Julian bower. To the south-east of the town there is a spot called Hangman's Corn or, where criminals were formerly executed. The prosperity of the town is chiefly dependent on agriculture and its horse fairs, - that held in August being the largest of- its class in England. Brewing, malting„ and currying are carried on, and there is some trade in coal and iron. The population of the parish in 1871 was 4947, and of the coke 10,469.
Horneastle is believed to he the Roman Banrorollion. The fort is said to have been originally constructed by the Romans, reforti lied and strengthened by Ilorsa, the brother of IIengest, kit shortly afterwards demolished by l'ortimer, king of the Britons. The manor at the time of the Norman survey belonged to the king, and after being for an unknown period in prit.ate hands, was sold in the reign of -Henry II I. to the bishop of Carlisle, who received from II cony a charter authorizing him to try felons and hold a court leet, and granting free warren and an annual heir.