Sleaford is a traditional market town and has many fine buildings including the splendid 13th century church, St Denys’, renowned for its wonderful stained glass and traceried windows. The church has one of the oldest stone-built spires in England and stands an impressive 144ft (44m) high. St. Denys’ also forms the backdrop to the market place where an outdoor market is held every Monday, Friday and Saturday selling a wide variety of goods and produce. On the first Saturday of each month there is a Farmers’ Market selling locally-grown fresh produce.
As well as having three markets a week, Sleaford is home to The National Centre for Craft & Design – the UK’s largest centre for craft, design and making. In a refurbished warehouse on the banks of the River Slea, you’ll find four floors of gallery spaces with a regular programme of exhibitions and events, a contemporary craft shop, cafe and residents artists’ workshop.
Across Navigation Yard is Navigation House, a refurbished original canal company office built in 1838. This grade II listed building is thought to be the only one of its kind still in existence, has a heritage theme covering the early development of the new River Slea and portrays the story of the Navigation and its significant impact on Sleaford’s history.
The River Slea running through the town once brought barges to Navigation Wharf via the Slea Navigation.
The Navigation was a key trade route central to the town’s burgeoning growth and brought prosperity to many, plus a last heritage which can still be explored today at Navigation House – the Company’s canal office built in 1838.
You can also follow the picturesque walk along the Sleaford Navigation to Cogglesford Mill, a fully restored and working 18th century watermill where milling has taken place for over a thousand years.